Dealing with downsizing: leaving the family home

Dealing with downsizing: leaving the family home

Whether it’s because the kids have left home, retirement is looming or to raise some extra finances, there often comes a time when we have to wave goodbye to the family home.

Times of change can be tough, and that’s completely normal. If you’ve lived in a house for a significant chunk of your life you’ll have a lot of special memories; lively Christmases, your kids taking their first steps or learning to ride a bike.

It may take some time to adapt, but there can be upsides to downsizing. Here are our top tips on making your move easy and enjoyable.

Get everyone on board


This is a big time for the whole family, so be prepared for members of the family to take time to come around to the idea of leaving their home behind. Emotions can override us, so make sure you communicate the practical reasons for the move and ensure everyone is on board before making any decisions.

When you’ve planned the move and it’s time to start packing up, get all hands on deck and invite the family round to help with the packing process – this transforms what can feel like an overwhelming experience into one that’s enjoyable and positive.

Save, scrap, store

As you’re downsizing, you’re likely to find that you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff* over the years. *translation: junk. Downsizing is a great opportunity to get rid of some of the ‘excess baggage’.

Some items may have sentimental value – you’ll want to keep hold of these to hand down, but there are likely to be items you haven’t even seen since buying them back in 1986. To be sure you’re distinguishing between trash and treasure, split the items into three sections: save, scrap or store them in a Shurgard self-storage unit.

‘Scrapping’ doesn’t necessarily mean having to throw items away, some may be really lovely and useful belongings that you simply don’t need them anymore. Take them down to your nearest charity shop to give them a new home.

Take time to reflect


Never underestimate the joys of sifting through old family photos over a cup of tea. As you go through big changes in your life, take time to reflect on the memories and indulge in a healthy dose of nostalgia. Invest in some big photo albums and fill them with your favourite snaps to keep on hand to look at once you’ve moved on.

Remember the upsides to downsizing


Although downsizing can often be a stressful process, remember that there are several upsides to downsizing.

Not only will you have more time, but financially it could allow you to be better off. Monthly mortgage payments are likely to decrease or you may even be lucky enough to pay off your mortgage by downsizing. Things like maintenance cost will decrease and with less space to heat and light, naturally utility bills will be lower.

Make plans

Another upside of downsizing is that you’ll have more spare time as less time will be taken up managing a larger property.  This means more time for you!

Visit family, go on holiday and enjoy the new found freedom you’ve acquired from moving into a smaller, more manageable space.


Visit your children

It’s important to get out and about as much as possible, immerse yourself in this new chapter of your life.


Offer to babysit, invite the family round for dinner, plan trips away together. Your family home was just bricks and mortar after all you and your family were what made it a home, recreate that family feeling in your new space.

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