We have compiled a list of tips and recommendations for anyone thinking of downsizing their parents and looking for Tips on downsizing. Seniors downsizing services are available for the homeowner who’s ready to downsize and embrace a simpler lifestyle. This might be in a cozier home or a retirement community. Seniors downsizing services can help facilitate the full endeavour or in a partial capacity involvement depending on your needs, time constraints, commitment availability and comfort level.
1. The Pre-Move
Starting early is key. Once you have made the decision to downsize your home space, that means making the move, you can begin by making a plan and a strategy. Start by donating or free-cycle 5-10 items each day.These are items that you know are definitely not making the move with you. These could be old magazines, appliance and baking tools, extra double-duty items that were packed and you hoped a friend or child might want but said No Thanks.
We understand it’s a challenge to throw out and dispose of items that might have a benefit to someone. Therefore, start with these first: broken/stained items, old medications, torn clothing etc.
Also, this is the perfect opportunity to start shredding unnecessary documents. Try inviting your children to claim their keepsakes – trophies, childhood toys etc, but don’t get too disappointed if they don’t want anything.
2. Prepare a Move Notebook
Prepare to-do lists, start with a master list, everything you can think of– write down. Then prioritize using a category type structure, 1,2,3, or a,b,c under each category.
PRO Tip: start in the rooms or area of the home you use the least.
Make inventories as you box items, contact information – anything that is related to your moving process in a “Move Notebook”. Take pictures of expensive items for insurance claims, in the unlikely event something is damaged. Maintaining a notebook with everything important to your move will help reduce stress and make the process much easier. By starting well in advance, little by little you will find more rewarding.
3. Set Your Move Date
Ask family or friends for suggestions on downsizing services and moving companies. Get estimates, read reviews and BBB for complaints. Check for non-peak times, such as weekdays or mid-month, when fees may be negotiable. Get a written contract and be sure to check coverage for lost or damaged possessions. Find out if they provide wardrobe boxes, so you can leave your clothing on the hangers.
4. Downsizing, Sorting, and Packing
Here are some guidelines to facilitate dealing with your belongings and downsizing.
- Safeguard important documents: deeds, wills, medical records, passports, birth certificates, diplomas etc.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself: set aside two-hour increments, go room by room, and reward yourself each time you finish. If you are unable to do this yourself, call in the professionals. At the Hillis Group, many of clients use our pre-selling services which are built into our Concierge Service Program, designed for both Buyers and Sellers.
- Measure your new home’s closet and cabinet space, so you know exactly how much space you will have.
- Label your items using four categories: Keep, Discard, Sell/Donate, and Maybe. Use colour-coded stickers to help organize.
A) Keep – Consider digitizing pictures and paperwork. For collections, perhaps keep your three favourites and take pictures of the rest. Don’t always take the newest, take what you love and use the most.
B) Discard – If it’s broken – toss it. If you haven’t used it in the past year, you don’t need it.
C) Sell/Donate – Contact estate sale downsizing service companies and consignment shops. Hold a yard sale or put it on the curb with a “help yourself” sign.
If you can’t sell it – donate it. Find out what charities will take and if they are willing to pick up. Consider schools for books, musical instruments, costumes, tools etc.
D) Maybe – Get rid of “just in case” items (extra mattresses, suitcases, comforters etc.) and duplicates (dishware etc.), pick your favourite – and donate or sell the rest.
- Make “Open First” boxes which have fresh bedding, soap, a shower curtain, toilet paper, toothbrush/paste, pyjamas, towels, eating utensils, dish soap, a change of clothes, lamp, tape, scissors etc.
Be sure to label all boxes with their destination rooms and sketch a floor plan of where major furniture will go ahead of time.
6. Arrange Your Move with Utility Providers
Arrange to turn off your electricity, water, gas, phone, cable, and internet the day after you leave your old home. Then turn on the day before you move into your next home. Remember to make address changes for: government, (post office, health card, SIN card, driver’s license, voting) financial, (credit cards, bank accounts, new cheques) health, (doctors, pharmacists) legal, (lawyers, accountants, insurance), social (family, friends, clubs) and newspaper/magazine subscriptions. You can go to the local post and pay a fee to have anything you may have missed forwarded.
7. On The Day Before Moving
Set aside items to bring in the car: valuables, medications (refill in advance), chargers, keys, moving notebook, important documents etc. Defrost the freezer, pack up the food, put out your moving day outfit (comfortable and something you wouldn’t mind getting dirty), and prepare your coffee pot for the morning.
8. Now, It’s Moving Day
Remove bedding and pillows, curtains, and label box so you can find them right away. Take out the garbage, turn off the lights and water heater, lower the thermostat, and lock the windows. Then, do a final walk-through to make sure that nothing is left behind. At the end of all the effort and organizing, you are going to feel much much better to you started well in advance. The early start and effort will save you dollars, ensure less stress and help you when settling.
Too many times we witness people pack it all up, then have to deal with storage and never get to the thinning out and end up with huge moving costs. Then, if you are downsizing, you end up with boxes in paid for storage.
The Hillis Group, offers our downsizing package within our Concierge Services. We pre-pack, prep and stage, arrange the movers and after the move, send in a crew to set our clients up in their next home.
No matter why you are making a move, we provide organizing & sorting services, handling of donations, appraisals and labelling. We have a professional team member physically present to facilitate your every need. You are never on your own. If needed we can arrange to handle it all, so you don’t have to!