Downsizing, Moving and Merging Households
Downsizing makes sense for any move and for everyone.
Whether you are moving into a completely new home together or moving into one where you or your partner currently lives downsizing is necessary to make room for the other person(s) and their possessions.
A client Liz called for help. Her partner was moving into her home with her and her two sons. He didn’t have any children and her boys were enrolled in school, hockey and other extra-curricular activities. Their home was larger and could accommodate everyone. It made sense for Paul to move into their home.
Liz hired me to help her make room for all of his personal belongings. She was determined that Paul feel this was his home too. We even created a man cavein the basement where he could have his big screen TV, surround sound stereo and gaming toys. A place where he could bond further with her boys.
And Liz made room in closets, dressers and mud room for Paul’s clothes to fit in. She made space in her vanity and linen closet. We even made room in the kitchen. Liz made room in her life to have Paul in it.
5 Steps to Downsizing your Household:
1. Say NO to storage – as tempting as it might be to rent a storage place, I don’t recommend it.
Most things you store are not worth the monthly storage fees you will pay.
The longer items are left in storage the less likely you will even remember what they are and why you kept them in the first place. Out of sight, out of mind.
I do recommend it if you are staging your home for sale
Provided you are removing excess pieces of furniture, etc. that you will use in your new home.
When you are moving it is time to be truly honest with yourself about everything in your home including décor, furnishings, small appliances, clothes, tools –everything.
Re-evaluate how many items in your home are truly useful and used. Do not take anything to your new home that is of no value and will not be used by anyone living in the home. Disperse them now rather than later. Why pay to move things you won’t be using. Let them go!
2. Couples should decide together what are the best appliances, furniture, etc. to keep. If buying new furniture make sure you have measured the new space twice and take the measurements with you when you shop.
3. Action Tips:
- Throw away, Give away, Sell
- Donate to local charities, schools, church groups
- Items for a garage sale later can be packed into boxes/bins, labelled and stored out of the way in the new home. Recommendation: hold the garage sale pre-move.
- For your treasures that you want to sell check out antique and collectible dealers, consignment stores, eBay, auctions, used book stores, records, and the list goes on. My Recommendation: sell with an online auction.
- Saving items for your kids – pack them into boxes/bins, label and store.
Store photos into photo safe boxes, scan and/or store in a secure online account.
4. Avoid packing clothes that you do not wear or like. Great time to purge closets.
5. If you are uncertain about items that you really like pack, label and take them with you. Once you get settled you can decide where those items fit into your lives. But honestly purge all you can now to make the move as simple as possible.
A few Packing Tips:
- You will need packing tape, scissors and markers
- Re-use boxes from local your local LCBO for books and small heavy items.
- Purchase packing boxes from moving companies and mail shipping stores
- Use towels and other linens you are taking with you as packing material
- Buy unprinted newspaper for wrapping dishes, etc.
- Use bubble wrap for fragile items
- Use extra tape on bottom of boxes for reinforcement
- Pack like items together
- Mark boxes with numbers and where they go i.e. 1 of 4 -living room
- Keep a master list of the boxes and indicate which rooms they belong to.
- Write fragile where necessary
- Use zip lock bags for small items like parts of a lamp. Tape them to the lamp.
Downsizing and moving can be overwhelming. If you know that you have the next month, 3 months or even a year it’s never too soon to start downsizing.
Get started now and when you do the actual packing for the move everything will be easier, more efficient, save you time and money.