Top tips when Downsizing your property.

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Our Top Ten tips – downsize and ‘de-stress’ your move!

1.       To End Happy, Start Early

Once you have made the decision, begin to implement it.  Begin by focusing your attention on places you might not use very often, such as roof space, cellar and those full up cupboards and wardrobes.  De-cluttering your home at this stage will likely pay dividends in terms of time and expenses later.
2.       Decluttering

Now you’ve decided to move home and downsize why not share the items you no longer need with others?  Gifting items now, in particular if you do so within Inheritance Tax timescales, can save your loved ones the taxable charge later as well, along with saving you moving costs.  Win win as they say.
3.       Preserve your memories.

Your memories are personal to you and your family, it’s important when considering downsizing that you capture these and ensure you can gain access to them in the future.  These may include photographs, videos, letters and whatever else you have used to capture them.  Think about how you can best keep these, whether online or in physical format.

As you prepare for your more ensure, whenever the opportunity arises, that you capture memories and keep them safe.  Perhaps creating a file or even just keeping them in a particular box will work, but whatever you choose you should ensure that you capture them as you go along and have a special storage place for them.  That way, once you have arrived at your new home, you can quickly sort them and arrange them however you choose.

We can arrange for a consultation with a life-storying company who can help you take all this information and put into a format that works for you, whether that be online storage on say You Tube or Google Drive say, or within a photo album.
4.       Books, magazines, periodicals

Books and magazines are heavy and take up a lot of room, downsizing will likely involve you having to sift through these and ensure that you only take those that are important to you.  Remember, these days, that there is a wealth of information available  instantly on the Internet, so ask yourself do I need to keep this copy or can I get it again in the future if I need to do so?  When was the last time you actually read or looked at that particular book, if over 1 year ago say (reasonable starting point), then do you need to keep it?  If not, then why not donate it to a charity shop, sell or swap it online or give it to someone else you know (for instance a grandchild) who may make better use of it.

Word of caution though.  Some books, comics and/or magazines can be very valuable and as such if you suspect they may be then you should ensure you have them properly appraised  before making a final decision.
5.       Use it don’t move it.

Preparation for your move or downsize should start some months beforehand and you should begin to wind down what you have in the property you are downsizing from.  For instance is that a freezer full of food, wine, etc..  If so check use by dates and plan to use up as much of this as you can before you move home.  If you don’t intend to use it up, then why not donate it?
6.       Recycle the toxins

Have you got a shed full of old paints, thinners, garden products or other potentially hazardous substances?  These may need to be disposed of in a safe manner and in some instances may not be transported with a special license to do so.  As such you should consider what you have and how you are able to dispose of it well in advance of your move. You can visit www.recyclenow.com  for more information on hazardous disposal /collection in your area.
7.       Keep in touch

You should ensure that you have put a mail redirect on your existing home in plenty of time to ensure that it is in place ASAP from when you move, remember you may not have access to the property again after that and you don’t want the new occupiers (whom you likely won’t know) having access to personal and/or sensitive information.  A mail redirect can be made by clicking this link CLICK HERE or by visiting the Royal Mail online or at your Post Office.

Keep a list of people to notify and ensure you do.
8.       Plan Ahead

Creating a floor plan, possibly using one created by the Estate Agent from whom you’re buying the new property (subject to their approval of course), can be a useful tool.  You can even add items, such as measurements for curtains, furnishings and plan where these will go.  Furthermore you can also plan the route where heavy items will pass into the new property and ensure that they fit.

Planning each room, possibly using a numbering system for each item and/or removals box, can help you save time and stress on the move day.  Simple give the plan to the removals guys and they can ensure that each numbered item is placed exactly where you want it in any particular location.
9.       Surviving the move

You should put together a ‘survival bag’ containing useful items you may need to access quickly, this might include personal items such as medications, glasses, toiletries, important papers such as passports driving licence etc, cleaning products for when you arrive at the property, some basic essentials such as milk, bread and an evening meal for instance and don’t forget your need to pay the removals company so having some funds available to do so and also emergency funds would be a sensible idea.

The survival bag should also include some basic tools such as a hammer, screwdriver, some spare lightbulbs and the like.
10.   Ask and ye shall receive.

Don’t forget moving is a stressful and potentially physically exhausting exercise. Have a word with friends and family to see if there is anybody who can come along with you on the day to make things that little bit easier. Consider how you will get items into the property in particular upstairs and ensure that you have some way to move these once you are in the property, for instance a sack/or some of form of lifting appliance would useful.

Finally remember to enjoy the experience as it’s not something that you do very often and getting off on the right foot can make it so much more enjoyable.

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