8 tips for decluttering you need to know before downsizing
IF YOU have been considering selling the family home, either to move into a new home or retirement village living, the prospect of sorting through a lifetime of possessions and memories can be overwhelming.
Decluttering might just seem like the latest buzzword, especially given the success of Marie Kondo's books and her Netflix show about tidying up. But there's real merit to objectively sorting through your possessions and getting rid of clutter.
Research shows that clutter can affect mental wellbeing and add to feelings of stress. On the flipside, clearing out things you no longer need or want can be intensely liberating.
What's more, sorting through your possessions now will make unpacking on the other end a whole lot easier.
To help make the process a little simpler, it's wise to assess everything you have before you move. We've put together some top tips to get you started:
1. Keep your focus narrow
Don't tackle the whole house at once, but deal with one room, cupboard, or zone at a time. Set aside 15 minutes a day rather than trying to sort through years of memories in one weekend.
2. Measure and prepare
If you've already bought a new home, check the floor plan against the dimensions of your furniture and assess what will fit. If you're moving into a retirement village, chances are you won't need all the furniture you currently have.
There's no point lugging items to your new home - and paying the associated moving costs - only to find there's not enough space.
3. Store no more
If you have children, no matter how grown up they are, chances are you've been storing something in your garage for years. Now's the time for the kids to pick up their possessions.
4. Has it been a year?
Assess your wardrobe with a critical eye. If you haven't worn something for a year, consider whether it's worth holding onto.
This same approach also holds true for kitchenware, pantry items, appliances and sporting gear. If you haven't used them for a year, you know where they go! (And no, it's not into that packing box.)
5. Ditch big items if possible
If you're moving to a retirement village, maintenance and gardening will most likely be taken care of. If that's the case, there's no point taking your lawnmower and whipper snipper with you.
6. Go digital
If you have a pile of magazines or newspapers you no longer refer to, save any important articles digitally by snapping a photo on your phone, and recycle the rest.
Likewise, get rid of any scratched or broken cassettes, VCRs, CDs or DVDs, especially if you no longer have the appropriate player. To save on space, you might like to purchase new titles digitally.
7. Enlist help
Ask professionals, family, or neighbours to lend a hand.
8. Donate what you don't need
If you have more than you need, separate these items into three piles: those to sell, throw away, and donate to charity.
Not only will this decluttering process simplify your life and evoke feelings of calm, but it can make moving house that much more manageable. What's more, your real estate agent will probably find it far easier to get a great price for the family home if it's streamlined and clutter-free.
If you've been thinking about your next step in retirement, take a personal tour of Carlyle Gardens, where you can enjoy a relaxed beachside lifestyle opposite stunning Bargara Beach. Phone 1300 68 77 38 to book your tour today.