Helpful Hints to "Rightsize" Your Home
The idea of moving from the home you have lived in for 40 years, to a smaller apartment or room in an assisted living, may seem nearly impossible. You begin to think about all of the clothes, furniture, pictures, and knick-knacks that are stored in your attic. You recall all of the memories that have been made in the home, and the idea of leaving becomes overwhelming.
Moving may not seem like an easy task, but if you plan and organize your move, the transition can be seamless and stress-free. You first thought may be “Where do I begin?”
Here are some helpful hints to help you “Rightsize,” creating a clutter-free and simpler move.
- Begin sorting through your things in small manageable sessions. Set realistic expectations. The home didn’t accumulate 40 years worth of “stuff” in a few days, so it won’t take a few days to sort through it all. Pick one area at a time and get that done before moving to the next. For example, sort through your desk today and the bedroom closet tomorrow; 2-3 hour bursts work best. Determine what to keep, gift, donate, and discard. Discard and donate as you go, don’t keep it around and agonize over the decision.
- Rightsizing can be done at any time! But the best time is BEFORE your house is listed. This will help you cut the clutter to make your home more marketable. Sort as you go. Don’t leave sorting until the week prior to your move. It makes the process of packing that much easier! Work with the end result in mind, have a vision of how your current home should look, and how your new home will look.
- Don’t start packing months before your move, you will lose track of your items and wind up taking too much! Sort and rightsize first, then begin packing 2 weeks prior to the move.
- Ask yourself what you really want to take with you. Do you really need 10 winter coats? Do you still have your jeans from high school? Ladies – do you have a ton of heels that you won’t be able to wear any longer? Gentlemen – how about your tie collection? Ask yourself, “Do I use it?” and “Do I love it?” If you answer yes to these, then keep it. Another idea is to keep one or two of a particular set of items and let the rest go.
- Has your basement become the storage area for your children’s old high school yearbooks? Ask your family members what items they intend to keep. Give them a timeframe to claim these items and stick to the deadline.
- Don’t worry about your donation or sales plan right away. Finish sorting first. Take a tour of your home, but look at your furniture with a different eye. Are there any non-negotiables? For example, wherever I go, my great grandmother’s cedar chest will go with me. It is a great piece for storage as well. Keep in mind functionality and utility of each item you are planning on taking.
- On the day of the move you should carry the personal items that you will need for the next day or two leading up to and after the move. Some necessities are address books, cell phones, keys, and medications. Always carry your checkbook, credit cards, and cash on you during the move, along with your eyeglasses and any hearing devices. You should also pack an overnight bag with at least 2 days worth of clothing, cosmetics, dental care, and personal care items you will need on move day.
The most important piece of advice we can give you is to give yourself permission to hire a professional Move Manager. It’s not a luxury, it’s an investment. A professional will save you the headaches and backaches of your move. They are there every step of the way and will make sure your needs are met.
We hope reading these tips have alleviated some of the stress you have about moving. Remember, retirement is the time to care for yourself and simplify your life: find that perfect maintenance-free lifestyle. With the right planning, organizing, and with the help of a professional Move Manager, you can be settled, stress-free, and enjoying your new home.