The financial burdens that force homeowners to downsize often makes it harder to deal with the complicated emotions that arise when moving to a smaller home. The process of adjusting to a smaller living space is filled with a variety of emotions that are often easier to deal with when you have arrived at the decision willingly rather than begrudgingly, as is often the case when downscaling owing to financial pressure.

Often one of the trickiest parts of downsizing is letting go of the possessions that will no longer fit into the smaller home. To help you deal with these emotions, below are a few tips when clearing out in preparation for the move:

1. Start with the easy things first

As with most things, the sting of getting rid of something tends to lessen each time you do so. It is therefore easier to start with the things you’ve been meaning to get rid of anyway – such as old clothing or extra Tupperware – and slowly build your way up to the items with more sentimental attachment, such as an old family chest that won’t fit into your new living room.

2. Consider who it will benefit

If you are able to afford it, donate the items that are particularly dear to your heart rather than sell them. Knowing that your donation will help somebody in even greater need than yourself can often help you deal with the pain of letting go of that item.

3. Create excitement around the new home   

Rather than focusing on what you are losing, focus on what you are about to gain. Create excitement around your new home by planning how each of the rooms will look when you move in.

Downsizing as a result of financial pressure is never an easy thing to do. That being said, it is often the most responsible decision to make in this situation. As difficult as it might be, it is far better to contact a real estate advisor if you are feeling particularly pinched and are struggling to keep up with your instalments on your home loan than to wait until the bank declares a foreclosure on your home.