Whether you’re an empty nester, someone looking for a simpler life or moving into a tiny home, downsizing can feel like a huge job. Sorting through years of memories and items, decluttering, organising donations, and removals is not easy!
Self-storage can give you the time and space to ease the hassle and pain of downsizing. Here are some general tips on how to downsize your home and use self-storage to make it all easier.
Start planning early!
Downsizing and moving involve a lot of emotions, organisation, and possibly, recruiting family and professionals to help. Plan to downsize at least 3 months but preferably earlier to declutter and move home. It takes time to go through your things, organise collections, dispose of items and organise donations.
You may need to book self-storage services, a skip bin hire or council collection, a charity collection or drop off and organise pickups with family members. Giving yourself ample time will allow you to organise everything at a leisurely pace leaving no item behind!
Think about your new lifestyle
Considering why you want to downsize and imagining your new life in your new home will help you decide what to keep and what to do away with.
If you want to work less, do you need to keep studying? If maintaining a large house is no longer feasible, do you need the tools and equipment you’ve kept maintaining a garden and your house exterior?
Downsizing shouldn’t only be about what can fit in a smaller space but what use and purpose it will serve both the space and your new lifestyle.
Pace yourself and go through every space
Set a realistic plan to go about every item in every single room and outdoor area of your home. It may be a good idea to do a room a week or use categories such as documents, keepsakes, clothes, and linen, etc.
Go slowly and be thorough. You can use self-storage to buy you time by moving items there that you want to get rid of eventually but need time to list or organise collection for. You could also do it the other way around and move items you want in your new home in self-storage in a staged move.
Be ruthless at decluttering
Don’t keep any maybes. Sort and label everything as keep, throw, give away or sell. Having items that you are not sure what to do with will only increase your uncertainty and get you to hold on to them longer than needed.
You can also simplify the process and sort all your items into 2 categories: keep or do not keep. You can then move all the items you don’t want to keep into self-storage and take a long time to decide whether to sell, give them away or bin them.
Selling your items
Hold a garage sale of all your items. If that doesn’t fish many buyers, go online. Take photos from different angles, and list items on Ebay, Gumtree, and Facebook Marketplace. If getting rid of them quickly is the goal, mark down the price each week until you fetch a buyer.
For items of value that you only want to let go of at the right price such as high-quality furniture, and nearly new appliances, self-storage is a great option. Keep them in self-storage after you have listed them and get buyers to pick them up from your storage facility themselves. This means you get to enjoy your space without these items but still sell them at your own pace for the right price.
Donations and heirlooms
Set aside items that you’re giving away. Your friends and family can pick up their items from your home or from your self-storage unit.
You can drop off small items at charities. Some of them such as Vinnies or Salvos may even collect large items from you if they are in good condition.
Digitise your memories and documents
While you organise your documents and photo albums it’s a good idea to scan them and keep digital records. Any financial records that you are not required to keep by law can be scanned for record keeping purposes then shredded. Photos fade and it’s a good idea to keep high quality scans of them in case they deteriorate or if you want to throw away the albums.
Aside from picking up the items you want to give them, your family can also help you go through your things, drop items off at charities, help you move or load your self-storage module.
Consider hiring professional help too. There are now Marie Kondo style decluttering and tidying services. You can also hire packers and movers to help you move items into self-storage, to charities and your new home. There are also waste disposal services that come to your door!
Consider long-term storage
If you’re only trying out a new home or lifestyle to see if it will suit you in the long term or if you are only moving into a small space but still want to hold onto things, consider putting items into long term storage.
Long-term storage gives you the choice to get your items back in case you may be moving back to your old home or the chance to hold on to anything precious that you will take out during the right time or season.