Let’s face it, at any stage of life, moving can be a daunting and often stressful task. However, combine a move with a need to downsize, and the process can seem downright overwhelming. However, fear not! With some careful planning, you can minimize the amount of stress involved. As Realtors who specialize in condos, we know a thing or two about downsizing effectively, so we thought we’d share some of our knowledge.
1. Start early - this won’t be possible for everyone. However, if you know that you’re going to be moving ahead of time, it would be ideal to start downsizing around three months before your move. That way, you can take it one morning at a time, targeting specific items and areas that require attention. Doing it this way, you’ll feel more accomplished and much less stressed.
2. Perform an audit on your belongings - over the course of a week or two, grab a pen and paper and take a tour of your home. Make a list of all the items that you feel you absolutely must take with you - this will be your downsizing ‘wishlist’. Try to be honest, realistic and thoughtful as you go through this audit process. Anything that doesn’t make the list, is to be cut and will not make the move. Writing things down can make a stressful task seem much more manageable.
3. Seek a second opinion - you’ll have to keep an open mind for this, but once you’ve compiled your list of must move items, invite someone objective - perhaps a family member or a friend - to come in and review the decisions you have made. Create an environment where they feel comfortable providing honest, tactful feedback. When you’re in the ‘eye of the storm’ it can sometimes be difficult to see the obvious things. Your second opinion might help you in this regard, they may also help you come to terms with your decisions and also serve as a tiebreaker if you happen to have some items that you’re feeling indecisive about.
4. Recycle - for the items that aren’t going to make the move, try and avoid unnecessarily throwing them into the trash. Perhaps a family member could benefit from receiving some of the things you no longer need, you could also conduct a yard sale or donate to charity. Ultimately, you will have items that you need to get rid of, and you want to achieve this in the most environmentally responsible way possible.
5. Colour coordinate - when it comes to packing your boxes, try to organize them as logically (and safely) as possible. It’s wise to colour coordinate, number or write on the boxes, so you know which boxes belong to which room. For example, the boxes containing kitchen items could all feature red tape. Having an organized path to your essential items will help make your transition that much easier.