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Expert advice: downsizing tips

Downsizing and getting rid of things that have meaning and memories associated with them can seem like a difficult prospect, but it needn’t be.

RetireAustralia Expert Advice Downsizing

When you’re up against your memories, it can be useful to remember that you’re simplifying your life, not erasing your past.

Queensland-based senior management and downsizing experts Care to Move have provided the following tips to encourage you to think about what to keep and what to let go.

Antiques and other furniture

Invite a local antiques dealer to make an offer on your items or take them to an auction house. Find out what the house’s take is upfront (typically 10 to 15 per cent) as well as where it will place the starting bid. Sell other furniture via eBay, Gumtree or give it to charity.


Do you want to spend time dusting ornaments? Select three pieces to keep, then photograph the rest, and put the photos in an album alongside the display. eBay is the place to sell smaller, more valuable items like collectibles.

China sets

If you like it, use it. If you don’t, sell it through eBay or Gumtree. Be realistic, though. Not long ago, fine china commanded a good price. But today’s consumers want fine tableware that’s safe in the microwave and the dishwasher.


If you’re going to read it, or it just feels too much like family (i.e. you read it to your kids or grandkids many times), put it on your bookshelf. If not, give it away. You can drop books off at a library or call a charity that will pick them up.

Wedding dresses

You would be surprised how many ladies still have their special dress in the wardrobe! If no one is going to wear it again, have some nice pillows made out of it. Or clip off a piece of fabric and display it in a frame with a photo of your wedding day.

Closet and clothes

Rather than fishing through and deciding what to eliminate, take everything out, down to the bare walls. Then physically put back items. Choosing to keep, rather than choosing to let go, will result in clinging to fewer things.


Scan important papers — birth and marriage certificates, school records, wills and other legal documents — electronically. Store originals, organized, in a lockbox or sealed plastic tubs.

Your kids’ stuff

It’s not your job to save everything from your children’s lives. Box up what belongs to the kids, and send it to them. Or tell them to claim it now — with the date you plan to have the house cleared out.

Get some help

For most homeowners, a new chapter can begin once the downsizing process starts. It might take some time to do, however. In fact, proper downsizing can last anywhere from a couple of days, to a few months, to a whole year. Care to Move is available to help you with the process as much or as little as you require, in the timeframe that suits you best.

Care to Move manages aged care and retirement relocations, deceased estates, separation or divorce and disability transitions. Do you need help to plan, perform and position your move? Want to make your new home, feel like home, but don’t know where to start?

Contact Care to Move:

Phone: 07 3810 1689



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