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Downsizing: An Exhibition of Your Life

Downsizing deceased estates coastal auctions central coast gosford

Caroline Hartley, former Sotheby’s porcelain specialist, captured it perfectly when she compared downsizing possessions to ‘staging an exhibition of your life’ – but what should you keep to tell your story? And what do you do with the things you no longer love?

More than half of Australians over the age of 55 are open to the idea of downsizing according to a 2020 report by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute. But with downsizing comes the knowledge that a smaller home means a smaller space for belongings.

Those currently over the age of 55 have also lived through a time of mass production when it has become far easier to own more and more ‘things’. Unlike previous generations where just a few precious heirlooms were passed down, people now considering downsizing face the daunting task of deciding which of their possessions to keep for their smaller home, which are suitable to gift on to loved ones, and what can be sold on.

Hannah Clayton Atkin, the director and principal valuer at Swan Deverell Auctioneers, has helped many downsizers with these difficult decisions over the course of her career. Hannah is not only aware of financial value and current market trends, but her parallel background in the museum sector has given her a priceless insight into the importance of the connected history of people and ‘things’. She can be objective when necessary but will never underestimate the value of your story.

Hannah can guide you as to how your items might perform at auction and Swan Deverell Auctioneers will present and market your objects effectively to ensure you get the fair market price. Through our partners we can also give you alternative options for disposal of property.

It may be hard to say goodbye to the objects you’ve collected over the years, but at Swan Deverell Auctioneers we can help make it a less daunting experience.

Fokschaner, S. (2021, August 20). The downsizer’s dilemma: what to do with a lifetime of possessions. Retrieved from The Financial Times:

James, A., Rowley, S., and Stone, W. (2020) Effective downsizing options for older Australians, AHURI Final Report No. 325, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Limited, Melbourne,, doi:10.18408/ahuri-8118801


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