Ten Tips To Downsize and De-Stress Your Move
#10 Start Early - End Happy!
It's never too early to start the downsizing process. Begin by focusing on typical problem areas, such as the attic, basement, garage, closets, file cabinets. By starting early and going through things a little at a time, you can make great progress on the overall job.
#9 Get Generous
Since you can't take everything you own to your new home, now is the time to make arrangements to "gift" some of your treasures to special people in your life, including, and especially family, helpful neighbors, friends, favorite organizations, or your church / synagogue.
#8 Save Your Memories
You may have boxes of old photos from every holiday, vacation and birthday party attended. What do you do with them? Consider the following ways to preserve family photos and stories: a customized process of audio and video recordings called Life Storying. Copy your special photos on to CD's or even better into digital format files. Try your hand at scrapbooking. Going through these memories can actually be a meaningful experience to share with your family members. If that doesn't sound appealing, services now exist that will take all your photos, slides, and videos and do it for you.
#7 New Looks For Books
If you own large quantities of books, you need to spend time downsizing your collections. Books occupy a lot of space and are heavy to move. Consider donations to libraries, universities, senior centers, church libraries, or sales to used book stores. Call on a book dealer for older books with potential value.
#6 Use It Up . . . Don't Move It Out
Take an inventory of your canned goods, frozen foods and paper products. Plan to use as many of these products as you an before moving. If you simply have too many of these items, think about passing them on to a local food pantry.
#5 Recycle The Toxins
Take time to put together a box or two of household, yard and automotive cleaning products, as well as paint, that are considered hazardous. Visit Earth911.org for more information on hazardous collection in your area.
#4 Don't Lose Touch
Create a list of people, places and utility / services that need to be notified of your change of address. Contact us for our Moving Notification Checklist.
#3 Space Plan Ahead
NEXTChapter and other Senior Move Managers can provide you with a customized floor plan of your new residence. A floor plan will help you determine the pieces of furniture that will fit in your new home, and the best location for each. Knowing which pieces will fit in your new space will help you in your "right-sizing" process.
#2 Pack a Survival Bag
Put together a survival bag for move day. It might include personal needs (medications, eyeglasses, toiletries, change of clothes, important papers, etc.); kitchen needs (snacks, drinks, folding chair, disposable cups, plates); basic tools (hammer, screwdriver, flashlight, tape, etc.); cleaning supplies (sponge, roll of paper towels, toilet paper, soap, etc.); and payment for mover - be sure you know which form of payment they accept.
#1 Ask For Help
Don't be too proud or independent minded to ask for help. Moving is not easy and you shouldn't do it all yourself. But don't wait until the last minute to ask for help. Some of these downsizing tips require months to accomplish. The best place to find help is through a NASMM (National Association of Senior Move Managers) member company, like NEXTChapter. We are here to take the stress out of moving forward!