As Australia’s baby boomers move into retirement, there is an increasing trend for homeowners to downsize. Some choose to place their furniture into self storage, while others are keen to make a fresh start in smaller, more comfortable premises.

But moving house under any circumstances can be a tax on your patience as well as your emotions. Leaving behind a larger house where memories have been shared with the rest of the family, and relocating into a completely different style of accommodation has its blessings as well is its worries.

Of course, smaller houses can mean smaller bills. First of all there are usually lower electricity costs and water bills, not to mention the reduced effort in keeping the house clean!

A move into a smaller house needs careful consideration and meticulous planning if you are to make the right decision. Let’s take a look at the important issues you should cover before making your mind up.

  • Time to clean up. Moving into a smaller house gives you a great opportunity to get rid of the things which have cluttered your living space for many years. How many of us have unpacked boxes under our houses, or in the attic? What about those kitchen utensils and packages of crockery that you rarely use? Moving into a smaller house means you can be ruthless about getting rid of the things you no longer need. It’s easy to make a gift of them to a charity, or even other members of the family. Just be certain that you have sufficient room in your new house to accommodate whatever you decide to keep.
  • The only efficient way to decide whether your furniture needs to be replaced is to draw an accurate floor plan of your new house. Removalists can often provide you with templates to make your job easier. Draw some scale pictures of the furniture you want to keep and see if your floor plan confirms that you can fit everything in.
  • When you finally start to pack up, make sure you label every box according to where it will be placed in your new house. This way it will be easier to unpack at the other end. Colour coding your boxes can make it easier for removalists as well. In other words mark the boxes containing all your kitchen items in red, the lounge room in blue, bedroom one in pink etc.
  • Take particular care with kitchen items. You will be surprised at how much you have accumulated in your large kitchen, especially crockery and cutlery. Check the cupboard space in your new kitchen carefully and measure out the utensils you are able to comfortably store. The most critical measurement of course will be your refrigerator. Many new houses have smaller openings for refrigerators and you may be left with no choice other than to replace it.

Careful planning could avoid the need for using a self storage facility. Just make sure you take your time, plan well in advance, and don’t be too sentimental when deciding whether to keep some of your old household items.