Downsize Upsides: How Self Storage Can Make It Easier

Downsizing your home offers huge advantages, but also huge challenges. Leaving a home you’ve loved, packed with memories, can be emotionally fraught. And practically too – it can be a shock to see how many material belongings you’ve gathered since you moved in.

While a good clearout might be overdue, what exactly do you do with the things you don’t want to part with but can’t fit in your new bijou residence? Our material possessions can be a source of comfort, security and even identity, so it can be a time of great turmoil.

Self-storage could be the answer. Practical, safe, convenient and cost-effective, it’s a win-win situation where, instead of saying goodbye to your prized possessions, you can simply bid them adieu, and visit or retrieve them whenever you want. 

The Reasons for Downsizing

There are as many downsizing decisions as there are types of homes. Maybe you’re now in an empty nest, or the financial or physical effort of maintaining your existing home is just too much. Perhaps a life event has forced the change, or maybe you just want to simplify things for yourself. Whatever your downsizing motivations, it’s a big journey.

Assessing Your Belongings

Every journey begins with the first step. Here, that’s assessing belongings. 

Decluttering for downsizing can be difficult, but worth it as it will give you an increased sense of control, and also pave the way for more comfortable living in your smaller space. Some tips for efficient assessing include:

  • Give yourself plenty of time and do it in small steps – don’t overwhelm yourself
  • Take an Inventory of your belongings, sell or donate what you don’t need and categorise as you go

Ask yourself …

  • Have you used/worn it in the past year?
  • Are you definitely going to use it in the future?
  • Is it broken?
  • Will it fit in with any lifestyle changes you’re making?

Honest answers only, please!

  • Sort room by room
  • Ditch the duplicates
  • Adapt digital storage where you can
  • Measure your new space for your existing furniture – if it doesn’t fit, it can’t sit!
  • Stay focused

Choosing the Right Self-Storage Facility

Time to put some thought into your self-storage facility selection. 

Location. If you visit a lot, choose somewhere close to home. If not, then you could look further afield which could give you wider cost options. 

Size and suitability. Make sure your unit can comfortably accommodate everything you need to store, and consider that you might need future additional space. 

Security. Find a level you’re satisfied with – is the CCTV monitored 24/7? Are the unit doors sturdy? Do they have PIN Codes, or is there a manned reception or office? Do they offer more advanced systems like biometrics? 

Cost. Watch out for attractive introductory offers and remember that lower costs might not pay off if they’re at the expense of security or location. And remember to always read the fine print. 

Packing and Organising

Packing. Loved by some, despised by others – but worth investing time in. When packing for downsizing;

  • Consider your storage materials – cardboard or plastic? Big boxes or small? 
  • Clean what you’re packing, and dismantle furniture
  • Keep an inventory, and label boxes
  • Protect breakables

When organising your storage unit:

  • Stack. Store heavy items on the bottom, and keep items you might need near the top and front
  • Leave yourself access space inside
  • Cover furniture with cloths, and store the way it’s supposed to sit
  • Leave air to circulate
  • Keep it neat – you’ll thank yourself later

Maximising Space in Your New Home

Using self-storage will free up potential room in your new home for anything you like – from a reading nook to a playroom; a hobby room or a home office.

A good space-saving idea is to store seasonal items – your summer and winter clothes, Christmas decorations etc.; and things you don’t use regularly like camping or activity equipment. A well-organised self-storage unit can make for a clutter-free, relaxing home – it’s all about space optimisation.


Cost-Effective Downsizing

Self-storage can also make for cost-effective downsizing. Mortgages, rent and bills on the smaller property you’ll fit into once your belongings are safely stashed, are always good for the pocket. In general, self-storage is very competitively priced and you’ll be surprised at the savings. Less stuff = less space = lower costs.

Security and Safety

It’s a no-brainer that the safety of stored belongings is key when they’re out of your sight. A reputable storage provider will lift this worry off your shoulders. Most are highly secure locations with gated access and self-storage security access like biometrics, digital passcodes and solid locking systems; surveillance cameras, alarms, security personnel and more.  You can sleep easily with self-storage.

Accessibility and Convenience

So – you need your birth certificate or you’re determined to get that exercise bike out for your new health kick. And how about the tools you need to fix that leak in a hurry? 

Self-storage accessibility makes life easier, and most self-storage facilities typically offer flexible access hours. The convenience of self-storage is made even better with accessibility through electronic keypads, Bluetooth unit locks, cloud technology and remote data storage – all complicated-sounding ways to make it as easy as possible to access your belongings whenever you need. 

Downsizing Your Home with Peace of Mind

Downsizing is stressful. As well as the physical work and coordination involved, it can evoke a lot of emotions – anxiety, sadness and even grief. The emotional relief of self-storage cannot be underestimated, however. Knowing that you don’t have to part with your much-loved belongings, and knowing that they’re safe and accessible whenever you need them is huge for downsizing peace of mind. 


There comes a time in life when downsizing really makes sense from the money and time to be saved, to increased physical comfort, to the opportunities for freedom it can afford. 

Done carefully, and with forethought and organisation, self-storage can yield enormous benefits in financial, practical and emotional terms, and it’s surprising how cost-effective and user-friendly it can be. 

For first-timers, here are some helpful tips:

  • Shop around for a reliable self-storage provider. A good provider will fulfil European standards on minimum conditions for security and customer protection, and be a member of a quality-control association
  • You, and only you, should have access to your unit
  • Check out what security measures are in place – the more, the better
  • Check how easily accessible the storage facility is in terms of distance and times
  • Choose the right size for your needs – size guides are easily available online and on reputable self-storage providers’ websites
  • Make sure it’s clean, affordable and has good staff

Then, once the packing’s done, and everything’s stacked in order – you’re free to embrace your downsized life with all the peace of mind that self-storage brings.

Unlock the freedom of extra space. Get in touch with Storage World today or get a quote online.