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If your kids have recently flown the coop and left you with more space than you need, it might be time to start thinking about downsizing. We get it – starting over is a daunting prospect and one of the biggest challenges downsizers face is letting go of the familiar for the next adventure. Our expert team have a couple of practical tips to get you thinking about your next move.

Location

Now that the nest is empty and you’ve reclaimed your weekends, the need to be near schools and sports fields isn’t as important. Instead, pick a location that prioritises convenience, ideally where local shops are in walking distance and transport is in close proximity. Downsizing is about more than moving, it’s a process often met with mixed emotions, so to avoid feeling overwhelmed, take the time to do your research and talk to local real estate agents about your options.   

Top Tip: If you’re having trouble deciding on your next move, ‘try before you buy’ by renting.  

Logistics

While downsizing means moving to a smaller place, it doesn’t have to mean having no space. As we grow older, we become more sentimental and start holding onto things that connect us to our history. Whether it’s old school projects or remnants of hobbies past, the first step to understanding how much space you’ll need is to work out what you want to put in it. Take a look through your house and make a list of what you can’t live without. It’s a good idea to measure out your room sizes and how many cupboards you’re using so you know how much practical space you have to work with.   

Top Tip: Moving into a smaller space means decluttering is crucial and don’t be afraid to ask your kids to sort through their stuff too.  

Store

If you’re working your way through every nook and cranny of your family home, chances are you’re finding things that don’t belong to you. These days, empty nests are looking a lot less empty with kids moving out but leaving their things behind. If you’re not ready to let go of the sentimental items, there’s always the option of self storage. Downsizing is a big step and often takes a lot of adjustment, so instead of making fast decisions, putting your excess into self storage gives you peace of mind while you settle into your leaner lifestyle.