Tips on downsizing for your home removal

If your children are all grown up and have flown the coop, perhaps you’ve started thinking about moving to a house that’s smaller and more manageable. A move aptly called “downsizing”. 

While family dynamics certainly plays a part, the tough economic times in which we live also play a role in the current downsizing trend. 

Retirement, security and lifestyle are other reasons that downsizing looks set to stay.

Whatever your reason for packing up your things and moving to a smaller space, downsizing is not a simple as it may first appear.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when downsizing your stuff ahead of your home removal, whether it’s a domestic or international move

Get sorted early for your home removal

Long before you sign a contract with the home removals company, its advisable to start going through your stuff to work out what you’d like to get rid of. 

Failing to do this will undoubtedly lead to you either throwing stuff out that you wanted to keep in the first place or keeping stuff that you won’t need when you move into your new home.  

Once you’ve decided that you’re going to move, set aside some time to start working through your belongings. 

Start in the rooms you spend the least amount of time in as this is likely where most of your items will be stored. Your garage, the outside storeroom or a spare bedroom are the best places to start.

Then work your way to the bedrooms, lounge and family rooms and the kitchen. Buy and make up separate boxes to pack items you’d like to sell, donate to charity or give to family and friends.

Rope in your family members

You don’t need to be the one to make the executive decisions about what gets kept and what doesn’t. Call on your family members to help you out. 

You’ll never be forgiven if you donate that special toy your son loved as a child and he happens to find out later! 

If anyone is unsure about whether to keep something, check when last it was used, what condition it is in and what purpose will it serve in your new, smaller house.

There’s no need to be totally ruthless here.

If you treasure an item, rather keep it and find a suitable place in your new home to store it.

Create a vision

Look at your furniture pieces and items such as curtains and decide what will work in the new place. 

It’s likely that your bespoke upholstered lounge suit won’t fit into your new pad, so you can either store it, sell it or donate it. Perhaps a seamstress can measure up the old curtains and alter them to fit your new home. 

Creating a vision will help you decide what to put on the home removals van once moving day arrives.

Calculate the cost of downsizing

It’s worth bearing in mind that every item you add to the removal company’s inventory list will add to the cost of the move. 

Rather sell an item that you are not likely to use than pay for it to be transported.

If you’re moving from Cape Town to Durban, for example, you may want to sell that old tumble dryer that came in handy in the cold months but will hardly be used in your new location.


While the reasons for downsizing are many and varied, one thing remains unchanged. With downsizing comes a home removal. And perhaps the need for storage or buying packaging materials.