Downsizing – top tips to take the headaches out of moving
Posted 8th October 2021
Moving can be stressful, especially if you are downsizing and moving to a smaller home. Not only have you got the usual things to contend with, you also need to think about what you can and can’t take with you.
No matter what you think there is no way a three bedroom house is going to fit into a one bedroomed apartment! Putting things in storage could be an option, but this should only be a temporary measure as this can get costly. It’s better to have a good clear out before moving.
To make things easier we’ve put together the following top tips for people planning a move this year to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible:
As with most things having a plan is the best approach. Begin your countdown as soon as you know you are moving and write down a list of everything that needs doing and by when. Allocate tasks if there are two of you or you have someone in the family helping you.
Think about what day of the week is going to be best for you to move. Often people move on a Friday so they have all weekend to get sorted, however, if you are flexible on the day of the week you can move choosing a midweek day could save money on the cost of removal firms.
Book a removal company
It’s essential to book a removal company as soon as you know what date you plan to move. Often firms get booked up months in advance, so do some research early on in the process and get prices, so you can book as soon as you’ve agreed a move date.
Start packing and de-cluttering
Again the earlier you can start this the better. This is the time to de-clutter too. Packing room by room is the best plan. Remember if you are downsizing there is going to quite a lot that you can’t take with you. Whilst a lot of this may be large furniture, it’s surprising how much people have when it comes to personal effects such as clothes, books, magazines, electronic items, hobby items.
Re-cycling / selling or throwing away
As you go from room to room work out what you are keeping and pack it up, remembering to write on the front what is in each box. With the rest decide if it’s something you could sell or re-cycle, or whether it should be thrown away. Using coloured stickers is a great way to mark-up items depending on what you plan to do with them.
Have a garage/door stop sale or sell online
Any items that you think are worth selling could be sold through a garage or door stop sale or through local community groups online. You could also consider a boot sale. There are also quite a few online second hand sale sites or you could try eBay. Doing this sooner rather than later is the best idea to give some time for things to sell.
Plan a few trips to the recycling centre
Most household items including electronics, paint and furniture can be taken to a local recycling centre, as well as bits that are destined for landfill. It can often be quite crowded at these centres though so try and go midweek to save time. You may need to schedule a few trips to get rid of everything, but this will help your home look less cluttered and make it easier in the long run to see where you are at with your packing. For larger items such as furniture you can often find charities that will come and collect it free of charge. Just do a quick internet search in your local area or call up and ask. Most councils also offer a paid for service for bulky items such as sofas or fridges. These options are handy for those with limited mobility too.
Write to banks and other financial institutions
Get in touch with your bank and other financial providers such as pensions, insurances and investments and let them know your new address. People often forget policies they have taken out, so going through paperwork earlier in the process can make this job easier and ensure you contact all relevant parties.
Utilities, telephone and other subscription services
As above make sure you inform them of your moving date and new address so they can send through final bills. It’s crucial on move day to do gas and electricity readings. Taking a photo can be the best way to have a time/date stamped record. Make sure to contact all the subscription services you use too such as broadband, Netflix etc and inform TV licensing that you are moving.
In the final month
In the last few weeks before your move do things such as redirecting your post, cancelling regular deliveries such as milk and newspapers and paying any local shops where you have accounts. Write to family and friends and let them know your new address too. Go through the house and check you have everything packed that you are taking with you, including curtains, light fittings and rugs.
Finally, go through your check-list that you made at the beginning and ensure everything is ticked off! Now you are ready and can look forward to the big day and starting your life in your new home.