4 Downsizing Mistakes and how to Avoid Them

It’s done – you’ve finally made the monumental decision to downsize your home. Whether to save money on maintenance, or to reduce the amount of housework to do, you’ve already started your hunt for the perfect home and thought about putting your family home on the market.

Yet many people make mistakes when they’re thinking about downsizing; mistakes that lead to a more stressful move than it needs to be. So what are these mistakes, and how can you avoid them? 

1. Not doing it sooner

This is a common regret that downsizers have, and although usually unavoidable (as you often you end up looking back with the benefit of hindsight), you can limit the amount of time you delay downsizing by just taking the plunge and going for it.

If you’re already toying with the idea of downsizing, but keep putting it off, think of it this way: if you’re thinking about moving, then something is telling you subconsciously that your current home just doesn’t suit your needs anymore. Whether that’s because it’s feeling a bit empty after your last youngster has flown the nest, or you’re growing tired of dragging the rusting lawn mower out the shed every other week, you know your current house is no longer the home it used to be.

Once you’ve committed to downsizing, made the move, and are marvelling at the ease of your new home, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t just do it sooner.

2. Throwing things away

When downsizing, it’s expected that you’ll be getting rid of a lot of things during the process. It’s a tough process to undertake, making the choice what stays and what goes. Yet most people feel bad about taking their belongings to the tip, especially if they have some kind of sentimental value, but no place in the new home.

Sometimes the idea of lugging items to a charity shop can be off-putting, but fret not – here are some ways you can get rid of the belongings you no longer want in a humane, easy way:           

  • Put the items up on a classified site like Gumtree – whether for free of for a price, you can get rid of your items knowing that they’ll be going to a home in need of them. Plus you don’t have to load up the car and take them anywhere!
  • Some charities, like Sue Ryder, will collect your furniture from your home for free. Not only will you be helping charities raise money with your donations, but you don’t even have to leave home to do it.
  • Donate to a local charity that urgently needs to use the items you no longer want. Donating to a charity is always a great way to do something charitable, but by going one-step further and donating to a charity that will use the items themselves can help them even more. Try searching local services in your area – such as dog rescue centres, homeless shelters, and refuge shelters for abuse victims – and contacting them to ask what sorts of things they might need donating. By doing this, you’ll be helping people in desperate need of the items you might have otherwise thrown away.

3. Not measuring your furniture

There’s nothing more panic inducing than realising the sofa won’t even go through the front door, trust us – we’ve been there.

After buying any new home, make sure you get all the measurements you need (like the front door) prior to moving from your old place. If you have any furniture that can be disassembled, make sure to break it down into manageable chunks that will fit. If you have any solid items that are simply too big, now’s the time to whip out a furniture catalogue and treat yourself to a new replacement that will. The last thing you want to be doing is standing on the front lawn with a sofa as it begins to rain!

4. Not buying a new build or newly renovated property

If you’re looking at downsizing, you shouldn’t make any compromises – it should be the home of your dreams, just on a smaller, more manageable scale than your current property. You can afford to take your time choosing the perfect home, one with facilities you always dreamed of having (like a pool!)

The apartments here at Harefield Place are perfect for anyone looking to downsize. With a beautiful collection of both newly built and renovated Georgian apartments, you’re sure to find a home to fall in love with – we even have that elusive pool. 

If you're interested in downsizing, take a look at our exclusive collection of apartments on our collections page.  

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