If you are the head of a typical Australian family and are nearing retirement age, then you may be thinking about the years ahead. Your children may have flown the nest, and you have a lot of empty space in your current house, so your thoughts may undoubtedly turn to a downsize. Yet there's a lot to take into account, and you have built up a tremendous amount of stuff over the years. What's the best way to approach this without adding a significant amount of stress to your life?
To begin with, ensure that you move to an area that you really like, and that is practical from every point of view. It should have good transportation links, great resources and reasonable weather. You may also want to be relatively close to your children so that they can visit and, potentially, respond to your needs.
But how are you going to downsize with all of those possessions? In this case, you have to be strict or even ruthless in determining what you need to keep, what you need to store and what you need to get rid of. As you go through your possessions, you may find quite a few items that you don't really want to hang on to, but which could realise good value in an auction. Put this to one side and talk with an auction house to set the ball rolling.
Why not earmark some items for charity? You may be able to get a tax write-off if the organisation in question has appropriate status with the ATO. You can also hand some possessions off to other members of the family at this stage, and especially if they would eventually acquire them as part of the will.
You will undoubtedly be left with a list of items that have some sentimental or other value, but that will simply not fit in a new home of that size. In this case, you need to acquire a self-storage unit of a suitable size close to your new home. Many of these units will be air-conditioned, so you won't need to worry about deterioration. You can always access your unit when needed should you need to pick anything up. And let's face it, these possessions will be much better off in a protected facility like this than they would have been in your garage.
Sizing Up Your Options
Get in touch with storage facilities and see what options are available. This will help you to choose a unit of the appropriate size for your leftovers.
I knew that the moment we bought a house with a decent yard I'd be ready to start having kids. I loved playing outside as a kid and since we've been in this house I think the kids spend nearly as much time outside as they do outside. That lawn has seen my babies crawl, my toddlers start walkings, the kids kicking balls around and playing chasey all afternoon. Keeping the lawn soft and green is so important to me as it let's us spend all that time outside. I'm always looking for ways to make it feel and look soft and green.