Are you ready to downsize? Know someone who is? A well organized move can make the difference between chaos or a peaceful transition.
There are ways to plan for a stress-free move. Follow our Downsizing Checklist to start on the right path:
1. Start the discussion early: For some, the decision to move may not be a welcome idea. Plant the seed early to start discussing the benefits of downsizing.
2. Determine what isn’t moving:Next is the time to do some space planning and decide what you don’t want to move. Decisions can be made to sort into the following categories:
- Pass to family/friends
3. Contact a Realtor: Ask for referrals, find someone you enjoy working with!
4. Declutter and stage: Time to get the house ready for sale. Consider decluttering and staging if your home needs an update.
5. Book moving company:Make plans for truck rental, moving assistance, or hire a moving company.
6. Packing:Purchase packing supplies, enlist the help of family and friends, or hire a Professional Organizer to get the job done quickly.
7. Update address:Be sure to notify utility companies, services and personal contacts.
8. Moving day:Assign one person to be in charge of all questions of what is going where.
9. Unpacking: Make the transition as smooth as possible by unpacking right away.
If you are stuck or require assistance anywhere along the way, call a Professional Organizer – we are here to help!
Successful packing for a trip is a very useful skill. Vacations are not daily life – so we don’t need to bring all our everyday life items with us.
Many airlines are now charging extra fees to have luggage checked, so for cost effective purposes – PLAN carefully. If you do, you may be able to fit a week’s worth into a carry-on suitcase – provided it’s for a sunny and warm destination.
When it comes to packing your bags, a light touch is what you need. Use your weather app before your trip to get a better sense of what to expect.
· Lay out your clothes ahead of time; select carefully.
· Stick with one or two colours that coordinate and are versatile.
· Layer the outfits, so you can peel off and on according to the temperatures.
· Choose clothing you can wear on more than one occasion.
· Roll clothing items to save space and provide greater visibility if you are going to be living out of the suitcase for a while.
· Use space-saving bags, packing cubes or transparent kitchen-storage bags. These are useful if you are going to be making several stops, because it keeps like items together and eliminates random packing.
· Leave space in your suitcase if you think you are going to shop.
· Pack shoes last, soles up. Fill them with small crushable items such as hosiery or socks.
Loss or Theft
· Be prepared for lost luggage: carry a change of clothing and must-have medications, and possibly jewelry on the airplane with you.
· Buy luggage that – if lost- is easy to describe or identify.
· Consider a second copy of passports, important ID and credit cards in luggage or on your smart phone as back up.
· Once you’ve selected the items to pack, take photos of them. To make an insurance claim, you may need to remember everything that was in the lost suitcase. The photos may be useful for the next trip as well in planning what you took.
Sometimes the most stressful part of travelling is everything leading up to the trip – and let’s face it, it can take the fun out of the trip before it even starts. Use these tips to reduce the stress before you leave, while you are travelling and when you return!
1. Check the weather forecast at your destination – even if travelling to a warm country – for ideas on what to pack. Build your travel wardrobe around one basic color (black, navy or brown) to expand wardrobe options and limit luggage. If you plan on driving and it calls for snow, try to leave room in your schedule so that you can take off earlier to avoid the storm. If travelling through snow is necessary, pack an emergency kit, a shovel and some gravel in case you get stuck.
2. Use travel sized toiletry items to save space. Fill them only three-quarters full to save on extra weight charges if travelling by air. Place in zipper freezer bags to avoid leakage. If you have the time, purchase these items once you arrive at your destination. If your suitcase is full and you want to squeeze a few more items in, drop the bag on the floor a few times to make everything settle and create more space.
3. Use plastic dry cleaner bags or tissue around clothing to reduce wrinkles. Another method is to place two items of clothing together flat and fold them around each other. Try not to fold clothing any more than it needs to be to fit in the suitcase. Some may even iron everything before placing it in the suitcase. If it goes in crisp and clean, odds are more in its favour of coming out the same.
4. Pack snacks and bottled water for yourself and the kids. Fill a cooler if you’re on the road. This eliminates unnecessary stopping and can be much cheaper. Eating in the car can be hard for kids to manage, so use a shoe box as a tray to hold a sandwich, a drink or fries and keep from spilling.
5. Pack an extra bag for items you buy or receive on your trip. This especially applies during the holidays. If time permits, wait to wrap presents you will be giving until after you arrive at your destination. This saves on space and you don’t have to worry about damaging your pretty wrapping paper.
6. Take care of home before you leave. You will be returning at some point, so tidy your house before you leave. The thought of returning to a messy house can put a damper on your vacation. Try not to let too many people know you are going away and set several lamps on timers to switch on/off at various times so it appears as if you are home. Have a neighbour pick up your mail – or stop service – and take out the garbage bin on garbage day.
You can’t do everything, so if everything is not perfect before you leave, try not to let it bother you. Once you have left your house there is nothing you can do about it, so wait and take care of it when you get back – you might as well enjoy your trip!
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© 2010 Colette Robicheau
The Organizing Coach
Phone: (902) 233-1577 Fax: (902) 455-0553
Permission to reuse or redistribute these materials is hereby granted provided they are reproduced or redistributed in their entirety with full attribution.