Claire Thompson
April 23, 2022

The Reliable Guide to Downsizing For Your Retirement

easyStorage looks at the practicalities of how to make downsizing work for retirement.

There are around 12 million pensioners in the UK, roughly one in 5 of whom have no private pension and rely on the State pension of £185.15 each week. Going forward, this may start to look better with over three-quarters of UK jobholders being members of a workplace pension scheme by 2019. In the meantime, downsizing makes a lot of sense financially – and practically - for many.

Downsizing to a smaller property may deliver a lump sum to cushion retirement or fulfil long held dreams of travelling, sailing, seeing the children sorted or even giving you an investment income. Smaller properties will generally need less heating, a major consideration if prices are to continue their heady rise. Careful choice may also mean lower council tax and lower maintenance costs. And a move of area – even a move abroad – may make that even truer, although Brexit does mean reduced options for living abroad for people in lower income brackets.

But how do you move from a big place to a smaller one? How can belongings gathered over more than 65 years suddenly be reduced to fit?

Our five top tips:

1.       Give things back to their owners

There’s every chance that your children are older and more independent. You don’t need to store their things – give them back. If that old teddy no longer gives them joy, it’s their decision to part with it, not yours.

2.       Declutter

Start going through things and decide what you want to keep (pack as you go?), what really ought to be disposed of, what you no longer want but which someone else might find useful, which can either be given away or taken to a charity shop.

Give yourself plenty of time or you’ll end up making bad decisions.

Elderly couple with moving boxes

3.       Take out a storage facility

Of course you’d expect us to say that, but having a storage facility to keep big things that may or may not fit in your new space is a Godsend. Furniture can be expensive, and it’s easier to part with it than to find good quality second hand furniture at reasonable prices.

Give yourself a mental time limit to settle in to see if you need to reclaim that suite, fancy headboard, shelving….

Storage is now cheaper than ever, and a service like easyStorage collects and delivers, so it’s also become easier!

4.       Pace yourself

Create a plan that ends two days before you’re due to move. Include packing by room or by item type. Include booking removals, storage, buying packing materials and look at notice periods on utilities and services like television, as well as redirection of mail etc.

Give yourself time to spread your energy and rope in help that you can rely on to handle your things with care.

5.       Keep what you most need with you

Things happen. Make sure you keep enough clothes, medications, food in a cool box, drinks, etc with you when moving to last for a few days with maybe no hot water, no heating, no lighting….. if it all goes smoothly, fabulous, but if you’re prepared for the worst, all is good.

Happy retired couple moving boxes

And enjoy your new freedom!

Useful resources:

Claire Thompson

Claire joined the easyStorage family as a blogger in August 2020 and is loving it! Her passions include writing and learning, and with easyStorage she’s learning new things fast. When not tapping at a keyboard she can be found renovating an old cottage, despite having inherited a complete lack of DIY skills from her father. She has two children, now grown up, and a dopey, loving Vizler (dog), Chester, who steadfastly refuses to do the same. She claims he’s her soulmate!

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