Get or­ga­nized

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES -

Start with a list. From most ur­gent to least, list all of the tasks that need to be done. I’ll start with a sce­nario that re­quires the sale of a cur­rent home. You need to find a re­al­tor, get the home eval­u­ated and pre­pare it for view­ing. If you’re fac­ing a time crunch you may want to give your home a quick facelift with the help of a home stager and/or pro­fes­sional or­ga­nizer.

Su­san Ma­caulay, pro­fes­sional or­ga­nizer and home stager from Clar­ity over Clut­ter, rec­om­mends you sort items one room at a time to help keep you fo­cused. Un­der­stand­ing what the new liv­ing space has for stor­age and the size of the rooms is im­por­tant to con­sider when pre­par­ing to move. She also says re­tain­ing items be­cause of emo­tional at­tach­ment can cause a road­block. She sug­gests you take a pho­to­graph of the cher­ished item(s) as your keep­sake. Large col­lec­tions should be pared down to one or two cher­ished items. Most of all, al­low time for mental tran­si­tion. www.clar­i­ty­over­clut­ter.com.

You may have to sell some items that don’t fit into your new life­style. Don’t lose out by sell­ing them for less than what they’re worth just be­cause you are in a time crunch. Again, find a pro­fes­sional who can help you ap­praise and sell your finer items. If you’ve amassed a col­lec­tion of an­tiques and/or col­lectibles some­one like Mike of Mike’s Gen­eral Store, who has been in our city for 30 years, can ap­praise your trea­sures. Ev­ery­day items you don’t need can be sold at one huge garage sale, do­nated to char­ity or given to fam­ily and friends. Many char­i­ties will even pick up your un­wanted items, which can save you time. www.mikesgen­er­al­store.com

Once you’ve got a han­dle on which items you want to keep, you can store them at a pub­lic stor­age fa­cil­ity and set your fo­cus on your No. 1 task which is find­ing a new house/condo/apart­ment etc. Your re­al­tor can help with this part of your tran­si­tion as well. Bring a fam­ily mem­ber or a friend with you to the view­ing to give a sec­ond opin­ion.

Once you’ve found your new home you’ll want to per­son­al­ize it. Think about what you want as an in­di­vid­ual. This may be dif­fi­cult if you’re com­ing from a mul­ti­ple-oc­cu­pant home. This is your time to shine and come into your own. Hire a pro­fes­sional to help with colours, floor plans and over­all de­sign of your new home.

Sharon Hill (not her real name) made a life­style change when she reached 60. To liq­ui­date her as­sets for re­tire­ment she sold her large fam­ily home and all of her un­wanted stuff and moved into a condo.

She had hired a dec­o­rat­ing con­sul­tant and had all of the paint­ing and new floor­ing com­pleted prior to mov­ing in. Her new home abounds with rich colour and con­tem­po­rary fur­ni­ture and re­flects her per­sonal style.

“My condo turned out to be be­yond my ex­pec­ta­tions... I love the way ev­ery­thing turned out, and peo­ple are amazed as to how all the colours (all eight of them) com­ple­ment each other in a rel­a­tively small space” she says.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. When the dust set­tles, you’ll be glad you did.

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