It’s 7am. You’re surrounded by a sea of over-stuffed boxes, the fridge is brimming with soon-to-expire perishables and the dog is causing havoc in the laundry room.
There’s no way around it, moving home causes stress and strain for every family. If moving day is on the horizon, getting a head start on your preparations will help set you up for a smooth and successful moving experience.
1. Assess your current situation
Have you been in your home for many decades? Is the attic overflowing with mementoes and the garage packed with skis, bikes and forgotten gym equipment? Consider the size and scale of your home well ahead of moving day, assessing how many rooms and belongings you’ll need to pack away beforehand.
2. Set a realistic moving house budget
Although one of the most overlooked steps when preparing for moving day, setting a clear budget will help you keep tabs of the big and small expenditures that will arise when preparing to move home.
Sit down and create a spreadsheet that accounts for expenses such as an experienced removalist, packaging supplies (boxes, bubblewrap, tape etc.), moving insurance, and extra rental equipment (such as trollies and loading ramps).
3. Request time off for moving day
Once you’ve locked in a moving date with the removalists, make sure to request leave with your employer to ensure you’ll have full availability for the big day (as well as a few extra days off to unpack and settle into your new home).
4. Create an achievable checklist
With so many things to keep track of, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed in the lead-up to moving day. Write out a list of every task you’ll need to complete with clear deadlines to understand what your top priorities are each week, allowing extra time in case of unexpected delays.
5. Declutter every room
In the words of Marie Kondo, ‘does the item spark joy?’ Simplify the moving process by decluttering every room of your home, selling or donating unwanted items to friends, or putting things in to a safe, secure, storage facility. A good home packing company can also help you declutter as they are packing up and sorting your goods into boxes.
6. Source suitable packing boxes
Consider the shape and weight of each item you’re packing and select a sturdy, well-sized box to pack your belongings. Avoid overstuffing boxes as this can cause breakages and accidents during moving day.
7. Keep things systematic
Think ahead and ensure you pack similar items into the same box, organising items by room to make the unpacking process seamless and straightforward.
8. Label your packing boxes
Once you’ve sealed each box, chances are you’ll have a hard time deciphering the contents! Save time by clearly labeling each box as you go, allowing you to easily place boxes into their appropriate room upon arrival in your new home.
9. Arrange day care for the children
Keep the little ones entertained and away from the chaos of moving day by arranging day care or play dates well in advance. If you have furry friends in your family, ask friends or family to take them off your hands for the day to streamline the moving experience.
10. Hire a professional removals company
Investing in a trained and professional removalist will ensure your belongings arrive safely in your new home, saving you time, stress and money. A removalist will take extra measures to ensure your items are packed and transported safely as they’re trained to pack, transport and deliver your items efficiently to make moving day a breeze.
Spark Your Life
You may have heard the words “spark joy” tossed around at parties, or maybe you saw it sprinkled within the copy of your favorite lifestyle publication. The term “spark joy” refers to the minimalist ideas expressed by organizational expert and author Marie Kondo in her best-selling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” In her book, Kondo explains how she instructs her clients to only keep items in their house that they find useful or beautiful―the things that “spark joy.”
Since its publication in 2011, Kondo’s book has taken the world by storm. People all over are decluttering and getting rid of things around the house in an attempt to live a tidier and less stressful life. While in the past Americans have associated having more—the bigger house, multiple cars, a wardrobe big enough for a small village—with success, nowadays some of us accept the fact that when we own less stuff, we are happier.
Seniors in particular can benefit from downsizing. Once the kids are out of the house, there typically is little need for as much space and stuff. Over the years, we accumulate a lot of belongings we don’t need, as well. Committing to downsizing in your senior years can help cut down on costs and home maintenance so you can spend this time traveling, relaxing, or doing whatever it is you always dreamed of doing.
If you are interested in downsizing to help decrease stress and increase happiness in your senior years, use the following advice on organizing and executing your efforts.
Start With the Easy Stuff
It can be difficult to get rid of the items connected to emotions and memories. A good way to ease into it is to start by getting rid of things that are not so sentimental. Kondo recommends you declutter by working room-by-room from the most communal areas to your more intimate and personal spaces. Remember that you are only keeping the things that truly spark joy in your heart. Just because an item is connected to a memory or is little used, doesn’t mean you should keep it. Instead, hold the item in your hands and thank it for serving its purpose. This can make it easier to let go and move on to the next item as you declutter.
Label and Organize Your Boxes and Bags
Whenever you are boxing or bagging items to get rid of, be sure and label each one clearly with what it contains. Knowing what each box or bag contains can help with lingering “what if” feelings and keep you from digging back through them in search of something you’ve decided to keep. Once you’ve thanked an item for its service and dismissed it, it is best to let it go and avoid touching it again so you aren’t confronted with feelings of uncertainty and doubt.
Hire a Professional
Depending on the amount of stuff you actually have, decluttering, organizing, and downsizing might be too big a job for you to handle all on your own. Fortunately, there are professionals available that can help you overcome a mountain of stuff and keep you on track. They can be pretty affordable – full-service storage providers like MyPorter can storage the things you don’t want to get rid of.
Downsizing your belongings helps contribute to a happier and healthier lifestyle. Seniors in particular are in more need of—and can benefit most from—downsizing. To help make the process easier, start with areas that are more communal and work toward rooms that contain more personal and sentimental items. Clearly label bags and boxes containing items that you intend to get rid of or store, and hire a professional if the job is simply too big to complete on your own.