When downsizing, what should I keep?

A comprehensive declutter can be invigorating as well as extremely liberating


Ditching the clutter can be an overwhelming task, so what better time to do it than when you’re moving house. By decluttering before downsizing, you can ensure you don’t waste money transporting and packing items you no longer wish to keep. It also makes it easier to stage the home for sale, as well as possibly making yourself some money.


Here we have highlighted some useful tips to help you identify what to keep, versus what should go.

The first thing to consider when downsizing, is whether your new home has less rooms and less space? Use a tape measure and plan where each item of furniture will fit within your new home, anything that doesn’t fit, that you don’t like, or that won’t match the style, you should consider selling or donating. There are several charities Dawsons work closely with that will collect large items of furniture for free and find them grateful new owners.

Decorative pieces are the next thing to consider. Large pieces of art, bronzes, sculptures, ceramics, and glass can offer beautiful character to a home, but downsizing often means a change of décor and style. Indeed, you may consider parting with some of these items to suit your new home, and just like with the furniture, it is worth planning where each item would fit.



In our experience, identifying clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous and sentimental items that you no longer need (emotionally or physically) will free up useful space within your new home. Essentially, clothing that you haven’t worn in years, and books you have already read can all be discarded – with many a grateful charity keen to find them a new home. Take care when sorting paperwork not to discard important documents. Chipped mugs and cracked plates can all be discarded but be sure to make certain that they are not valuable.



If you’re not planning on any more children, or your children have grown and moved out, consider what sentimental items you can part with and what you could pass on. We would recommend keeping your favourite baby outfits and getting them made into a quilt, while artworks and crafts could be photographed before being recycled. Your grown children might be keen to have their old masterpieces, toys, and keepsakes.



Don’t forget to sort through the loft, garage and shed – it is likely that items in these locations are not used often and could probably be discarded or sold.

When you finally get to the stage where you have everything sorted and you know what is going and what is staying, make sure you have an idea of the value of each item that didn’t make the cut. This will help you decide which items to send to the tip, which ones to donate, sell online via eBay, or perhaps take to auction. 



Whether you decide to downsize a few items, or have a complete clear out, a comprehensive declutter can be invigorating as well as extremely liberating. When downsizing, perhaps you won’t have as much space as within your larger home, but it is an opportunity to simplify your life making it easier to keep your new home tidy, organised and comfortable.

If you believe you have any valuable paintings, antiques, decorative art, ceramics, or collectables within your home, we recommend contacting an expert valuer. Here at Dawsons we have specialist valuers in every field, who can help identify all items of value within your home, and ensure that should you wish to sell them, you have an accurate estimated value before taking them to market.


read more

Where Do I Start When Downsizing?

What's the Best Way to Sell the Contents of a House?

How to Value House Contents


Are you downsizing? Do you have any art, antiques, or collectables within your home?

Our team of friendly specialists can help you identify all valuable items, and should you wish to sell, we can ensure you achieve the best possible price at auction.

Please do get in touch today, we would be delighted to help.

0207 431 9445 / info@dawsonsauctions.co.uk