Downsizing your home: Where to start

Sarah Deitz - Reclaim Your Space - Professional organiser

How to prepare yourself for downsizing the family home

Downsizing your family home can be a deeply emotional decision to make. It’s completely normal to feel apprehension and grief as you weigh up the pros and cons of this major life change. Even once you’ve made the decision, the thought of having to go through all of your possessions knowing it will trigger memories, good and bad, can be overwhelming.

It’s such a massive task. Not only is it difficult to let go of stuff, it can also be a reminder of unrealised dreams or lost opportunities, and an unwelcome reality check of how old you are.

While downsizing may initially feel like a loss, I’d like you to consider changing your perspective.

Moving home is a great opportunity to let go of the past and re-evaluate your life. You get to choose what your next chapter looks like, what you want to do and what belongings you want to take forward into that new life.

So, let’s curate the memories, release any aspirations that are no longer a fit, and get excited about new experiences and the space to enjoy your life more!

Visualising your new spacious, downsized home

Find a comfy spot to sit and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and imagine your new home. If you don’t already have a place to move to, just think about your ideal space.

  • Imagine opening the front door and stepping into the main living room.
  • How do you feel in this new space?
  • Are there any colours or particular furniture you notice?
  • Move into the kitchen. Is there anything on the kitchen counters?
  • Open up some of the drawers and cupboards and imagine everything you need is there and easy to find.
  • Now go into the bedroom. Open up the wardrobe and take a look at all your favourite clothes all neatly hung up or folded and easily accessible.
  • Think about your typical day in your new home. From waking up to going to bed at the end of the day.
  • What activities do you like doing in your new home? Do you have visitors? If so, who comes over and what do you do together?
  • Have a last look around and make a note of any sounds or smells in your new space.

When you’re done exploring your new home, come back to the present. Wiggle your fingers and toes and open your eyes. Have a drink of water, and write some notes on what your new home and new life is like.

Ten questions for downsizing effectively

Now you have a sense of what you want your future life to look and feel like, let’s get practical.

Grab a copy of the floorplan for your new home and a pen to make some notes.

  1. Which room will be your bedroom? If there are other bedrooms, what will be the purpose of those rooms?
  2. What size dining table will fit?
  3. How many people can you entertain at once?
  4. Can you have guests stay over?
  5. How much storage is in the kitchen?
  6. Is there a garden or outside area?
  7. What built-in storage is there? In the bathroom, bedroom, linen cupboard etc.
  8. What of your existing furniture will go in each room? Make sure and measure it to check it will fit.
  9. Will you need any other furniture to fit the space? e.g. if your dining table is too big for the space, what size table will you need to get?
  10. How many sqm is it?

How does this compare to your current home and rooms? Make a guess as to what percentage of your things you will need to downsize.

Decision-making framework for downsizing

Your vision and the answers to the questions above will serve as a framework for making decisions around what to keep and what to let go of when downsizing your stuff.

Other questions you may like to consider: 

  • Crockery & cutlery – how many place settings do you need? (Do you have a good set you wish to keep? Then let go of the old, stained, broken items and use the good ones!) 
  • Kitchen appliances & cookware – what will you no longer need? (When’s the last time you used that air fryer? The toastie maker? Is it family sized or suitable for one or two people?) 
  • Bed linen – How many beds will you have, and what size will they be? (Do you have favourite linen you wish to keep, and old linen you hold on to because…?)
  • Towels – How many sets of towels per person, and how many extras might be needed for guests? (Are your towels warm and fluffy or like rough grade sandpaper?)
  • What hobbies or activities will you be doing? Are there any projects you will let go of? (What are your favourites that you always come back to? Would a friend or family member want to explore new hobbies that you’ve lost interest in?

Schedule in a regular time for the downsizing process

How are you feeling now about the prospect of downsizing your family home?

I hope that this has helped to lessen the overwhelm, get you excited about your move, and give you a plan to get you started.

The downsizing process can be exhausting, both emotionally and physically. It’s best to do it slowly and thoroughly, but the time needed is often under-estimated. I recommend scheduling in a regular time to work on it and be kind to yourself. Enlisting help is great to keep you on track, provide emotional support and help with the more physical side of it.

I would love to hear how your downsizing goes, please feel free to reach out and email me! If you’d like more tips for decluttering, organising and downsizing, you can:

Downsizing services

We get it. Downsizing can be exhausting. It’s not just about the physical effort, but the emotional toll that can wear you down.

You don’t have to do it alone! 🤗 At Reclaim Your Space we specialise in comprehensive downsizing, decluttering and preparing your home for sale.

Sarah Deitz - Reclaim Your Space - Professional organiser
Downsizing services

Hi, I'm Sarah.

I’m here to support & motivate overwhelmed families juggling the demands of everyday life.

I believe that what’s in your home should be intentional and organised in a way that makes your life easier, reduces your daily decisions and makes you smile 🙂

As a parent I’m all too familiar with that overwhelming feeling that comes from a never ending to do list and the desire to get it all right. When things start to unravel at home it can take an unnecessary toll.

That’s why I’m passionate about helping you create a home that you can relax and have fun in so you can truly treasure your time together as a family.

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