5 Steps to Downsizing Your Home

Eriks Draiska
Published on February 19, 2017

5 Steps to Downsizing Your Home

5 Steps to Help You Downsize into Retirement Living. – With Special Thanks to downsizing expert A.J. Colman

1. Decision & Planning your downsizing
2. Where Do I Start in downsizing
3. Efficiently Dispose of Rubbish
4. Donation to Charity – The Do’s & Dont’s
5. Selling Your Items No Longer Needed.

 This article is a summary of AJ’s downsizing book which you can download here.

This ebook will give you simple strategies to help downsize from your original family home into retirement living.
It can be a daunting task however if you have a plan and are well prepared this can be a smooth process.
Assisting more than 500 older South Australians since 2009 Adrian AJ Colman shares downsizing tips & tricks he has learnt along the way.

The 5 Steps to Downsizing Your Home

1. Decision & Planning your downsizing

If you have signed on the dotted line for your new retirement home, it is usually subject to the sale of your home, so efficiency is required.

One of the first decisions you need to make is what will you be taking with you. Moving from an older home into a more modern retirement living unit, will you be dragging your floral couch you bought from David Jones in 1978 or perhaps it’s time to purchase furniture more suitable for the smaller spaces and enjoy the full benefit your new modern lifestyle has to offer.

Engaging a removalist as soon as possible is a good idea and they can measure your furniture to see if it will actually fit in your new unit (Space can be deceiving sometimes)

Make a downsizing list.

2. Where Do I Start in downsizing?

Adrian has a motto, “The worst comes first” because it can be quite tiring at the end of the process. So with more energy, it’s better to tackle the harder stuff first like the shed or yard. A typical downsizing plan outlines your target and time frame. To achieve your outcome of downsizing you need to do two things. Pick a room to start and sort & ask yourself ‘Is it to keep, donate or throw out?’.

We will talk about rubbish removal & donations a little bit later in the Ebook The thing that holds most people back is they pretend to downsize and just move things around or from room to room. The only way this will actually work is if you remove items from each room to sell or to donate (it doesn’t matter).

But you have to make decisions and remove items from the room and the house. Rule of thumb for moving from a 3 bedroom original family home to a 2 bedroom retirement unit is that you will need downsizing to about 80% of the original family home contents.

3. Efficiently Dispose of Rubbish

Types of Rubbish
Mattresses cost about $20 – $40 at the dump, and old tube TV’s cost about $20 each to take to the dump so council hard waste is a better alternative. Oil, paint and various other liquids can’t go in the bin, however, various waste recycling depots around Adelaide take liquid waste at around $3 per litre. Metro Waste at Thebarton offers this service. Nawma Recycling Centre at Elizabeth takes up to 100 litres of paint & up to 20 litres of oil for free.

Selecting a Skip bin
Selecting a Skip bin can be difficult what size do you need? To give you an example, when we clear out a 2 bedroom retirement unit (small property) there is usually around 10 cubic meters of rubbish.

If you have been in your home for more than 20 years sometimes it can be deceiving. I recommend hiring a 9 cubic meter Skip Bin. If you have lots of rubbish & a good sized driveway you can hire a 28 cubic meter skip which is the best value to downsizing in all the size ranges.

“Why on earth would we need a 28 cubic meter skip” I hear you say. We frequently remove 40, 70 and even 90 cubic meters of rubbish from the original family home of clients. Once we removed 60 cubic meters of rubbish from an 80 m2 unit, however, this is a rare and extreme case.

4. Donating to Charity

Have you had a look inside an op shop or local Salvation Army store? It’s a great idea to have a look and talk to the staff and see what they will and won’t accept as donations. Anglicare has a truck that travels Adelaide picking up furniture and anything that the charities don’t want then hard rubbish or bin it will have to be.

“Let’s donate it charity” – sometimes it’s not that simple.
It is also a good idea to get an Auctioneer or 2nd hand dealer to look over your downsizing items before you do the charity run so you don’t give away anything of significance.

5. Selling the Items You No Longer Need

It is always good to get a professional opinion before you decide what you will do with your unwanted items. An Auctioneer or an auction house is a good place to start or even a 2nd hand dealer. Auctioneers work on a commission structure so they get paid more if your items sell for a higher price. It is their best interest to achieve the best result.

Second-hand dealers are an easy no fuss option where you get paid on the spot for your downsizing items. As an auctioneer, I feel that putting your items to a competing market (an auction) you are likely to get transparent market value. Some items that are difficult to sell are floral roll arm sofas, old school TV cabinets, sideboards & organs/pianos.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have to downsize or are packing up an estate and you would like more information or a free appraisal on the items you are considering selling them please email at

[email protected] or call 1800 GO AUCTION (1800 46 28 28).

Email [email protected] or call Eriks at 08 83961100

There are also these Recycling Options for Downsizing

Recycling All Products – Recycling Near You & Planet Ark

Recycling – Recycling at Work & Business

Recycling Electronics – Electronic Recycling Australia

Recycling Electronics & Appliances – www.ecyclesa.com.au

Recycling Televisions & Computers – Department of Environment & Energy

Eriks also recommends calling your local Charity or Op Shop, the Local Church may be affiliated with an Op shop or such. They may also have a program to assist those less fortunate and may be willing to take some of your downsizing belongings no longer required.


To find out more about downsizing, you’re welcome to call 08 83961100 to arrange a chat with people that care.
Alternatively, Book a Free Consultation or Get Your Home Value Here. You’ll be in Safe Hands!
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