Tips for Successfully Downsizing

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