Moving to a retirement village is a great way to enjoy your later years. If you’re rattling around a large house that is too big and expensive, a smaller home in a retirement village may be perfect for you.

Moving to a smaller place is often complicated by the things you’ve collected over the years. People often fill space when they have it, leaving them with too much stuff to move. If you can’t take everything with you and aren’t sure how to start decluttering, then these tips may help.

1.  Plan Where Stuff Goes

Decluttering is easier if you know what you’ll do with things you won’t move. For example, you may sell or give away some items, recycle others and bin the rest. If you know exactly what your options are when you assess an item, you make quicker decisions. You’re also more likely to get rid of items because you know you’ll have limited space in your next home.

2. Buy Decluttering Aids

As you pack things, you need to remember what goes where. Buy sheets of coloured stickers and allocate a colour to each of your disposal methods.

For example, put a green sticker on anything you’ll take with you, a red sticker on rubbish and a white sticker on charity donations. Marking bags, boxes and even furniture ensures that everything goes to the right place; you’ll also avoid accidentally trashing something you wanted to keep.

3. Start With the Big Stuff

If you’re moving from a large house to a smaller place, then you probably need to cull furniture. You may have too many items to fit in your new home, and some pieces may be too big for it. Plus, you won’t necessarily need everything. If you have five beds now but are moving to a two-bedroom apartment, then you already know that you can sell, give away or bin three of the beds.

4. Take a ‘Use, Need, Want’ Approach

It’s hard to get rid of some stuff you’ve had for years. A ‘use, need, want’ approach is useful when you have trouble making decisions:

  • Use: Do you use the item regularly? If you do, take it with you. If you don’t, get rid of it.
  • Need: Do you need it? If you’ve stored something for years and have never used it, then you don’t need it. Also identify duplicate items. For example, if you have three full sets of cutlery, and you’re the only person moving, then you don’t need the two spare sets.
  • Want: How badly do you want to keep something? Sometimes it’s easy to let go of things you were once fond of; other times it’s hard. Don’t beat yourself up and risk losing something you may regret. Box up anything you aren’t sure about, and deal with it later.

Finally, don’t waste energy on other people’s things. If your kids use your home as free storage, then box or bag up all their stuff. Give them a deadline to sort through their own stuff and take things away.

5. Hire a Skip Bin

Decluttering creates a surprising amount of rubbish. Even if you have weekly kerbside collections, it could take weeks to get rid of everything. Consider hiring a skip bin instead. A bin holds all your rubbish and removes it all at once.

Plus, a skip bin motivates you to get on with the job — it sits there waiting to be filled. The more you put in the bin, the clearer your house gets, making it easier to go through the rest of your things.

Backyard Bins have a full range of skip bin sizes, most of which come with drop-down ramps to make it easier for you to get rid of rubbish. To find out how we can help you declutter before you downsize, get in touch.


Backyard Bins Team

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