Moving to a smaller property with less room can be daunting at the best of times but with a few simple tips it can also be an exciting new chapter in life. The key is to think practical, be ruthless and above all be organised.
Start Early: Ideally give yourself three months to get organised, this will give you a chance to not only pack but also sell or get rid of unwanted items. Firstly go round your house and make a list of items that you can’t live without. Ask yourself “Have you used it in the last year” “Where will they fit into your new property?” If you’re moving to a flat do you need that lawn mower! If you’re moving from a three-bed property to a one bed flat, get rid of the extra beds, mattresses and linens.
Packing: Don’t try and do everything in one go or you will become overwhelmed. Buy good quality packing boxes and start decluttering in one room at a time. Go through each cupboard and shelf and place items in three separate boxes: Labelled: Keep, Family, Charity. Clearly label so there is no mix up especially if using a removal company to move.
Sorting: Now is the time to give grown children’s their keepsakes old sports trophies, school artwork, reports or anything they have in storage boxes with you. But don't go overboard purging all items to take, keep some collectables and sentimental items to feel like home in your new property. Now is also a great time to sort through old photos and place in albums or frames. If you place them in albums don’t forget to write on the back or in the book who they are of, ideally with a rough date.
Paperwork: Get your filing in order. Any very old paperwork can be shredded (ideally over 7 years old) Old utility statements, statement, irrelevant correspondence. Always use a cross shredder never just throw away in the bin. Collect important papers in one file: passports, birth certificate, wills, powers of attorney, medical records etc. Now is also a good time to check that they are up to date.
Create lists: Make lists of everything you need to do, who to contact and by when.
Get Organised: Ideally get a removal company to move you. www.quotes4moving.co.uk offer a free no obligation form which gets upto 6 removal companies to quote directly. Please see our F.A.Q on what to expect, questions to ask etc but above all always get a written contract. A good company is worth their weight in gold.
Ask for help: Ask friends and family to help with organising, packing or even just trips to the tip. If you don’t have anyone around who to help then there are moving house planners in some areas.
What to do with unwanted items?
Three options: Sell, donate or Recycle
Selling is a great way to raise some funds which could help towards moving costs. If you can ask family or friends to help out with a car boot sale this is a quick way selling items. However do your research on which are the best car boot sales around as they can vary considerable. Online websites are also good i.e. Ebay, Gumtree. Even Facebook have local selling groups you can add items to and buyers collect. However always make sure you have a neighbour or friend round if they do want to collect. Auction houses can be a good option for high value items but check there commission fees and rules if they don’t sell an item.
If you do not want the hassle of selling then most charities will take donations. Some will collect if you have larger items i.e. British Heart Fountain who offers a free online booking system: https://www.bhf.org.uk/shop/donating-goods/book-a-free-furniture-collection.
If charities cannot take items and friends and family don’t want them then call your local council and ask where your local tip is and if there are any restrictions.
Remember: Small steps at a time; be patient with yourself. Moving house can be hard especially after years spent in the family house.