Downsizing for Your Retirement

Downsizing for Your Retirement

Does the thought of downsizing frighten you or cause you anxiety? Having to box up, donate or sell years worth of treasured memories is no easy task, at least not for most.

Majority of the time, the reason for downsizing is due to moving into a retirement community where your new home’s space does not allow for the years of accumulated possessions. However difficult it may be, there are so many benefits to downsizing, as too are there for community living.

The Benefits of Downsizing

There are multiple reasons for choosing to or having to downscale. Some may see the financial gain of selling their assets and spending this money on holidays, others may have to due to changes in health and requiring 24 hour assistance.

Let’s look at it this way:

  • Moving to a smaller home or retirement estate, such as De Waldorf, reduces maintenance you yourself would have to take care of, such as garden maintenance.
  • Downsizing may even be viewed as an opportunity for you to relocate and maybe move closer to family or your dream location.
  • When moving into a retirement village, the countless advantages of community living come into play. Take a look at the Security, Lifestyle, Wellness and Care Facilities De Waldorf has to offer. 

Choosing What Stays

What stays and what goes, and how do you choose between the two? 


  • If you use it regularly, such as certain clothes, dishes or cleaning supplies, keep it. There is no point in getting rid of something that you will have to buy again once you have moved.
  • If it adds value to your life, such as a beautiful piece of artwork you look at every day and it puts a smile on your face, it should stay. 
  • When it comes to DVD’s, CD’s and photos, especially of your family, we all know they are priceless. HOWEVER, digitize as much as you can and get rid of the paper copies. If this is not something you feel you can do on your own, call upon the children or grandchildren to help! It is important to note that one should make backups or store these items on a cloud


  • Use the 1-year rule. If you haven’t used it in the last year, do you really need it? The answer is no, it goes.
  • If someone else can put it to better use and it’s collecting dust, let it go. Clothes you don’t wear, niknaks on your shelf or even books you have not read, don’t read and won’t read…it’s pointless keeping it. 
  • If it is not going to fit into your new (and smaller) home, do not waste money putting it into storage. Furniture or decorative items can sell for good money. Just like the rule above, if someone else can put it to better use, sell or donate it. 

Making the Process Easier

  1. Start earlier to avoid rushing
    By starting earlier you avoid having to rush and put pressure on yourself when deciding what stays and what goes. The process will seem a lot more freeing than stressful, the way it should be.

  2. Organise a process for decluttering
    There is no doubt that a lot of your possessions are in good condition and hold a lot of value. Have a pile or box for donations and another for selling. You may get some good cash for items you sell to put towards the move. It is also important to have a junk pile and keep pile. Some items may be beyond repair and the reason you kept it is due to sentimental value. However difficult, don’t assume that strangers or even your children would want to hold onto an item you hold dear.
  3. Ask yourself, is this REALLY worth keeping?
    During the process of organising your possessions, there may be a few items that you feel you just cannot part with. Ask yourself, ‘Does this add value to my life? Can I use this item regularly? Is this item of significant value?’ If you have to come up with an excuse or your partner, friends or other family members do not agree with you, it may be time to throw it out.

By: Louw & Coetzee Properties