More and more Boomers across Canada are proving that carefree condo living is too tempting to resist. Living in a big empty home while being saddled with home maintenance is being quickly eclipsed by the allure of a maintenance-free lifestyle surrounded by state-of-the-art amenities, at an address in the middle of everything.
The 15-minute city is a definite trend, and Boomers are jumping on the downsizing bandwagon in droves. Perhaps the only downside to downsizing is the challenge of packing a lifetime of belongings into a smaller place. But with a well thought out plan, downsizing can actually be easy.
1. Do the math when moving from house to a condo.
If you’re downsizing, you won’t be able to take everything in your house. You won’t even need a lot of it: kiss that snow shovel, lawnmower, tall ladder and even lawn furniture goodbye. As for your indoor furniture, that’s where math comes in. Check those new floor plans and then measure to see if your existing furniture will even fit. Also consider whether your current pieces work with your new décor.
2. Decide on your needs.
How will you be using your new home? Will you need an office or will the kitchen table suffice? Will you be doing a lot of entertaining? Do you need furniture for a terrace? If so, note which of your backyard pieces will fit. Will you have space to store the things you can’t bear to part with yet? Movers like AMJ Campbell offer storage solutions for that purpose. Planning out your space will help you narrow down which pieces of furniture you’ll be moving.
Start by tackling those places used least, like the attic, the garage, basement, shed, spare rooms, out-of-the-way kitchen cabinets.
This is likely where you’ve stored things that aren’t used. Do a little at a time so it’s not overwhelming: tackle the attic one day, your books the next, then your clothing, your kitchen stuff and so on.
4. Does it stay or does it go?
A great rule of thumb is If it hasn’t been used in over a year, get rid of it. If you have doubles of things, keep your favourite one. And don’t just stop at furniture. Moving is also a great opportunity to scrutinize your closets. If you don’t think you’ll ever wear it, put it aside.
You’ve decided what you don’t need; now you’ll need to decide what to do with it. So, divide your cast-offs into 4 piles.
Return: When you have a larger place than other family members, you tend to become the storage unit. Now is the time to finally return all that sports equipment, that artwork and those ancient school projects you’ve been storing.
Donate: There are plenty of worthwhile charities that would welcome your things.
Find the Salvation Army Thrift Store, Value Village or Goodwill Donation Centre near you to donate household items and clothing, or see this list for places that would welcome your previously loved clothing.
Sell: If you have a higher ticket item that you don’t want to give away, embrace your entrepreneurial spirit and list your item on kijiji, craigslist, ebay or even nextdoor. Have designer clothing to divest of? Poshmark, or shoptheupside are two popular options.
Trash: If you don’t know what to do with it, trash it. Or leave it by the curb. Remember, one man’s garbage is another’s treasure.
6. Dual purposeful furnishing.
Downsizing means storage will likely be at a premium. So, when it comes to re-furnishing, look for items that serve dual purposes like coffee tables and beds with drawers, ottomans with lids, chairs that convert into daybeds.
7. Do it again, next year.
Make it a point to declutter at least once a year. Throw out papers you don’t need and get rid of things you son’t use. See how much calmer and lighter you feel afterwards!
While you’re busy doing all that decluttering and organizing to get ready for your new home, don’t forget to book your movers! AMJ Campbell has orchestrated 1,000,000+ local and international residential moves, so why not start there and get a quote?
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