For the past three years the highest number of home sales and move-ins have occurred in July and August. That being said, even if you aren’t moving in the next few weeks there may be a time in your future when you will be moving. Being proactive about your home will make moving much less stressful when the time comes. In the past year I have helped move three older friends and family members into assisted living. When you are downsizing from a three-bedroom home into a one-bedroom apartment, you have to be creative with your smaller space.
Tip – Make a scale drawing of your new home and your furniture. Rooms look bigger when they are empty. If you make a scale drawing of the rooms and your furniture, you can decide what will fit and where.
Tip – Decide what you can’t live without. Making a list of things that you know you want to move into your new place will help you get ready for the change mentally as well as physically.
Tip – Thin out your belongings as soon as you know you are going to be moving. Start with your closets and clothing which are places we store things we really never use. Use a “minimalist” approach to choosing what you should take and what needs to be donated or thrown away.
Tip – Use a three bin system when deciding what to do with your things. This process includes three bins labeled “keep”, “give” or “throw”. Try not to put anything other than paperwork or garbage in the throw bin as there is always a way to recycle things, unless they are truly garbage.
Tip – If you are moving in a rush, hire a professional that can help you get your home ready quickly. There are very affordable services that will come into your home and help you with every stage of moving. You can have someone actually go through items to see what is valuable, take it to an auction and dispose of the rest. These services can also help with packing and moving as well as taking things to a donation site if you don’t want to move them.
Tip – Digitize all your memories. A picture is work a thousand words but a digital picture can save you space and money. Take digital pictures of memories before donating them, then you will have the memories and someone else will benefit from your donation.
Tip – Find a storage unit to store the items you just can’t part with – yet. Putting treasures into a storage unit may cost you extra money and after a year of paying the storage bill, you may realize those things aren’t that valuable.
Tip – Make some money from online services. There are so many ways to sell your stuff online that it’s almost too easy. All you need to do is snap a picture of the item, post it with a good description and price and within minutes you could be flush with cash. Here are my favorites for selling “stuff” I no longer need.
LetGo.com – This app uses your location to let people know what you are selling and how far they need to travel to buy it.
Craig’s List – A free service that’s a great way to get some cash for your items
Facebook Groups – Each town seems to have a “buy, sell and trade” Facebook page. Find a local one in your area and get posting.
High end auction houses – If you have valuable furniture you should try to use an auction house that can connect your valuables to clients that will appreciate the value. This can also work with jewelry and coins.
Tip – Try setting up your furniture in your old house before the move to see if you will like it that way in the new home. Grab a few friends and ask them to help you re-arrange your rooms the way you think you might like them in your new place. This will let you try it before you get to your new home. Movers are happy to put things where you want them, but they aren’t going to spend time re-arranging without an additional charge.
Tip – To make the cleanup easier after the move out, start deep cleaning under furniture and inside of closets as you are purging and packing. Nothing is more embarrassing than having the movers pick up a couch and find a few of your husbands Ice cream bowls underneath.
Tip – Hire a professional cleaning service to clean after you have moved. Whether you rent or own, you can save money on either a security deposit or a hold back on a real estate transaction, when the home is professionally cleaned. Professional cleaning services know how to clean a home so that you can avoid charges for not have it “clean enough”.