Call us now on

0800 201 4811

Tips for Successfully Downsizing

Natasha Wharton

Natasha Wharton



Many people find that later in life that their home is far bigger than they need. Downsizing can bring a variety of benefits, including both financial and practical ones. That said, it can often be an emotional or difficult time. 

Preparing to downsize often means sorting through belongings that have been acquired over many years and making hard decisions about what should be kept. Although it may not be an easy process, there are certainly plenty of ways that you can make it easier.

One of these is to sell your home with part exchange. This option is ideal if you are looking to sell quickly and would prefer not to sell your existing home on the open market. Not only will McCarthy & Stone make you a Part Exchange offer, following a valuation, we’ll also contribute £1000 towards solicitor fees (terms and conditions apply). You will also retain access to your old property for two weeks, giving you more time to move to your new home.

If you are considering downsizing, there are several things to consider. If this will be the last time you move, then you want to ensure that your home continues to be suitable throughout your retirement.

Where Will You Choose to Live?

Take the time to think about where and how you want to live in retirement, as this will help you to determine the sort of property you live in. Are you going to stay in the same community, or will you move to be nearer friends and family?

If you are considering moving to another location, be sure to visit the area and spend some time there to check if it’s the right place for you and meets your expectations and the kind of lifestyle you want during retirement. If you are moving to be nearer family or friends, communication is key. You don’t want to move only to discover at a later date that they are in fact planning to move away from the area.

A retirement development, such as a McCarthy & Stone retirement living development, is a popular choice. The maintenance of communal areas and surrounding gardens is taken care of as part of a service charge so that’s one thing less to worry about. Plus, there’s always the option to rent an apartment, providing added flexibility and freedom.

Preparing to Downsize

You didn’t acquire all your belongings overnight, so don’t feel that you must rush when you are sorting through everything. Be prepared to take your time. Deciding what to do with sentimental items, can be difficult.   

As you go through your home, use a system, such labelling items with a coloured sticker to organise what you are keeping, selling, giving away and throwing out. This will help to keep things organised and manageable.  

Remember, if you are downsizing from a 4-bedroom house to a 1- or 2-bedroom apartment, space will be at a premium. Be ruthless with paperwork, sell excess furniture, condense kitchen equipment and get rid of collections you no longer use.

Here’s our guide to staging your home and getting it ready for selling:

When packing items for moving, use small boxes and label them with as much detail about the contents. This will help no end when moving into your new home, particularly if you find yourself needing to quickly locate something. Don’t forget to clearly label boxes identifying the corresponding room too. 

Alternatively, you could use a removal service to help you move to your retirement living apartment, such as McCarthy & Stone’s Smooth Move service. This means that the whole moving process, including packing, transporting and unpacking is taken care of.

Downsizing can be a stressful time, but as you can see, there are lots of ways that the move to your new retirement living apartment can be made much easier. If you’d like to find out more on how McCarthy & Stone can help you to successfully downsize, call 0800 201 4811 or visit

Like this article? Subscribe to receive updates...
Subscribe to receive notifications when we post new articles to our online magazine.
By subscribing to these updates you’re agreeing to receive email updates when new articles are published to the McCarthy & Stone online magazine.
We’ll never send you spam or sell your details. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Related Articles


Remarkable UK Gardens for Autumn Colour 

Another season has flown by and now the summer heat has faded with the turn of autumn. With the cooler days and longer nights, our gardens are transforming into a rich tapestry of colour, from fiery reds and oranges to majestic golds. ...Read more


Caring for House Plants 

From succulents to spider plants, the demand for indoor foliage is showing no signs of slowing down. No matter what the season, low maintenance house plants are ideal for brightening up the look and feel of a room. ...Read more


Foraging Favourites

For many people, collecting and eating wild plants and fungi has been part of life since childhood, filling punnets with wild edibles from ripening berries to sweet chestnuts. ...Read more


Spotlight on York

A city of extraordinary cultural and historical wealth woven into  every  brick and beam, York seeps history at every turn. ...Read more


