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The Practicalities of Downsizing

Apr 02 2016

There has been some controversy of late surrounding the idea of encouraging older people to downsize their homes in order to help alleviate the housing crisis around the country. Although it has been proven not to be an effective line to pursue by the government, with various surveys highlighting that many older people already live in smaller homes and risk social isolation by downsizing, there are many upsides to downsizing for those of you who chose to do it.

Downsizing can be very liberating and can really improve quality of life for the older generation. Without having to bear the weight of big heating bills, large gardens, upkeep of an older home and many household chores, there is more time to stay active, to visit friends and to partake in social activities.

So as it comes as a practical decision for “empty nesters”, it does take some planning in order for the process to run smoothly. Moving house can be one of the most stressful things you can do in life – believe it or not! You may be downsizing to reduce the stress of living in a larger home, but don’t let the process of the move heighten stress levels!

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Where do all your possessions go in a smaller property?? One of the biggest tasks associated with downsizing is deciding what to do with your excess of furniture and other household items. Organising your possessions can be a daunting task, so we recommend this is something you begin well in advance of your move. Take a couple of hours everyday to make an inventory of your things. Do this room-by-room, dividing the list between things you will keep and things you will be getting rid of. It is easier to begin with rooms that hold the least sentimental value, for example the kitchen – your extensive collection of pots and pans will likely to be easy to downsize! Boxes of old papers and photographs may be more difficult to go through.

Next there is the question of what to do with all of the possessions that you cannot take with you?

Anything that is in good condition could be sold. Websites such as Donedeal.ie and Gumtree.ie are great places to sell anything that is in good condition. They are also simple to use, but get the help of a family member or friend to start you off if you’re not so sure!

Many charity shops take donations of furniture, clothes and books and this is a great option to offload your items.

Give furniture, tools, kitchen utensils to family members, for example your sons or daughters with young families and who are beginning family homes.

For those things that you do not want to part with, a self storage unit is a fantastic choice. Boxes of photographs of sentimental value, and other valuables you do not wish to part with but will not have space for in your new home. Your self storage unit can be accessed at any time of the day, whenever you need it – so your things will always be close at hand!

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