We take a look into smart downsizing solutions for retirement living. We use the tiny house movement to reveal how you can maximise space and utilise areas outside the home to enjoy a full and happy lifestyle.

Smart solutions for retirement living. Our experienced and empathetic team can help!


There is a lot to admire about the tiny house movement, in which people seeking an alternative to the large and expensive family home have taken to building more compact, often mobile, dwellings. The simplicity and cost saving benefits of this lifestyle provide tiny house owners with a sense of financial freedom and a more sustainable way of living. Many of the design and space saving techniques can be adopted by those moving into retirement living without compromising on style and comfort. If you are embarking on such a journey, your belongings will need to fit into a space that is, on average, 30 to 50 per cent smaller than the home you are vacating. When considering the overall resources and facilities retirement communities offer, however, this is more than sufficient for a vibrant lifestyle, with plenty of space for hobbies and entertaining. Join our downsizing specialist, Helen, in a sneak peek into the space saving tricks of tiny house dwellers, adapted for your own downsizing journey.

Use a floor plan:

Helen’s favourite rule is to assess your new space. Many retirement communities provide new residents with a floor plan of their new apartment to help them plan furniture placement and optimise space. These floor plans provide exact measurements of wall and floor areas, the number, position and depth of cupboards and the location of doors and windows. Take advantage of this resource to visualise how your belongings will fit into your new home. Helen recommends measuring the dimensions of your furniture and then placing masking tape or newspaper cutouts on the floor of your new home. Often an empty room viewed upon first inspection can seem much bigger than it really is. A paper or masking tape mock-up will give you an accurate picture of just how much space your furniture will actually occupy, allowing you to make important decisions before moving day.

Take advantage of shared spaces:

Moving into retirement living may actually increase your living space in an indirect way. While the apartment itself may have less floor area than your previous home, don’t forget that many communities offer shared resources such as mens’ sheds, craft rooms, libraries and gyms. Find out what your new community offers and take this into account when planning your move. Helen has witnessed the benefits gained by residents who get involved in the wider facilities offered by retirement living: ‘Consider donating books, DVDs, tools and craft supplies to any shared facilities for the use of all residents and free up precious room in your own living space,’ she advises. ‘This will also encourage you to make use of these facilities yourself and maximise the lifestyle your new community has to offer!’

Get organised:

Helen recommends making an inventory of what is coming with you and then creating specific spaces for it close to where it will be used. ‘Only keep what you have room for,’ Helen suggests. ‘Don’t forget that if a cupboard or bookcase isn’t coming with you, its contents will need to find a new home. Invest in organisational systems to keep belongings tidy and easily accessible. Use storage bins, baskets or drawer dividers to maximise storage efficiency and maintain a clutter-free living environment.’ Think in “zones” for belongings so that things can be found easily and returned after use. Decide prior to moving in what activities will be performed in each zone. This will help you prioritise what to store in each zone and what type of storage will be required.

The tiny house movement proves that moving into a smaller living space doesn’t have to mean sacrificing comfort or functionality. By implementing Helen’s tiny house tips and approaching the transition creatively, you can create a cosy and efficient living environment that meets your needs and enhances your retirement lifestyle. At Classic Moves, we understand the unique challenges of downsizing into retirement living, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

We offer a free in-home consultation for Melbourne and surrounds. Contact us today to learn more about our full-service relocation solutions and how we can help make your transition a smooth and stress-free experience!