Downsizing - am thinking about - how have others done downsizing?

Large 4 bedroom house but in a desireable location next to a park with view over a man made lake.  But am thinking of ridding myself of stuff and looking to move (possibly).

How have others approached downsizing - what are the tips?  What are the pros and cons?  Did family approve?  If not how did you mitigate this?
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  • TELLIT01TELLIT01 Forumite
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    If the house is bigger than you want/need/can manage * (delete as applicable) just tell family of your decision.  Those who aren't happy are more likely to be concerned about their inheritance than your well being.
    A potential downside is having difficulty deciding what you really, really want to keep and the stuff that you can live without.  My main thought is not to downsize too much.  If you are in a 4 bed house, you may find a 2 bed apartment to be claustrophobic.  Also bear in mind that moving house and getting a new property to the standard you want can be an expensive exercise.  My neighbours looked at downsizing, in part to release money, but realised that in moving from a 3 bed house to  a 2 bed bungalow there would be little financial benefit.
  • edited 10 September 2021 at 10:14PM
    FlugelhornFlugelhorn Forumite
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    edited 10 September 2021 at 10:14PM
    we downsized from an impossible to heat very large 5 bed edwardian house to a much smaller 5 bed modern house, costs a fraction to heat and the roof doesn't leak. very good move but we did have to get rid of a lot of furniture

  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    One thing to remember is that pretty much the only thing you can't change about a house / flat / bungalow is its location. 

    So if you love your current location, what's nearby? Or would you want to move properly away?

    And if the answer is that you want to stay put, then consider how easily you can make the house age friendly - for example, we have wide doorways, wide low staircase etc. 

    However, if you are asset rich and cash poor, moving definitely requires more serious consideration.

    As for whether or not family approve, you're still the grownup. ;-)  


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  • fudgecatfudgecat Forumite
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    We'll, you can always do it eccentrically, like us! We moved from a 2 up 2 down terraced in a desireable area, to a 4 bed doer upper bungalow in rural  1/3 rd acre. It was half the price - literally - of our house! 
    Debt September 2020 BIG FAT ZERO!
    Now mortgage free, sort of retired, reducing and reusing and putting money away for grandchildren...
  • maisie_catmaisie_cat Forumite
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    We downsized from a 4 bed in Surrey to a 2/3 bed cottage in rural Wales, less inside space to heat, 8x more outside space to enjoy.
    The reducing of decades of "stuff" was cathartic, in fact we left furniture with the house for the family upsizing from 2 to 4 beds. 
    If I could give one piece of advice it would be to ensure that the things you are taking will fit a smaller space.
    We took too much stuff after a ruthless clear out and some is still in boxes 2 years later. We also gave away a sofa and took 2 others only to find that they wouldn't fit through the narrow cottage doors. So we transported them 250 miles and then had to pay a charity to take them away.
  • edited 11 September 2021 at 1:25PM
    blue.peterblue.peter Forumite
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    edited 11 September 2021 at 1:25PM
    ...but we did have to get rid of a lot of furniture

    May I ask how you did that? Sold (e.g., on eBay)/given to charity/taken to council tip/something else? Any problems (either practical or just hassle)?

    (I'm hoping to move at some stage in the not-too-distant future, and think that I might want to get rid of some furniture that still has some life in it. Suggestions for minimal-hassle, no/low-cost, methods would be welcome.)

  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    ...but we did have to get rid of a lot of furniture

    May I ask how you did that? Sold (e.g., on eBay)/given to charity/taken to council tip/something else? Any problems (either practical or just hassle)?

    (I'm hoping to move at some stage in the not-too-distant future, and think that I might want to get rid of some furniture that still has some life in it. Suggestions for minimal-hassle, no/low-cost, methods would be welcome.)

    I think furniture could be the biggest problem. Charities will only take what sells well, and anything 'soft' must have the right fire labels still attached.

    I'd be tempted to try freecycle / gumtree / FB marketplace / NextDoor, but I'd probably give it away rather than attempt to sell it.

    All I know is that when we emptied my parents' house, the not inconsiderable sum paid to the wonderful house clearance company was worth every single penny.

    So I might call on the services of a professional declutterer, who should help with disposal on an ongoing basis.

    https://www.apdo.co.uk/
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  • theoreticatheoretica Forumite
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    My parents downsized (and took the opportunity to stop storing any of my stuff!).  Do make sure the furniture you take suits the new place and isn't a bit awkward because of trying too hard to use what you have. 

    After family chose what furniture we wanted the decent antiques were sent to a local auction house and a charity furniture warehouse invited to take their pick of the rest - took nearly everything offered apart from a chair with no fire label.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • FlugelhornFlugelhorn Forumite
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    ...but we did have to get rid of a lot of furniture

    May I ask how you did that? Sold (e.g., on eBay)/given to charity/taken to council tip/something else? Any problems (either practical or just hassle)?

    (I'm hoping to move at some stage in the not-too-distant future, and think that I might want to get rid of some furniture that still has some life in it. Suggestions for minimal-hassle, no/low-cost, methods would be welcome.)

    .  My advice would be that it can take a lot longer than you think - we had the problem of moving not long after lockdown and auction houses / charity shops really didn't loads of stuff - in the end gave some to charity, some to house clearance - felt bad about some bits that just ended up at the tip but they are no longer popular and wouldn't have sold if we had auctioned them
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