When we first chat with clients who are downsizing the word we hear more than any other is stress.  To downsize is a big decision which affects the whole family and once you’ve made the decision you have to deal with the practicalities of what to do with years of accumulated possessions.  Here are some simple tips which our clients find very helpful.

  1. Turn into a control freak and make a detailed plan. Lists, names, dates – the more, the merrier.  It’s so satisfying ticking them off.
  1. Slow and steady is better than panic and manic.
  1. Twiddling your thumbs because you’re ready two weeks before the removers are due is a very nice feeling.
  1. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Think small things, not big spaces.  ‘This morning I’ll do the saucepans, this afternoon I’ll do the roasting tins’ is a lot less intimidating than ‘I need to do the kitchen.’
  1. When you can’t keep calm, don’t carry on. Binge watch one of the box sets you’re about to give to Oxfam.  Go to the pub for lunch with a friend.  Any distraction will do.
  1. Giving things to family members can be a minefield. Brush up the diplomatic and negotiating skills you haven’t used since your children were toddlers fighting over a toy they all wanted.
  1. If you’re feeling grumpy and hurt because your children don’t want things you love, remember you loved Habitat when your parents only wanted to go to Harrods.
  1. Downsizing is a fantastic opportunity to get rid of things without feeling guilty. You’ve served your time with that hideous teapot Great Aunt Agatha gave you as a wedding present.
  1. If you were an artist and you’d spent 30 years creating your masterpiece you’d photograph it in every detail, wouldn’t you. Your home is the same.  Take lots and lots of photos.
  1. Put yourself first for once. Downsizing is all about your happiness and wellbeing.