Moving offers a sense of excitement but the process can also be a source of stress, especially when it comes to downsizing. Moving into a smaller space does take some preparation and adjustment to make the change a positive one – here are a few tips and tricks that will help make your moving experience less stress, more enjoyable, and a whole lot easier:
Make a Plan on Paper
Downsizing to a smaller home typically means having to reconfigure where everything that is important to you will go. More than likely, you won't be able to fit everything currently in your home into your new place, so you'll need to plan the setup well in advance in preparation for packing, unpacking, and transporting your belongings
Get a floor plan of your new home from your leasing or real estate agent so you know how much space you're working with and the architectural specifics of each room in the home. Using a tape measure, you can determine what furniture will fit where, and how things will be set up once you move. This will drastically reduce the stress of dealing with a cluttered new home, and give you an opportunity to determine what you can and can't take with you.
Use a Half-and-Half Rule
You may find that there are things you want to keep, but aren't sure where you'll put them once you move. If this is the case, it's a good idea to develop a half-and-half rule. Do this by renting a self storage unit and separating your things into two sections – one for things that absolutely have to go to your new home, and one for things that may be able to fit into the home once you're moved in and organized.
You can then have your household moving company transport the questionable belongings to your storage unit, and move the rest of the stuff to your new place. This will give you an opportunity to take things out of storage as you find homes for them, and help determine whether or not you really want to keep everything in your storage unit after all.
Color Code Your Labels
Make unpacking easy on yourself by color coding your boxes. Collect a few different colors of packing tape, and invest in a thick permanent marker. Pack all of your boxes with similar items so you can tape them up with a different color for each type of box you have. For example kitchen items can be secured with yellow tape, and entertainment items, like DVDs and CD players, can be secured with blue tape.
Then, make a note with your permanent marker that will remind you of specific things that can be found on each box. Have your moving company unpack your boxes into different rooms or areas in your new home based on the colored tape on each one. This will make it really easy to quickly find things you need right away in your sea of boxes, and make it convenient to unpack everything because it's already waiting in the vicinity of where they go.
Earn Some Tax Deductions
You can reduce financial stress by earning some tax deductions for donating things you can't take with you to your new home. Furniture, household appliances, and even clothing in great shape can be donated to a qualified organization. With a written acknowledgement of acceptance from the organization, you are able to claim those donations for a reduction in your tax fees at the end of the year. This is a great way to get rid of things you no longer able to accommodate while benefiting your community and your wallet at the same time.
With these methods in place, you're sure to spend less time worrying about the details and more time planning new adventures and experiences in your new place!