Couple Moves From Huge 3-Bedroom Property to a 2-Bedroom Unit and Tackles Multiple Storage Challenges With Ingenious Solutions From Howard’s Storage World.
I have written this case study as part of the downsizing campaign with Howard's Storage World.
After years of renovating their huge property in the North-West of Sydney and keeping up a large garden, Tami and Philip decided that they no longer wanted a high-maintenance property, but more of a social life close to infrastructure and amenities. Friends convinced them to spend a week in their apartment in Manly, an iconic beachside suburb on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. After this life-changing experience, they decided to downsize in a year’s time and started to prepare their move. Apart from de-cluttering, storage and space planning were their major challenges. With the help of Howard’s Storage World, they were able to optimise space and create an ingenious home office in a cupboard.
Tami and Philip had bought their property in Eastwood years ago after Tami arrived in Sydney from the US. Their home was surrounded by a big lush natural garden with huge Eucalyptus trees. In the beginning, they enjoyed the natural environment and living in the suburbs. But after a while, the maintenance of the garden was beginning to take over their spare time. They spent most of their weekends trying to keep up with the maintenance of their property. They felt guilty when they could not manage it. “It was like a vicious circle,” Tami explains.
They also renovated each room in their home and came to a point where they were thinking about what they wanted to do next. They felt an urge to move on.
One of their biggest frustrations was the fact that they had to take their car to get anywhere. Living in the middle of the suburbs, it was hard for them to socialise and meet other people. They decided that they no longer wanted a high maintenance property but rather have more of a social life closer to activities and amenities. They wanted to live more connected as they age.
Another frustration was the fact that, after returning from travelling, they would always think about what they had to do next in their home. And as both their aging parents live overseas, they knew that they would have to travel even more in the future. Therefore, it was paramount to be free and to come home to a place where they would not have to worry too much about chores and maintenance. They decided that they did not want to be tied down to a big property any longer. They aimed to make their life easier, more flexible and change their lifestyle completely. “We wanted to lock the door and leave,” Tami stresses.
When they started looking for an appropriate home for the years to come, an area with walking distance to shops, restaurants, doctors and easy transport to the city was on top of their priority list.
Although Tami moved to the Northern Beaches when emigrating from the US in the 80s, she did not consider the area for downsizing.
A Trial Week in Manly
However, their best friends lived in Manly and kept asking them to move to the iconic beachside suburb. “Come to Manly, come to Manly,” they kept insisting, Tami remembers. Despite their friends’ efforts to convince them that Manly was the place to live, they came up with all sorts of reasons against downsizing to the Northern Beaches. Eventually, their friends invited them to stay for one week in their apartment while they were travelling. ‘See what it is like to live there’ her friend said and handed them over the keys.
No sooner said than done. Tami and Philip moved in their friends’ apartment with views to the ferry wharf and the ocean. “It was Easter,” remembers Tami, “And we had a terrific week, walking to shops, restaurants, seeing the ferry coming and going every day, enjoying beautiful views.” After one week, they changed their view about living in Manly. Although they were still a couple of years away from downsizing, they were quite convinced that Manly would become their first choice when the time would come. “Don’t be afraid to consider different avenues, think about places you might never have thought of,” Tami encourages other empty nesters to take the first step towards a new chapter of their life.