Here are some of our tips to make your move to a smaller property much easier
Hi, and welcome to this month’s blog! So, you’ve decided it’s the right time to downsize. For whatever reason, this can be an important step in our lives. We’ll walk you through a few key points to make sure your move goes safely, securely and as swiftly as possible!
Ok, so it might sound obvious but you’re going to have less space! It is essential that you are ready to get rid of a lot of ‘stuff’! You are moving on to a new chapter in your life. You have decided to downsize – now you have to bite the bullet and throw out everything that isn’t going to fit into your new space. Some of it is going to have emotional value to you – it doesn’t matter – you must remember that though it can be a bit painful, we open ourselves up to new experiences by saying goodbye to things that we have owned. Once you have decided what you are throwing away just let it go – it is going to provide you with lots of spaciousness – in more ways than one.
It is a really good idea to go and spend a few hours with a tape measure in the new property! Measure the walls and get a really good idea of the dimensions of your new home. If you already have a floor plan with dimensions – great – but actually measuring is going to enable you to work with precision and really get a feel for your new pad. Also, doing this means that when you get home you can check large items like wardrobes, tables and sofas to see if they will actually fit – this could save you a lot of time. If you find that there are items which will not fit you could decide to sell them or give them away to someone you know.
Take time to visit the new property to get a feel for what is going to fit where. Give yourself at least an hour amidst your busy schedule to calmly look around – allow ideas to come to you. With a bit of gentle persistence and patience, you will find that you quickly start to get an idea of what you can take with you – and what you can’t! This will work much better than trying to visualise from a busy home amidst boxes and boxes of possessions! Imagine the new home painted, in the colours you would like. Allow your creativity to flow – pretty soon you will have a good idea which ornaments will fit onto the mantel piece and whether the nest of tables will fit in or not!
As well as this, it is a good idea to look at spaces such as the loft/attic and kitchen cupboards – this will help you see just what are working with.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
There are lots of unforeseen things which can come up so it is really important that you start measuring and packing well ahead of your planned removals date. A good amount of suggested time would be two months beforehand. This way you will no shortage of time to arrange a removals company, carry out all the necessary packing and get rid of the items you are not keeping. Should things not go exactly to plan – you still have time to resort to Plan B (have you made a Plan B?!).
Have a House/Yard Sale
Here is another real upside to having to get rid of so much ‘stuff’ – you can make a little bit of cash along the way! Having a Yard Sale can be a really good way of doing this and can also double-up as a goodbye to all your dear neighbours that you are leaving behind! All you need to do is pick a sunny day and arrange all your items outside your house (or in the garden depending on your set-up). Put some prices on the items and a sign saying ‘For Sale’ and just wait for people to come along and buy! You could make it more sociable by offering some juice or lemonade to anyone who comes by.
Use Freecycle (www.freecycle.org)
What, you haven’t heard of it?! Freecycle is an amazing website which helps combat our urges to just throw things out! Part of the reason we don’t like throwing things out is that we feel our possessions are being lost. This is understandable. The great thing about Freecycle is that your possessions are being taken by like-minded people who’d rather recycle and not clutter up landfill sites. All you have to do is register online, upload a couple of pics of your goods, enter a little description and wait for people to come! Usually, it will take only a few minutes for people to bombard you with emails or phone calls asking if your items are still available! Whilst you may be tempted to lament giving your items away free you will be really happy to know that it is always the new owner who has to collect. Thus we recycle our stuff without having to drive it to the tip and we help save the universe (a bit) at the same time! Yeah! Sound good?
Get it on Ebay!
Another great way to help make the scaling-down process a bit easier! Ebay is available internationally and there are sure to be huge numbers of potential buyers in your area. As long as you have access to a computer (or a mobile phone with an Ebay app) you can use this great online shopping platform to sell your goods – for free!
Ebay has a huge following and you just need to put in your details to open an account then just add pics and description and you’re ready to go! This option is better if you want to make a few extra pounds rather than just giving your possessions away.
Organise A Removals Company
It is really important to engage the services of a reputable removals company. There is usually a really wide range of local companies to choose from. Look for one with a good reputation who will carry out the work for a fair and reasonable price. Maybe you have got a referral from a friend who has had a good experience with a particular removals company? Please feel free to check our Customer Reviews via our website if you would like to see our recommendations.
Don’t leave it too late to organise a company to do the removal job – it is better for you if you have as much time to plan as possible.
Make Necessary Plans and Notify Relevant Authorities
As with any move you will need to notify all relevant authorities and organisations of your move. These could include – post office (if you want your mail redirected), banks, utility companies, insurance companies and employer as well as all official agencies such as HMRC and your local council. Perhaps most importantly – DVLA so that all your driver and vehicle-related documents can be updated as it’s possible to get a hefty fine if these details aren’t changed over!
Think About How You’re Going to Settle in to Your New Neighbourhood
It’s a great idea to remind yourself that you’re embarking on a new adventure! Give yourself time to plan some fun activities for when you get to your new abode. Such activities could include putting a day aside every couple of weeks to go and explore some of the local attractions such as museums, parks, gardens and other places of interest. You could also make a really great first impression by introducing yourself to your new neighbours via a house-warming party or at least going out of your way to be really friendly to everyone new you meet. Remember to enjoy – be warm and friendly and people are bound to feel inclined to be neighbourly – this will make the world of difference in helping you to settle in!
Please see our last months blog – ‘10 Ways to Feel at home in Your New Neighbourhood!‘