Ensuring you have enough money to pay for your care is often a worry many people face, whether they are looking into home care or moving into an aged care home.

But one way that is becoming increasingly common for people to help raise the cash is through downsizing; selling your existing home to buy a smaller, less expensive one, allowing the excess money to go towards care.

The process of downsizing

Naturally, the process itself can be rather complicated. It's why people like Kelly Schultz, director of Respite Angels, are helping those considering it.

Last week, Mrs Schultz put together a meeting to talk about downsizing and how to go about it. The first thing she said to consider is space. Naturally, you will be moving to a smaller space, so you want to make sure it is large enough to house all your belongings.

“Don’t be afraid to measure the space,” said Britney Rosberg, one of the speakers at the event. “If you know how big your new dining room will be, you can measure and see if your old dining room table will fit.”

She also stressed the importance of taking photographs throughout the process. Having a similar layout to your previous home can help the house feel familiar, and having photos of the previous layout can help with this:

“When you go into your new space, you can remember what goes where.”That will help make it feel more homey.”

Leaving things behind

But while we would like to bring all our previous belongings along to our new home, sometimes it just isn’t possible. This is where prioritising essential items and picking out things that could possibly be giving to friends, family or even donated, becomes important.

To determine what your essential items are, a helpful tip is to walk around your house and make note of all the things you use on a daily basis.

Once your essentials have been noted, you can begin to group the remainder of your belongings into categories, such as things to keep, things to throw away or recycle, things you would like to gift and things you would like to sell.

Gifting items to loved ones can be a rewarding experience, but if gifting to younger family members or those with children, they may not appreciate the sentiment as much as you. A possible idea if gifting to younger family members is to sell the item, either by yourself or through a consignment store, and use the money earnt as the gift.

“We had someone we helped move whose children weren’t really interested in the stuff,” Mrs Schultz said. “She took it to a consignment store and gave the money to the grandkids.”

Making the move

It is also important to not put all the burden of the actual move on yourself. Seek out help from family and friends where possible, but if they are unable to, look into community services in your area that may be able to help or refer you to services that can help with the move.

“If there are bigger items that are heavy, get help,” Mrs Rosborg said. “Don’t try to move them by yourself. Know your limitations.”

And of course, once the move is finished, be sure to reward yourself by celebrating, such as with a meal with family and friends.