Moving to a Smaller Home Made Easy
The kids are away at school, you're rattling around in a space that you're only using a fraction of, the upstairs or downstairs is rarely visited. It's time to think about moving to a smaller home.
The idea of moving a lifetime of accumulated furniture, belongings and memories can seem a bit daunting at first, but with a plan and the knowledge that everything doesn't have to be done at once, you can get through the process with a smile on your face. Ten important tips follow to help you keep your sanity and your sense of humor through it all.
- You don't need to make every single decision about what to keep and what to toss right away! The storage space industry is alive and well and eager to have you rent a 5 x 5 or 9 x 8 for a surprisingly low monthly fee.
- Many charitable organizations will come to your home with a large truck that can haul away that extra sofa, table or bookcase. How convenient is that?
- When your belongings arrive at the new place, it's simple to set aside a room, or part of a room for those boxes you need to look through, after you've gotten everything you need immediately stowed away. What makes this easy is that when you packed each box, you labelled the outside with a note to yourself: “Unpack Now or “Unpack Later.”
- Often, people find that several months after a move, they haven't needed, or thought about, what's in those “Unpack Later” boxes. It makes the decision to toss or give away the items inside so much easier and far less stressful.
- Let your family and friends know, far in advance of any move you decide to make, that there are many items you'd like them to have and to take away (and out of your hair). As well, local libraries, museums and other non-profits might appreciate some warning so that they can come and look at the items you have, in case any are useful to them and valuable to you as a tax write-off.
- Don't be afraid of asking for help from a professional estate sale company. They will sort through items for you, valuing them, and coordinating their sale. The percentage they will take for their efforts is well worth it in less stress for you.
- As you sort though any of your belongings, put the things you've decided to donate into a box or bag right away. Then, call the organization to come pick it up before you've had a chance to second guess your decision.
- Pack and seal as you go and do it room by room, starting with the rooms that you are basically using just for storage. Be sure to keep a list and number boxes so that you can keep track of what's where. And don't forget tip number 4 -- label those boxes with “Unpack Now” or “Unpack Later.” Once you've packed a box, it is easier to move on to the next item on your list. Before you know it, most of the packing is done.
- Start early enough so that you can take days off for some “me-time.” Take a weekend trip, a nice lunch away from home, attend a movie or the theatre. Don't forget that you have a life and it isn't just to pack up your home.
- Ask your family for help. Ask your friends for help. Make some of the packing and sorting a social experience. You'll have some laughs together and realize that the most important thing may be not the “things” you own, but the people in your life.
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