Our simple storage guide to stress-free downsizing

Moving into a new home that has a little less space? Not sure how you’re going to fit all your belongings in? Well, blue self storage is here to help you with downsizing.

There are many advantages to downsizing. From topping up your retirement pot to a fresh start on a new path, moving into a new home can have many bonuses.

We’ve even seen a few things about how, instead of downsizing, we should really call it right-sizing. And we like that because it’s about moving to a new home that is the right size for you; it may be a little smaller than before… but it’ll be easier to clean!

Older couple by the sea for downsizing blog

On top of that is the potential for equity release when you downsize. According to This Is Money, “On average, borrowers release £52,269 from their property, although they can take up to 50 per cent of their home’s value depending on their age.” Smaller homes can also mean lower energy bills. Yet it’s not always about money – you may simply want to put your affairs in order now rather than later.

So why doesn’t everyone downsize? Because moving house can be super stressful for starters. And that’s before we get to sorting through a lifetime of boxes, trinkets and memories to fit into a smaller home. Whether you’re choosing to downsize or life is forcing your hand, there are certain things you can do to make this process easier.

And one of those things is where blue self storage can really help.

Take some of the stress and heartache out of downsizing by using self-storage. Especially for items you can’t bear to part with or furniture that won’t fit into your new home.

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How do I start downsizing?

The three key things when downsizing your home are…

  • Planning
  • Realism
  • Lists

All this depends on the size of the property you’re moving into but you must be realistic on what you can take, what you can lose, and what you want to pass on.

Couple looking at sunset for downsizing blog

To start on this journey, which can be emotional, make a list of everything in your current home – and don’t forget the attic and the shed. Then categorise this list.

Try titles like this for your downsizing list:

  • Essential items
  • Fit for the tip
  • For family and friends
  • Donate to charity
  • Not sure

Once you’ve made this list go over it with family or friends. There may be items that they’d like that you haven’t considered. Alternatively, there may be things they don’t have space for at the moment. Rather than lose them forever, self-storage can be a solution.

Next, it’s time to revise and refine this list before we go on to planning. Be ruthless but keep items that hold significant sentimental value. Even if you don’t use it very often or haven’t for a very long time, it’s not worth losing something you care about. Instead, consider popping it in storage for the time being. However, if the item has no practical purpose and little emotional value, it’s time to sell or donate.

And truly acknowledge that this can be an emotional process. So you may find it easier to start in rooms or with items you know you’re not too sentimental about. This way you can build up some momentum before you get bogged down with memories.

You may well find that after going through your possessions and putting them in lists, you’ve still got too much stuff for your new place. That’s fine and that’s natural. But before you go hell for leather and discard everything, it’s time to plan where everything is going to go in your new place.

Whether you want to use an app like Sweet Home 3D or go with graph paper, carefully measure your new home. Next size up your furniture and belongings. Now you’re ready to plot where everything is going to go. It’s important to be accurate and be honest – you’ll quickly see how much space you have to play with.

With your plan and your list, you’ll be able to lay out in front of you what you can take with you and what you can’t. Now your organisation is underway, let’s look at packing!

How do you pack for downsizing?

With your plan in hand, it’s time to box up everything and clearly label where it’s going in your new home.

But before you pack everything away now is a good time to share items that family and friends want and need before the move. Also use separate areas for items that you’re donating, selling, or putting in self-storage. Keeping these away from the things you’re taking will also make the process simpler.

Ensure you have lots of boxes (ideally ones that can stack), marker pens, and resealable plastic bags. Bubble wrap is also useful, as are vacuum bags for clothes. And have lots to hand. You don’t want to lose your packing momentum by stopping to get more.

We just mentioned it but labels are so important when downsizing. Include clear instructions of where it’s going in your new home as well as the contents on the label.

Also, accept that you’re likely to get rid of a few items that you may regret losing. You can talk this over with friends and family if they’re open to safeguarding certain items for you. Alternatively popping things in storage is a temporary solution that removes the headache for you.

Yet our one key message on downsizing is this: Rid yourself of items you don’t really need without disposing of things that you do.

Other things to consider before you downsize

It’s important to assess your finances before downsizing. Fees, duty and taxes can quickly eat into the savings you can make doing it. So…

You might want to have a look at the Money Advice Service’s guide to downsizing for more financial info.

Car boot sign for blue self storage downsizing blog

Finally:

Moving into a smaller home doesn’t have to be a step-down. It can be hugely positive as well as a money-saver. And while sorting through your possessions can be stressful, using blue self storage for prized belongings you can’t bear to part with can help ease the strain.

Have you downsized recently? Got any tips on what worked and what didn’t work for you? Let us know on our socials!

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