Although the prospect of downsizing your home in Australia might seem intimidating, the process is beneficial in improving your quality of life when executed with the right approach. Whether you are looking to downsize your home as a senior or need downsizing help for seniors, we’ve got all the information you need to ensure it’s a seamless transition.
The main thing you need to know… start now!
Some helpful advice from our fellow residents and local downsizing specialists, is to start the decluttering process before you sell your current home! While removing a bit of clutter is a good first step, you also need to consider what you will and won’t take with you into your new home. There are many different ways to approach downsizing and whether you’re a downsizing expert, having done it before or, this is a completely new world, we have created five handy steps to help you best prepare for your move.
But before we get it, let’s unpack the advantages of downsizing your home in Australia.
Downsizing homes for seniors can offer a range of benefits
Downsizing a home for seniors helps cut costs on expenses such as utility and repair bills, mortgage payments, home insurance and property taxes. More often than not, retirees live off a fixed income, so slashing down on home-related expenses frees up income for leisure-based activities such as travel. A smaller home also means you have less space to maintain. Stairs, long driveways, and multiple levels can pose safety hazards for seniors. Choosing a single-floor space facilitates ease of both accessibility and upkeep. Another advantage of downsizing your home is the freedom to relocate to a neighbourhood that’s either safer or closer to your family and friends. The needs of an individual change throughout life, and areas that are perfect for working couples may not be suitable for seniors. Health issues are also an inevitable part of ageing. Sometimes, relocating to an area closer to the family doctor can be favourable.
Steps you can take to downsize your home seamlessly
1. Start with your furniture
If you’re considering downsizing your home, we’ve created a printable “Yes, No, Maybe” sheet to help you sort the items you’ll be bringing to your new home. Simply print the sheet, grab a pen and a tape measure, and you’re set to go.
Next, go from room to room and decide whether the furniture belongs in the Yes, No or Maybe columns. It’s always a good idea to measure your furniture, to ensure it will fit in your new space, so you will notice we have also included a measurements column. Some people prefer to purchase new furniture, but you may have some treasures you don’t want to part with. Once you have completed each column, you’ll need to revisit your ‘Maybes’ with the following questions…
- Can this piece fit in my new space?
- Will it provide storage?
- Do I need it?
- Can I replace it with something as useful but smaller?
Answering these questions will help you determine if each item on your ‘Maybe’ list becomes a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
2. Create a floorplan
Now you have a good idea of what furniture you want to take with you, it’s time to make sure it’ll fit in your new home. We recommend mapping out your furniture on your home floor plan, so you know where your pieces will go. Start with the bigger items like your bed, sofa, television and dining table. From there, determine if and where you have room for end tables, hall tables, bedside tables and other storage pieces and ornamental furniture.
Tip! A helpful tip from one of our residents and resident downsizing home experts: Always ask where the power outlets are and mark up these on your floor plans, to ensure your electrical appliances are located close by and have access to electricity.
3. Determine want vs need
Next, it’s time to sort through your personal, more valuable items – which can often be challenging if your items are of sentimental significance. A useful method that was recommended by Rachel Lane & Noel Whittaker in their book ‘Downsizing Made Simple’ is to start in a room with fewer sentimental objects, for example, your kitchen or bathroom. Alternatively, the Marie Kondo (internationally renowned organising expert) method of letting go of unnecessary clutter is an option too. To follow this method you hold the item and if it doesn’t make you feel anything positive, thank it and set it free (click here to find out more about Marie Kondo). On a less personal approach, we recommend asking the following before you begin downsizing your home:
- What are the items you’d take with you if you only had one box? – these are ‘must haves’
- What are the items you use every day? – clothing, kitchenware, technology
- Have you used this item in the past 12 months? – immediately discard clothing that doesn’t fit, anything that you have more than one of (how many pairs of scissors do you need?), and any item that is broken or damaged and can’t be repaired.
- What items make you really happy – books, artwork, collectibles?
- What items will you need at some time in the next 6-12 months? Include seasonal clothing and sporting or entertainment pieces
4. Check if it fits before downsizing your home in Australia
Once you have determined what you want to take, you need to ensure that all of these items can fit into your new home, using in-built storage or any cupboards or drawers you are taking with you. If in doubt, give it to a friend, sell it, or give it to a charity shop so it can be loved by someone else. While there are many shops around Canberra (and this link will take you to them all), below is a list of some that may be near you:
For those living outside of Canberra, there are several Red Cross, Salvation Army & Vinnies drop-offs in regions across Australia too.
- Belconnen Salvos
Charity | The Salvation Army
88 Josephson Street, BELCONNEN
- Vinnies Tuggeranong
Charity | Saint Vincent de Paul
Cnr Pitman St & Athllon Dr., GREENWAY
- MS Community Shop – Tuggeranong
Charity | Multiple Sclerosis Foundation
150-180 Soward Way, TUGGERANONG
- Fusion Op Shop
Charity | Fusion
2/30-36 Primmer Ct, KAMBAH
- Woden Australian Red Cross
Charity | Red Cross
Shop 107-109 Woden Square, 20 Bradley St, WODEN
5. Ask for help
Feeling overwhelmed, not sure where to start or simply want to learn more about how to downsize your home for seniors? That’s what we’re here for!
We’ve connected with a few local specialists to help take the guesswork out of downsizing your home. If you would like us to help you get in touch with a specialist, please reach out to the Greenway Views Membership Team on 1300 535 000 or feel free to contact the below specialists. We recommend:
- The Bear That Cares
0416 288 824
- Downsize with Care
02 6134 5200
- Inspired Outcomes
0448 201 884
Ready to get started? You now know how to downsize your home for seniors
While downsizing your home in Australia offers a range of benefits, it can be challenging to know where to start — after all, you’re moving your entire life to another location. Before you pack your boxes, create a handy checklist to determine what furniture needs to be transferred and what you may be donating or giving away.
With your new floor plan, map out where your furniture will go to guarantee it fits seamlessly — this will also ensure you don’t run into any unexpected challenges when downsizing your home. After this crucial step, determine what personal items you wish to bring with you. Think about what belongings bring you joy, what you use the most, and what will make your house feel like a home.
We know this process can feel overwhelming — so don’t be afraid to ask for help or support. Your friends, family and loved ones may even volunteer to help you downsize your home!
Still unsure? LDK helps you age with ease
Our mission is to help seniors enjoy retirement and live their lives to the fullest in a safe and comfortable environment. Discover a vibrant and close-knit community with LDK Seniors’ Living villages, where every day is filled with adventure and fun!
Whether you are looking for information regarding short-term or long-term aged care or need downsizing help for seniors, the expert team at LDK Seniors’ Living will assist you in finding a care facility that caters to all your needs.
Interested in knowing more about LDK? Check out our FAQs to get started on the right path. If you have any questions or require further information about aged care or downsizing homes for seniors, get in touch with us today, and a member of our team will be more than happy to help you.