Downsizing for retirement

Downsizing for retirement

One of the most common reasons for using self-storage is moving house. Moving is often preceded by a major life event. Aside from births, deaths and marriages, downsizing for retirement is also a common theme amongst our storage insurance customers. Some of the most common reasons for considering downsizing at retirement are:

  • Needing a more suitable home/accessible home
  • Supplementing a lower income through capital
  • Freeing up funds for travel and leisure
  • Giving family members a helping hand onto the property ladder
  • Having a home which is easier to manage

When downsizing property, after a lifetime of acquiring possessions, there is often a lot of stuff which needs to be rehomed as well. People often use self-storage as a way of deferring making decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of or to store items which are to be passed on to other family members. It is often best not to be forced into making decisions too quickly at a time when there is so much else going on and self-storage can offer the time and space you need to enable you to come back to making those decisions at a later time. It can also be useful to have somewhere to store items which you are planning to sell.

Storing your memories

Photos from the pre-digital age can take up a fair bit of space and they are a good candidate for storing away if you are trying to downsize your property. The best way to store photos is in albums with acid free paper. Using plastic crates to store photos and photo albums will also keep them safe from mould or mildew. It is also a good idea to opt for climate controlled storage for these kinds of items as they are much more temperature stable.

Storing Books

If you are a bibliophile it can be difficult to part with a book collection - they do however take up an enormous amount of space. When storing books, again, limiting exposure to moisture in the environment is important to deter mould and mildew. For this reason, it is probably good idea to consider internal storage which is more temperature stable. You will also need plenty of sturdy boxes. Take care not to overfill boxes when storing books as they will be very heavy to move and difficult and dangerous to stack.

Choose carefully

When storing items which have sentimental or actual value, you want to ensure that you choose a storage location which is well managed and well maintained. Before choosing a location it is worth looking around to make sure it seems properly secure. See our blog post 'Self-storage for the security conscious' for more tips on choosing a storage location.

Insuring your belongings in storage to replace their monetary value is easy, items which hold a sentimental value however, cannot be replaced. You should ensure that you cover your belongings for their full replacement value and take a full inventory of your stored goods. This will help in the event of loss of damage to make an insurance claim. For internal storage, finding out if the facility has a sprinkler system installed which will hopefully limit the risk damage to items in case of fire. Whilst, thankfully, fires in storage units are relatively rare, when they do occur, they can be devastating if there are not adequate fire prevention meaures in place. See our blog post 'I lost £180,000 in a self storage fire' for more information on the perils of under insurance.

For more helpful tips and advice on storing your belongings - visit our blog, for a competitive storage insurance quote on your chosen storage location - visit our website

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Patrick Pellens

Author: Patrick Pellens

I started in the insurance industry in 2003 specialising in Personal Insurances such as Motor Bike, Car and Home Insurance.