If you have a large home, and no longer have family members to fill it, then downsizing to a Granny Flat is a clever option.
In recent years ‘downsizing’ and Granny Flats have become a practical solution for many retirees as they question the amount of work involved with keeping a house that is simply too big for them. Basically, why waste life keeping up maintenance and cleaning on something that no longer suits your needs? Particularly, when you could be doing other more rewarding things with your time… whether it be ticking items off that Bucket List, spending more time with your loved ones, or finally launching into that new hobby, study, or project that you’ve always dreamed of.
At one time ‘downsizing’ was thought to be a painful process that was about ‘giving up’ what you once had. But downsizing is actually about simplifying and making life easier for you.
A Granny Flat may be a smaller living space, but it still has everything you need. It is a fully self contained home. Quality and well designed Granny Flats are stylish. They are more manageable. There is less area to clean. Most things are at your fingertips. Heating and cooling costs are cheaper. And the investment for one is much less than a 3 bedroom house.
Here are some tips for effectively downsizing to your Granny Flat:
- View the plans of your Granny Flat
Here at the All Granny Flats website you can view layouts of our Granny Flats. This not only shows you the quality and style, it gives you an idea of how much space you will have, making it easier to know what will fit in your new home.
- Categorise your Belongings
Sort through your belongings and put them into three categories:
1. Practical things you need (you will keep these)
2. Things you love and could not bear to part with (you will do your best to keep these)
3. Things that you haven’t used in a long time, had forgotten you owned, or simply don’t need anymore.
You can categorise in a variety of ways:
1. Physically move the objects to a part of your house along with other items that belong solely to that category.
2. Make a list.
3. Place stickers on the items.
- Clearing out the No Longer Useful or Necessary (category three)
For the items within category three, consider:
1. giving away to family members or friends who you know will make use of those items or treasure them as you once did. Invite the family over and ask them what they would like to take. You might be surprised to find out that your Granddaughter is helping out with a local drama group whose prop list calls for that old suitcase you were going to throw out.
2. passing onto charity. There are many young families that struggle in today’s economic climate. Imagine just how grateful they would be to have those clothes, cooking appliances or furniture at a rate that fits their budget.
3. if the items are costly, then selling them through the Trading Post or eBay maybe a way of getting something back on your initial investment.
4. having a garage sale.
5. throwing away things that no longer work or are broken.
- Consider Storage at your Current Home
If your Granny Flat is being built on the same land as your current home, you could always keep your furniture in that house. In a number of cases, retired parents have moved into a Granny Flat behind the main house and their grown children (with their family) have moved into the main house. The Granny Flat owners are happy that their furniture is still kept in the family, and the children are happy for not needing to buy new furniture.
- Proactively De-Clutter
Once you’ve moved into your Granny Flat continue to reassess your belongings every few years – this helps you to de-clutter. Take advantage of a Spring Clean! Get rid of outdated appliances and clothes. This will keep your space clear, and help you to enjoy the simplicity and manageability of your Granny Flat for years to come.
One of our clients moved out of a very large 6 bedroom mansion into one of our Granny Flats. She seemed delighted and I asked her if the downsizing had been that smooth. She said ‘yes’, and added that while she gave away a lot of her belongings to her children, she didn’t feel like she had let go of anything. She also added, “Things don’t carry memories – people do.” That has always stuck with me.