Your parents are downsizing. They’re moving out of your family home and into a much smaller condo or senior’s home. What are they going to do with all their stuff?
Many people underestimate how much stuff they have until they are forced to downsize and get rid of it.
Here are 7 important tips to get the best result from your downsizing process.
1. Catalogue Storage Space in Your New Home.
Take pictures and measure out all the storage space in your new home. This includes kitchen cupboards and closets, as well as the pantry, den and living room.
2. How Many Walls Will You Have?
New buildings, especially in Vancouver and North Vancouver, are often built with many large windows to allow for abundant natural lighting and scenic views. While this is a nice feature, it can mean that you may have less wall space to hang pictures and place bookcases. Count, measure, and take pictures of the walls in the new space. Don’t just downsize, right size.
3. Mark with Tape
Now that you have pictures and measurements of the storage space in your new home you can begin the downsizing process. Using green painters tape, mark the amount of storage space available in your new home on your existing storage space (See Below). For example: if your new home has 8 kitchen cupboards, 4 kitchen drawers, 2 closets and a smaller pantry, section off that amount of space in your current home.
Fill up the marked space with items that you would like to keep and play around with different configurations. Not only will this help you visualize life in your new home, it will force you to carefully go through all of your possessions.
4. Art and Picture Frames
Repeat the taping process on your walls. Section off a portion of your wall space to mimic the amount of space in your new home. Then play around with your picture frames, book cases and other items to find the right configuration and determine what to keep and what needs to go.
Determine which pieces will join you in your new home. Keep in mind that certain pieces are more functional than others. For example: taking a piece such as a china cabinet or bookshelf will also allow you to take all of its contents. Filling furniture with items before you move will allow you to play around with the organization of your possessions.
Moving and downsizing can be an overwhelming process. The best way to deal with it is to assign specific tasks to specific people. The best way to get help from friends and family is to give them specific tasks you know they can fulfill as opposed to simply asking them for help.
For example, ask a computer savvy grandkid to scan family photos and upload them to a digital picture frame, ask your brother with the pick up truck to give you a hand bringing those rusty lawn chairs to the dump or ask your accountant friend to sort files and papers.
7. The Giveaway Party
When everything is finally sorted, schedule a VIP giveaway party. Designate particular items to friends and family with sticky notes, then invite them to a small party where they can collect or decline the items. Giveaway parties are also a great way to say goodbye to your old place.
Anything that your friends and family don’t take can be either recycled or donated. Vancouver has a number of charitable organizations and recycling facilities that are more than happy to take items that you no longer have any use for.
The Recycling BC Hotline provides information on donating and recycling your stuff. They can tell you where the closest recycling facilities are located and which charitable organizations will pick up donations directly from your door.
Call or visit them online: 604-732-9253 or http://rcbc.bc.ca/
Good luck rightsizing! Once you’ve sorted out all of your stuff, give us a call and we’ll have it packed, transported and unpacked in your new place in a few hours.