Summer Events in 2019 To Look Out For

The summer season is packed with a variety of events to appeal to a range of interests and ages. Savour the delights of new and exciting cuisine, enjoy the thrill of world-class horse racing and discover the latest super cars, at events taking place across the summer months.  ...Read more


It's All Greek To Us

Sparkling white beaches, deep blue seas, sugar-cube villages and venerable ancient sites make the
Greek islands an idyllic holiday destination for many. Tourists can immerse in the Greek cuisine,
century-old sites and local culture each island has to offer, while enjoy luxurious accommodation
and the locals’ warm and welcoming hospitality. ...Read more


Fishing for Fun

Looking for an exhilarating and challenging activity that brings a sense of serenity and calmness? We think we’ve found the perfect catch. ...Read more


It’s time to start living life to the full again

A McCarthy & Stone Retirement Living Plus apartment is about getting more from life for the over 70s. It’s the perfect combination really - company when you want it, help when you could use it, care when you need it. And all in the comfort of your own stylish new home. ...Read more


Explore Our Menu

Retirement Living PLUS is all about making life easier. This includes providing a great value in-house restaurant or bistro, where you can enjoy freshly prepared food in good company. ...Read more


Staying Cool and Well During A Heatwave

Although warmer weather can be a welcome sight for many, the increased temperatures can lead to
added risks for some, particularly those with health issues or those that are more vulnerable. Stay well with these tips.  ...Read more


The History of Father's Day

Father’s Day is the perfect time to thank fathers and father figures for their help and support. In this post, McCarthy & Stone look at the history of Father’s Day. ...Read more


A New Adventure 

Colin and Pat Mackay are looking forward to making the most of their retirement following their move to North Berwick.

...Read more


The Benefits of Downsizing in Retirement

There are many benefits of downsizing and if this is something you are considering, here, we share our knowledge about downsizing, and explain why it could be one of the best things you can do for your retirement.   ...Read more


Blooming Marvellous: The Chelsea Flower Show

The world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It’s the most glamorous day out in the gardening calendar.

The grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea are once again blooming with flora as the Royal Horticultural Society prepares to welcome 157,000 spectators to their annual five-day flower festival in May. ...Read more


Working After Retirement – Is It For You?

More and more people are choosing to put off their retirement and continue working. Plus, in many other cases, those who have already retired are looking to return to work. Here, we weigh up the pros and cons of each situation. ...Read more


How To Manage Your Diet In Retirement

There are many extra demands placed on our bodies as we progress through life and because of this our nutritional needs also change as a result. It is never too late to revamp your nutrition and nurture your body with a healthier diet.   ...Read more


Tackling loneliness among older people with Pen Pals

We understand the problem of loneliness amongst older people and we want to do something to combat it. That’s why we have created our latest Pen Pals programme, an outlet to connect older people with other older people in communities by the writing and exchanging of letters. Click to find out more. ...Read more


How To Make New Friends In Retirement

Friendship is hugely important at every stage in life, and retirement is no exception. What’s more, in retirement you could make the most of the extra free time you have to discover different experiences and meet new people – leading to new friendships and relationships.  ...Read more


Sheffield – The Steel Centre of the World

Famed for its industry and innovation, the green, modern cityscape now replaces the smoking chimneys from the industrial revolution. There’s a friendly, independent and alternative spirit that can be hard to find in other cities alongside a thriving cultural scene. ...Read more


Wally & The Flying Scotsman

Popular North Gate Court customer Wally Blazey moved into their McCarthy & Stone apartment with his wife Gladys seven months ago, and the couple have just celebrated their 72nd anniversary. At 92, Wally is one of the two last surviving drivers of the Flying Scotsman, the most famous steam locomotive in the world. ...Read more


The Top 11 British Hidden Gems

Where are the best locations in the UK to visit... that you've probably not heard of? We've ranked the best hidden gems around Britain, that are easy to access, and offer a great weekend away with the family. ...Read more


Do Pets Make You Happier?

Whether you're a pet owner or have a pet free home, animals of all kinds have been proven to improve the happiness of their human counterparts. To find out more McCarthy & Stone conducted a survey to see how pets enrich their owners lives. Here are the results! ...Read more