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When your children leave home, you can be left with a big property with nothing to fill it. Big houses are expensive to maintain and it might be best to downsize in order to cut some costs and make life a little cosier – but how can you go about it when you have so many possessions and you’ve gotten used to having a lot of space to yourselves?This is how:Be RuthlessWhen you’re culling your possessions down to a more manageable level, you need to be ruthless in the act. Being too forgiving of some of your possessions will leave you with too many possessions for a smaller property – thereby defeating the object of downsizing in the first place.There’s the 12 month rule (if you haven’t used it for a year, dispose of it) and there’s always the kids’ new homes that could do with their old school work etc cluttering them up rather than making your attic look untidy! EconomiseI recently helped my father downsize and, whilst carving through the shed, I found no less than five electric, handheld belt sanders. FIVE of the same power tool. When I asked him about them, he said that he didn’t know which ones worked and which didn’t.Naturally, I tested them and only one worked so only one made it on to the removals truck. He doesn’t know about this yet but I feel it’ll teach him a lesson about economising. One of everything is enough people!Don’t Go Too SmallThis may go against the previous two points but you’ll struggle to go from a four bedroom house to a one bedroom bungalow – that much should be obvious. Consider what you have at the moment: Garden? Garage? Shed? Attic? Cellar? Etc and then think about what you will still need when you downsize. If you still need a garage and a large attic space then make sure your new property has both! Going too small will result in possessions being squashed in everywhere!Make Sure the Time is RightIf you’re just about to start a family; now would be a bad time to downsize. Trust me, you’re going to need all the space you can get if you’re having a little one! You need to be certain you’ll never be in a position when you need all the empty space you have again before you can make the decision to downsize.Circumstances change and you need to be 100% certain!