Are you in the midst of organizing an estate? In the February 2021 edition ForbesAdvisor notes that the number of people who retired in 2021 rose 1.2 million people over last year’s number. Perhaps fueled by the circumstances of the pandemic a record number of people chose to start the next chapter of their lives. Sources say a person owns a home on average for 13 years. During that 13 years a lot of collecting can take place. If the home has been inherited there may be many historical family items stashed in out of the way places.
The Downsizing Floor Plan
Here is one floor plan I used to help a man move from one larger apartment to another smaller apartment that had more services to offer. He had quite a bit of organizing to do before we started to plan out what would go where. As you can see many things have to be taken into account when moving to a new place. Windows, baseboard heaters, doors, walls and permanent fixtures have to be sketched out to accommodate. One family member came to pick up the family grandfather clock he could not take and he let many things go to donation centers to be able to fit into the new smaller unit but I think he enjoys the breakfasts served at the new place with other residents to engage with.
If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of moving to a new smaller place, it could be mostly due to the fact you have to edit your belongings dramatically to make it in fact DOWNsizing. Whether you’re an empty nester, downsizing for financial reasons or simply want less upkeep, it’s important to be thoughtful about how you downsize. Here’s some steps to guide you in paring down, packing and downsizing your home.
Start to downsize by going room by room, making the big decisions and then the small ones. Discuss the following questions and answers with your partner (if applicable) and think carefully about larger or more complicated items before you decide what smaller objects stay and what goes. Does your new place have washer and dryer sets or just hookups? If it just has hookups are your washer and dryer nice enough to take with you, or should you buy new? What about the fridge? Is it a nice one already in the place or would you like your current fridge there instead? What about big appliances. The cost of moving out of state is about 50 cents per pound? Is your appliance really used enough to warrant paying to move it? Or if you’re moving in-state the question becomes: do you like your appliances enough to pay movers the $50 an hour to move them?
Do you have any large sentimental items you’ve been holding onto, such as the baby cradle of your grandmother’s? Would you be happier taking them with you, passing them on to select family members or could you sell them on FaceBook Marketplace or eBay? The same goes for furniture, china sets or art. Will your new space allow for all the equipment and supplies related to your craftwork?
First Steps: Create paper and digital “Moving” file for on-the-go. Empty home of all furniture you want to move. Get three estimates for movers and review papers before signing. Get rid of hazardous items in the house. Declutter, donate! You don’t want to pay to move things you don’t want.
Next Step: Source boxes and moving paper from friends and stores. Name rooms of new home for labeling and get plenty of corresponding tape. Create an inventory of valuables and a private list of where they are stored. Take photos of electronics connections so that set-up at new location is easy.
Next Step: If disassembling furniture put hardware in plastic bags in a first-open box. If moving into an apartment find out moving day requirements. Measure doorways, elevators and stairways to be sure furniture fits. Purchase moving insurance to cover all belongings. Plan moving truck parking for both locales.
Next Step: Gather financial, legal & medical files, birth certificates & passports to carry with you. Select and schedule an Internet Service and Utilities for your new home. Prep two weeks of meals, clean out the freezers to defrost, put only meals back in. Back up computers and phones to the cloud. Set up trash/recycling in new locale and cancel the old. Remove lightbulbs from lamps to move. Cancel all local services and memberships if leaving the area. Set up mail forwarding service with USPS. Pack and “Essentials” box with things you will need in the first 24 hours.
If you find yourself struggling, hire a professional organizer to get you unstuck!
Downsizing soon? Contact us for help!
Interested to learn more about hiring a professional organizer? Check out this New York Times article!