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The right way to downsize


The right way to downsize

It’s hard letting go of treasured possessions, but there are ways to make it easier.

If the process of downsizing or right-sizing to a different sized home is sending you into an emotional whirl, then these practical tips are just what you need to find the pathway forward.

Downsizing consultant and owner of Little Miss Organised, Bonnie Black, offers one of the most unexpected places to start resizing. She says start in the kitchen.

“It’s the heart of the home and the place we are in most often,” she says. “It’s also a really non-sentimental place to start where you can be objective rather than feel emotional. I mean, who feels emotional about knives and forks?

“The reason we start with the kitchen is you can do it in little sections.”

She also recommends not starting with sorting through sentimental and memory items. And the same can be said about getting rid of old paperwork. Starting with these items can make the journey overwhelming right from the beginning.

When it comes to the family lounge and what to do with that, Ms Black suggests planning out the space of the new home and then setting parameters, rather than trying to assess each piece of furniture and then working how to fit it in.

“When you start with decluttering you need to see big results fast,” Ms Black says.

With sentimental items a reset of your mindset is needed. The trend now is for new and disposable over old, so holding onto memory items for future generations is unlikely to be welcomed by the younger generations. Instead, as decluttering guru Peter Walsh suggests, decide what you need for your new life. Take the approach of going deep and narrow rather than shallow and wide.

“We find with the clients they treasure more of what they have if they have less of it,” Ms Black says.

“Take a step back and ignore the fact that something might have belonged to your grandmother and decide: do I really like it, does it fit in with the decor, would I buy it again? If the answer to those questions is no, then why are you holding onto it?”

Ms Black’s downsizing and decluttering podcast series can be found at It offers more answers to some vexing home resizing questions.

Little Miss Organised’s tips to help honour a memory item.

  • Worried about the money spent? Sell it online.
  • Think you may need it in the future? Test the theory. Give yourself a deadline and if you have not, say goodbye.
  • Fixated on the sentimentality of memory associated with the item? Pick a few treasures to keep for display/use. Remember, when everything is unique, nothing is special.
  • Grappling with your change in identity or a sense of failure? Thank the item for how it served you in the past, accept where you are in the here and now, and provide space for yourself to keep moving forward. By letting go of the old, we are creating space for the new.
  • Is regret holding you back? Ask yourself this: what is the worst thing that will happen if I let this item go?


Tracey Johnstone has worked as a Journalist for over 15 years. She started as a sailing writer and working on international events both in Australia and overseas. For several years Tracey was a feature writer for a national Seniors newspaper before bringing her experience in buying, selling building and renovating Coast property to MWP in 2019.

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