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Blog: The Simplified Home
Ten Steps to Organizing a Downsizing Move

It's true that our sluggish economy is keeping many people in their current home who desire to downsize to smaller quarters, because they fear not being able to sell their home. There is actually so much you can do during this economic downturn to prepare for the downsizing move, so when the economy begins to recover, you're ready to take action. A downsizing move requires a different mindset than likely any other move you've experienced. The concept for a downsizing move is to determine how little you need to live a  more simplified life. Here are steps you can take now to prepare for a future move:
Moving requires a great deal of organization details and logistical coordination to happen smoothly. Establish a move binder to hold all checklists, a journal to record details of phone calls, deadlines, measurements, decisions to make, and much much more.  We just moved during the holidays and I found a great move organizer called the Moving.Kit by Buttoned Up.  This was my 'go-to' place for all details regarding the move. The Moving.Kit includes six sections to help you to move smoothly through the move process and lots of checklist for tracking your progress, like change of address forms, delegation lists, stickers for important boxes, a move time-line and more.
Sorting through possessions can be overwhelming, but is a necessity to accomplish a downsizing move. Pick one area to start with: the bedroom closet; the kitchen cabinets; your files. An hour or two a day is enough time to spend. The important thing is to begin.
Starting early allows you to find the right home for items that are not going with you. Now is the time to give the books to the library for their book sale; to find out whether or not your daughter wants grandma's china; to see if the consignment shop will take the silver. There are many different ways to dispose of your items: antique dealers, consignment shops, yard sales, non-profits, etc. Each resource has its' own guidelines. Don't assume for example, that the local Goodwill wants your old exercise equipment (they don't). Call and check.
As soon as you know where you are going, make a floor plan. Cut out templates and arrange them on your floor plan. This will allow you to visualize where your furniture will fit and prevent you from taking too many pieces with you.
About a month before your move, take stock of paper products, canned goods and items in your freezer. Begin using up as much as possible. If you have too many items, consider donating them to the local food pantry.
Make a list of everyone who needs to know about your move: post office; utilities and other services; creditors and everyone you do business with, friends, relatives, on-line services, neighbors and organizations for which you belong.
Several days ahead of time, set aside items that you will need the day of the move in a spot you have reserved. Items you might wish to include are: an overnight bag packed with a change of clothes and personal items (toiletries, medications); important papers; sheets and towels; basic tools (screw driver, hammer, flashlight); cleaning supplies (sponges, paper towels, cleanser); kitchen needs (snacks and drinks, disposable plates and cups, folding chair). Also include whatever form of payment the moving company requests. Most moving companies will not accept a personal check.
Plan to have something cold for the crew to drink. They will appreciate it and will often take better care of you throughout the move process.
After helping my grandparents coordinate a downsizing move twice in a five year period, then dispursing my grandmother's estate after her death, I felt a passion for helping the senior population through this transition. I incorporated into my Organizing services helping to coordinate downsizing moves in my local community (Indianapolis). I joined a wonderful national organization that lists its members - Senior Move Managers like me, throughout the country.  The organization is the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) and can be found on-line at:http://www.nasmm.org/.  By visiting the NASMM website, you can find a Senior Move Manager that services your area.
It goes without saying ~ moving is a difficult time for everyone at any age. It is hard to leave a home you have lived in for many years with all its' memories. Moving is a transition and all transitions contain an element of loss. You are saying goodbye to part of your life. Expect to feel some grief along with your excitement and anxiety.

posted on: 2/9/2009 10:00:00 AM by Janet Nusbaum, The Organizing Genie
category: Homes

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The Simplified Home

by Janet Nusbaum, The Organizing Genie

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About Janet:

Janet Nusbaum creates calm out of chaos, and loves bringing serenity and order to overwhelmed households, cluttered offices, frazzled parents, and transitioning seniors and families. Janet, President of Simplified Spaces & The Simplified Home, is an Organizing Consultant, Senior Move Manager, Author and Speaker.

She is the author of "Mom, Can I Help Around the House?" A Simple, Step-by-Step System for Teaching Your Children Life-Long Skills for Pitching-In & Picking-up".

She is a proud member: National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) & National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD)

Visit our blog - www.TheOrganizingGenie.com, and sign-up to receive our special report "SHELF LIFE OF 75 COMMON HOUSEHOLD ITEMS. Use this report to decide what to keep and what to toss ... then TAKE ACTION!!

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