It’s sometimes easier to assume that more is better. That thought process doesn’t apply when you move from a large house into a smaller home. Downsizing can provide significant cost savings in a variety of areas – from Insurance to monthly utilities – allowing you to pay for goods and services you may not otherwise have been able to afford. This fact alone proves the notion that “less is more” often rings true.
Downsizing is different for everyone as generally this process comes with some substantial adjustments. One big question that faces most people when downsizing is, “what belongings should I keep, place in storage, donate or throw out?”. Although this process can seem overwhelming, smart preparation and planning can help assist in making the transition as smooth as possible.
Here are a few ways that you and your family can make downsizing less labour intensive.
1. Take Stock of What You Own
To determine what items you know you’ll want or need in your smaller house, you have to be clear about what it is you actually own. It traditionally takes several years to build up a collection of flatware, clothing, appliances and the like, so give yourself a break if this process requires time and reflection. Regardless of how long this takes you, the idea here is figuring out what is joining you in the move, placed away in storage, donated and what should be trashed. You may want to make a list to categorise what goes and stays so you can keep everything straight in your mind.
2. Find Charities That Accept Donations
Donating used clothing, books, video games and board games is a great way to give back to the community and provide things for people who may come from humble means or are economically disadvantaged. There are a number of charities throughout New Zealand that accept goods you no longer want, wear or use. Here are just a few them, many of which you’ve probably heard about or donated to in the past:
- The Salvation Army
- St Vincent de Paul Society
- The Clothing Exchange
- Dress For Success – Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch
Of course, while their names may suggest as much, these charities may not accept everything. For instance, the Clothing Exchange likely won’t accept appliances, and in instances where you’re donating clothing, those that are in bad shape (e.g. ripped, stained, etc.) may be unacceptable. Be sure to visit their website so you can learn more about what they will gladly take off your hands. Among those that accept clothing, “gently used” is generally their preference. You may want to ask them their definition of that term. Some charities may even come to your house to pick the item(s) up.
3. Sell or Trade
Social media, eBay, Trademe, and other online forums have fundamentally altered society in an extraordinary number of ways. This includes the ability to sell things to people you may have not otherwise been able to reach or wouldn’t come across in your day-to-day interactions. Facebook Marketplace, as an example, catalogues just about every item you can think of from people who are selling in and around your community. Take a look at what’s on there, as it will give you an idea of what rings, necklaces, t-shirts and common household products are going for so you can determine a fair price.
Alternatively, second-hand furniture shops may be willing to accept used bedding, sofas, loveseats and chairs. Remember, furniture takes up a lot of room, so offloading these can be a significant space saver.
4. Talk to Friends
If you go through your silverware, DVD collection or electronics, you’ll likely discover that you have more than one of certain items. Measuring spoons, spatulas and power cords are nice to have, but do you really need three or four of each? Ask your friends if they’d be interested in these items. You may also want to consider asking if they want something you only have one of, but no longer use or want. They may be more than willing to accept. After all, “free” and “no” don’t often go together!
5. Hold a Garage Sale
Online marketplaces have provided virtually anyone with the ability to host a sale minus the garage or front yard. But many people still enjoy the old-fashioned kind, as they know they can get some real steals on just the item they’ve been looking for. Speak to friends who’ve held garage sales to get a better idea of what to expect and how much to charge. If the goal is to get rid of unwanted belongings, consider setting a low price point so goods will be more likely to move.
6. Check Out the Closets
Just because you’re moving into a smaller place doesn’t necessarily mean you have to whittle down your possessions. Many newly built homes these days are chock-full of closet space to make storage simpler and less frustrating. Also, use common sense when you’re packing items away, taking advantage of spaces that are ideal for storage. There may be just the right amount of room you need underneath your bed or in a hallway alcove.
7. Take Advantage of Offsite Storage
You can find third-party storage providers throughout New Zealand. Rental rates are generally very affordable and provide you with additional options for belongings that may need all the space they can get. They’re also highly secure, so you don’t have to worry about theft. Allied Pickfords, for instance, prohibits public access. Only those with the proper credentials can enter. Go online for research or speak with friends to see if they recommend anyone in particular. We have a feeling they might suggest the storage options available at Allied Pickfords!
While moving is our specialty at Allied Pickfords, it’s only a portion of what we can do for you if you’re relocating to a different part of New Zealand or simply downsizing to create more space. Whether you’re looking for a short-term or long-term storage solution, need assistance with pickup or would like your stored furniture returned but can’t get them all on your own, Allied Pickfords gets it done – and for a price that’s right within your budget. Call us on 0800 255 433 today for a quote or fill out an online quote form.