Part 1

Are you starting to think about decluttering and downsizing your home? Caught in the pensions trap? Perhaps you have growing concerns about the housing shortage or  your carbon footprint? You have niggling concerns, however you’re unsure of why, when and how you should begin to downsize? 

As a recent downsizer and a change management coach, I want to share my experience and learning. It may help others who are wondering whether, when and how to do the same. Downsizing wasn’t an easy journey, and I had to use every skill at my disposal. Yes –  ‘Project Downsize’ was enormously challenging, practically and emotionally. However the rewards have exceeded my expectations, and this is why I want to share my story.

So I hope this series of blogs and the short video help and inspire you if you too are thinking about downsizing.  

Introduction

Are you caught in the pensions trap, waiting longer for your state pension than you’d anticipated? Do you want to free up equity for yourself or to fund your children’s education? You might be considering wider factors? Your carbon footprint, the housing crisis, the homeless, living longer in poor-health, stress and well-being? I found there are many factors at play in those first tentative thoughts about whether or not to downsize. Some of them are becoming increasingly evident. 

So, if you have started to consider downsizing for any of these reasons, read on to see how they influenced me since retiring from my corporate role last year.

As a life-long learner, a change consultant and a recent downsizer, I found my personal ‘Project Downsize’ fascinating. I’ve learnt a lot, before, during and after downsizing. For me, sharing all of this is key to learning, even if it results in you deciding “Well- I’m not going to bother with all that yet!”

My ‘Project Downsize’

Project office – desk

Due to my business change experience, I had half an idea of how Project Downsize would go. I had an inkling of how to manage it, and a natural instinct to evaluate and learn from and share my experience and top tips with others. 

This series of blogs and the video log is the story of why and how I decided to future-proof my ‘third age’. I tell of the practicalities and the emotional roller-coaster that is called Downsizing.

To commit fully to the Downsizing ethos,  I parted with almost half my possessions and the lovely Victorian home we had painstakingly renovated over three decades. I summarise why I decided to declutter and downsize, and how I used project management principles to help me. I describe how I planned, organised, packed and moved homes. The video illustrates how I have renovated my new home, so I don’t feel as though I have sacrificed anything. And finally I can breathe! 

I discovered what a daunting subject downsizing is for many people, and how a little part of me kept wishing I had never even thought of it!  And I describe how I minimised personal stress levels along the way by using the same business change tools that help me to help others through change. Finally I reflect on how the difficult path I took is reaping rewards, and how I would recommend it to others in a heartbeat. 

Using business tools

So have a look at the video, to get a flavour of what you have in store if you are planning a similar move.  Also here’s a taster of a business tool I adapted to my personal situation to keep me motivated in the early stages. It’s called Lewin’s Change Management Model, and here’s how he describes the initial ‘Unfreeze’ stage. 

“This first stage of change involves preparing the organization to accept that change is necessary, which involves breaking down the existing status quo before you can build up a new way of operating. Key to this is developing a compelling message showing why the existing way of doing things cannot continue.”

I will go into more detail of how I applied the principles of business change tools in further parts of this blog. 

Further information

If you are considering decluttering and downsizing your home, or other big life-choices and need more information, please get in touch. I have enough for a book! Of course, we also do business change, so for any advice on that, please contact us at https://losethebox.co.uk, phone us on 07824 660120, or email us at info@losethebox.co.uk.

Good luck in your change endeavours, whether downsizing, other life-changes, or business change. 

 

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