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.