It’s never too early to begin the downsizing process. Start by focusing on typical problem areas such as the attic, basement, garage, closets, and filing cabinets.
Since you can’t take everything with you to your new home, now is the time to make arrangements to “gift” some of your treasures to special people in your life including and especially family, helpful neighbours, friends favourite organizations, or a church.
Save Your Memories
Consider ways to preserve family photos and stories; this can be in the form of customized audio and video recording called Life-Storying. Copy your special photos on to CDs, or try your hand at scrap-booking. There are also services that will do it all for you.
New Looks for Books
If owning a large number of books, you need to spend time downsizing your collection. Books can occupy significant space, as well are heavy to move. Consider donations to libraries or senior centers, or sales to used bookstores. Call on a book dealer for older books that may have potential value.
Use it Up – Don’t move it out
Take an inventory of your canned goods, frozen foods, and paper products. Plan to use as many of these products as you can before moving. If you simply have too many of these items, think about passing them on to a local food pantry. Check to see if the Senior Move Manager you hire participates in NASMM’s Move For Hunger Initiative.
Recycle the Toxins
Take time to put together a box or two of household, yard, and automotive cleaning products, as well as paint, that are considered hazardous. Visit Earth911.org for more information on hazardous collection in your area.
Don’t Lose Touch
Create a list of people, places, and utilities/services that need to be notiﬁed of your upcoming change in address.
Space Plan Ahead
Most Senior Move Managers can provide you with a customized ﬂoor plan of your new residence. A ﬂoor plan will help you determine the pieces of furniture that will ﬁt in your new home, and the best location of each. Knowing which pieces will ﬁt in your new space will help you in your rightsizing process.
Pack a Survival Bag
Put together a survival bag for move day. It might include personal needs (medications, eyeglasses, toiletries, change of clothes, important papers, etc); kitchen needs (snacks, drinks, folding chair, disposable cups plates); basic tools (hammer, screwdriver, ﬂashlight, tape, etc.); cleaning supplies (sponge, roll of paper towels, soap, etc.); and payment for mover – be sure you know which form of payment they accept.
Ask For Help
Don’t be too proud or independent-minded to ask for help. Moving is not easy and you shouldn’t do it all yourself. But don’t wait until the last minute to ask for help. Some of these downsizing steps require months to accomplish. The best place to ﬁnd help is through the National Association of Senior Move Managers.