Moving at any time throughout your life can be a difficult and tiresome job for any of us. When you’re getting older and planning to downsize your home, it makes it all the more overwhelming that it can almost seem unimaginable. However, having the proper downsizing and moving checklist and advice will surely alleviate stress factors and eliminate many questions that you may have regarding downsizing your home.
If you’ve decided that downsizing is the right idea for you, start talking to your realtor and get recommendations of realtors who specialize in helping seniors downsize. You may find this information on real estate sites or through speaking with realtors who are knowledgeable about your area. Once you find a realtor to work with, make sure that they understand your needs and have an organized plan to best help you downsize.
You can have them assess the value of your property so you have an idea of what your current home is worth, and then begin the process of clearing out before listing your home for sale. It’s also a good idea to start browsing for homes to move into, so you can see home prices and know what size of space you will be moving into. Chances are, it will be a lot smaller and reducing your belongings will be an important (and possibly lengthy) process.
Here is where you may want to start:
When planning on downsizing it’s an essential step to sort through all of your belongings and decide what you will take with you to the new home and what to leave behind. Depending on the size of your current home, downsizing can seem like a major shock when there is far less space readily available. Sorting through the extraneous items that have been taking up unnecessary space is one of the primary steps to take when downsizing your home. It will also help when it comes time to sell your current home, for it to be clean and organized.
Once your belongings are sorted into what will and will not be transferred to your new home, it’s time to start decluttering. You must determine what you would like to do with the items you won’t be bringing to your new home. Whether you are passing items down to your family, selling online or donating to goodwill it’s a crucial step to downsizing and the less clutter you have the more at ease and prepared you will feel! Take note to not leave this step until the end as it can become overwhelming.
3. Digitizing Items
We live in a day and age where technology can be our greatest asset when it comes to moving! All those old CD’S, DVD’s, Cassettes, and books that take up so much space and accumulate dust can be digitized within a matter of minutes. With iCloud, Dropbox, and GoogleDrive taking all of your favourite media and transferring them to your electronic device will not only make it easier for you to go back and enjoy them but will give you added space in your new home! Books are after all some of the heaviest items to move!
Having a plan on how to go about packing will not only help gather all the items out of your current home, but will greatly benefit you once in your new residence! Packing your belongings in boxes strategically will make unpacking a breeze. No one wants to be ripping open numerous boxes trying to find one specific item. Try grouping items and placing them all in one box and marking it accordingly. That way, when you find yourself in need of dishes you can simply grab the box that is labeled “DISHES” once you are moved into your new home.
5. Recruiting Friends & Family
Your friends and family are wonderful resources to utilize when moving. Having those extra hands help pack boxes or discard items may seem like a little task but in the long run will save you much time and unnecessary added stress. This also gives them a chance to have input on the belongings you plan on not bringing with you… because everyone loves family keepsakes!
6. Contacting a Moving Company
Moving companies are well sought out and therefore can book up quickly. To ensure you aren’t left without help for your big move, contact several local moving companies early on and let them know your circumstances regarding the move. Get several quotes and look at reviews online. They can give you an estimate of the amount of time it will take, as well as the number of vehicles and workers that will be needed. A month or so before the move, contact your chosen company to reconfirm the dates and inform them of any special instructions you may have. Some moving companies can even provide packing help and packing materials in case you need help in that department.
This step can be easily forgotten as there is so much else going on! Set aside the time to look at all the necessary address changes to inform friends, family, and businesses of your new home address. A few examples of businesses that would need to be notified are as follows: drivers licenses/state ID’S, bank accounts, voters registration, social clubs, magazine subscriptions etc. It’s also a great idea to setup a postal mail forward so you don’t miss any important mail. Make sure to set it up at least 2 weeks in advance of your move.
8. Storage & Organization
When downsizing you’ll be presented with less space than you’ve previously been accustomed to. Although you’ve sorted and decluttered much of your belongings leaving you with fewer items it can still seem like you’re lacking space. Consider how much space is in your new residence, and see if there is a way to add storage by purchasing some cabinets, shelves, or storage furniture for your new home. Many condos and apartments often have storage lockers as well. If you are still too tight on space, consider looking into a monthly storage unit.
9. Moving Day
Having a moving plan in place will ensure everyone is on track the day of. If possible, obtain a floorplan of your new home, that way you’ll have an understanding of where your furniture and certain boxes should be placed. Not only will this make your job easier, but for the hired movers as well. It can be tiring and an overwhelming day therefore go easy on yourself and don’t feel like it has to be all unpacked in one day. Take the pressure off of yourself and spread the work over a few days will be far more pleasant and less stressful.
10. Creating a “First Day Box”
As mentioned above, you certainly don’t need to have everything unpacked the day of. Be strategic and have a box specifically set aside for your first day in your new home. This can include toiletries, prescriptions, basic tools, pajamas etc. This way you can settle into your new home and have your necessary items readily available. It’s also a great day to order take-out as you may not have a chance to unpack, get groceries and cook! Treat yourself to a nice take out meal to celebrate your new home (and make sure they provide plastic cutlery too!)
Hiring a real estate agent can help ensure you downsize into a great new home. They have the knowledge and expertise of the real estate market to help you find the best home for your needs, wants and budget. A realtor is looking out for their clients’ best interests and will guide them through any real estate transactions with ease. If you are looking to downsize within Surrey, Cloverdale or the Fraser Valley, make sure you contact the Katronis Team. We are area experts and will make sure you love your new home.