So, this is it: you’ve decided to say goodbye to the family home and downsize to a retirement village or land lease community. It’s a big change, and you may be looking forward to it with a mixture of anticipation and anxiety – but we have a few tips for you to minimise the anxiety so you can start living your new life as smoothly as possible.


Organise your life

First things first: you’ll want to get a list together of everything you need to do. Add new items as you go, and definitely check them off or cross them out as you complete them – it’s both helpful and very satisfying.

Another list should include all the people and organisations you’ll need to notify about your change of address – friends, family, government, utilities, subscriptions, other companies, and so on. Australia Post offers a helpful mail redirection service starting at just over $20 for concession card holders, and can notify some people and agencies on your behalf.

You’ll also need to make some tough choices about what you’re taking with you, because chances are your new home won’t be as big as your old (after all, that’s why it’s called ‘downsizing’!). Get a floor plan of your new home to make sure everything you want to bring along will fit, and then sort the stuff you’re not taking into three piles: sell, donate/give away, and throw out.


Sort out the movers – then pack right

If you’re planning on using removalists, check with friends and family to see if they have any recommendations. Get at least three quotes as well, and not just to compare prices: you’ll want to know if they pack and unpack as part of the fee, for example, and if you’ll need to buy extra insurance.

When it comes time to pack, your job should be made easier since you’ve offloaded everything you didn’t want – but remember you’ll still probably need more boxes than you think you will, so plan around that. Clearly label every box, wrap fragile items well, use tools like vacuum bags to save space on clothes, and put similar items together – and if you’ll be wanting a cup of tea at the other end, be sure to note where the kettle is!

Make sure you look after your pets during the process as well, as packing will likely stress them out; it’s a good idea to have them stay at a boarding kennel or with friends until you’re done.


Moving day

The most important thing to do the day before you make the move is to get some sleep – you don’t want to greet the removalists early in the morning after you’ve pulled an all-nighter packing those last few boxes.

Be sure to move all the heaviest items first, because you’ll have more energy earlier in the day, and it’ll be a lot easier than having to manoeuvre the couch around piles of boxes once you arrive. If you’ve clearly labelled all those boxes, as well, this is where your diligence will be rewarded – after all, if you know exactly where a box goes, you’ll only need to move it once.

And that’s it! You’ve left your big old house behind, moved into a smaller and more welcoming home in your new community, and it’s time to find the box with the kettle, put on a cuppa, kick back, and enjoy your new lifestyle.

Congratulations, and good luck!


Feeling overwhelmed?

Try our free online service, YourConcierge101. All you need to do is answer some simple questions and we’ll provide you with your own toolkit tailored to your specific circumstance. Click the button below to find out more today.
New call-to-action