Downsizing Your Home
No matter where you’re moving to, downsizing isn’t easy. Sorting through a lifetime of possessions can be emotionally and physically exhausting. But getting rid of clutter can also be rewarding. Ease the process by enlisting a professional to help sort trash from treasures.
Here are tips from some of our favourite experts: Pat Irwin of ElderCareCanada, Susan Borax of Good Riddance and Vicky Riley Keyes of Red Coats Moving Solutions.
- “Start by focusing on what you’re taking with you,” says Pat Irwin, president of ElderCareCanada.
- Create a vision for your new space, map out a floor plan and decide what will fit. “Too much clutter may overcrowd your new space, but be sure to keep what’s most important,” she says.
- Take a selection of valuables that are reminiscent of home and choose furniture that’s comfortable and familiar.
- Offer valuables to family and friends first. Share memories with loved ones to ensure they appreciate the value of your offering. “Then, get creative with giving," says VIcky Riley Keyes, president of Coats Moving Solutions Inc. “Bring meatballs to a dinner party in a hand-me-down serving dish and fill teacups with chocolates or candies.”
- Next, consider charities with pickup service. Giving furniture and appliances to a women’s shelter or an immigrant family not only feels good but also helps those in need.
- Other giveaway options include libraries, schools and churches.
- “Have realistic expectations when it comes to selling your belongings,” says Susan Borax, co-owner of Good Riddance, Professional Organizing Solutions. “We tend to over-value things we’re attached to.”
- Secure an appraiser to help determine value, or compare similar items on websites like eBay or Craigslist. “You’ll make more money selling things online, but consignment stores offer an easier solution,” she says.
- For valuable furniture and antiques, consider an estate sale or auction house.
- Anything that is chipped, broken or dirty is likely suited for the trash.
- Think green when it comes to disposal. “Choose a junk disposal service that will pick up your trash and recycle it accordingly,” says Irwin.
- Try not to be home when the junk truck comes, as it can be difficult to watch.
TOP 10 DOWNSIZING TIPS!
- Begin three to six months in advance.
- Keep track of where everything goes.
- Once designated, move items quickly.
- Take photos of valuables to preserve memories.
- Reminisce and share stories as you declutter.
- Begin at 12 o’clock and work clockwise through each room.
- Don’t sell anything until relatives have seen it first.
- Know that your donations will help those in need.
- Do a second round of decluttering once you relocate.
- Honour your feelings and emotions during this process.