How to: downsize

The kids have moved out, your needs have changed, you have more space than you need…time to downsize.


What Is Downsizing And Why Does It Sound So Scary?

Whilst in your 30’s and 40’s you’ll likely find yourself working, a lot. Probably both yourself and your partner will be working to service a mortgage, meaning you’ll have less time to actually spend in the house you’re working to pay off.
If you have kids your routine will revolve around them and your house will become a living shrine to them: lego on the floor, nothing breakable or beautiful below hip height, no sharp corners. A weary understanding that there will always be toys on the floor, laundry to do and food staining a garment you once loved.
During this phase in life, we need space. Big fridges for growing children. Bunks for friend-overflow. Garages to house outdoor gear. The list goes on.
But eventually, the kids grow up and move out. This is the scary bit for some people – but it doesn’t have to be. All things change, how we handle change is critical. Stay rooted to one way of living and end up trapped; be open to change and move with the current of life. This is an opportunity to focus on YOU again. Let’s reframe, instead of downsizing, let’s call it: actualising. Now you get to create a life that actually suits you, perfectly.

How To Enjoy This New Phase…

Now is the time to create your dream home, thoughtfully designed for your current lifestyle. Engaging an architect or working with a team who can provide architectural advice is the ideal approach – clever considerations by an expert in structural and spatial design mean you can build a house that works for you at every level. It also means you can future proof your home to get the most from your investment.
Look for new home builders such as Selah Homes if you’re looking to build on Auckland’s North Shore. They offer a full service, guiding you through the process from beginning to end, together with a free consultation too – so you can start a conversation and see if you’re on the same page without any risk.

How To Choose What Stays And What Goes…

Letting go is never easy but it’s often rewarding. Here are a couple of simple tips that can help you choose what giant dresser stays and what oversized indoor palm is no longer needed:

  • Two words: Marie Kondo. If you haven’t heard of the self-styled tidying guru then you must have been living under a rock. Pick up a copy of her book or simply follow her practice of pulling all objects out of their draws or cupboards, laying them out so you can see them, then picking each one up and asking yourself “Does this spark joy?” If not, donate it.

  • Take photos of your house as it is. This is a nice way to remember your previous formation and also, when you look at the pics from a distance, keep the objects that really jump out at you. Everything else, unless boring but necessary, gets donated.

  • Make it fun! Put on some music, maybe drink some wine, get the kids round to deal with their stuff, order some pizza, invite a friend – make a ritual out of moving on.

Does Downsizing Mean Less Luxury?

Absolutely not, in many instances it can mean more luxury, simply by being well thought out, thorough and quality (not quantity) driven.
For example, investing in quality materials like fixings and fittings can make all the difference to how a new house feels and the ease with which you can move around it.
You’ll be wanting to use lower maintenance features so you don’t have to spend much time keeping everything in working order; those days are gone. Now you can afford quality materials from the beginning and enjoy the resulting comfort, ease and aesthetic appeal.
So make sure you’re making the right decisions by engaging someone to help you through these steps and usher you into what could easily be the most satisfying years of your life.
Here’s to downsizing!

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