The real estate market is hotter than ever and, if you are one of the many taking advantage of the low interest rates and moving/downsizing is in your summer plans, then read on for tips to help make it less stressful.
- Make a list! In fact, make more than 1. I am often teased for my list making, but I have to admit they really do eliminate a lot of anxiety surrounding a big project or when a lot is swimming around in my head.
List #1 – Your current home. Starting from the front door and with a legal pad or new electronic document in hand, go room by room making lists for what needs to happen in each space. Important – break each task into the smallest of steps. “Clean out guest room” is not the way to go. Rather, go through top drawer of dresser. Clean out items under the bed. Etc, etc.
List #2 – The logistics. Researching movers. Hiring movers. Arranging necessary repairs. Turning off utilities. Changing address. Keep going, getting all of these tasks off your brain and on to paper.
List #3 – Your new home. Arrange walk throughs, meet with any professionals to update or repair. Take measurements. Order new furniture.
List #4 – Color coded box and inventory system. Pick one color sticker to put on the outside of each box delineating which room it corresponds to and make a list outlining the system. Under each color can be a list of numbered boxes listing the items in each box, noting which boxes need to be unpacked first.
2. Pull out a blank calendar or print one out from a calendaring website. Plan out when you will do each item on the respective to do lists, giving yourself more time than you think you will need. Many of your upcoming decisions are difficult and emotional. You do not want to end up making rushed decisions under stress.
3. Invest in the right moving materials – clean, sturdy boxes, lots and lots of tape, bubble wrap, Sharpies, color coded stickers to help mark which box goes in which room. Did I mention tape?
4. Create distinct spaces where donation bins and boxes can be stored as well as packed boxes. Be careful not to mix up the 2!
5. Take careful measurements of your new space to realistically assess what furniture pieces and quantity of items will fit. Even a similarly sized home with similar square footage can be a drastically different space.
6. Not sure where to take unneeded or unwanted items? Donation organizations everywhere are looking for donations. Try the Foster Care Support Foundation, refugee resettlement organizations, or women’s shelters, to name a few.
8. For those who need to downsize a considerable amount, plan on doing a few rounds of purging. Conduct an initial sweep one room at a time and purge the obvious, perhaps making “maybe” piles. Go back through again or revisit the “maybe’s”. Still have too much? Then have a 3rd party help purge further.
9. For sentimental items, take pictures. Memories often do not live in the actual object. Create a keepsake file for the pictures which you can easily access for trips down memory lane.
10. Lastly, enlist help! This step is crucial as no move can be done alone. All hands need to be on deck whether it be family members, friends, or professional organizers.
Hopefully, these moving tips will take out some of the stress. Remember – be kind to yourself and know this is a very physically and mentally tiring process. Pace yourself, get plenty of rest and know that there is a lovely new home waiting for you on the other side.