Estate Property Services
Downsizing can be overwhelming!

4 Tips for Downsizing to Help you along the process.

The very thought of packing up a lifetime of memories can be so overwhelming that we become paralyzed and choose to “stay right where we are” even though we know, in our hearts, that it’s time to simplify our lives.

A few simple steps will help reduce your anxiety and make downsizing to your new home easier. You can turn what appears to be an insurmountable challenge into a manageable project and reduce the stress and worry of starting this new, exciting phase of your life.

STEP #1: What will you take with you?

Before the move, make a list and take the measurements of the furnishings and other items you want to take with you. Visit your new home, taking along a tape measure and a roll of painters tape. Measure and block out the outline of these items on the floor using the painters tape. This will help you visualize how your belongings will fit in the new space. You will make better decisions about the items you should and should not move.

Remember the phrase LESS IS MORE! Downsizing means that you are moving to a smaller space, so ask yourself these questions:


If you can’t answer “yes” to these questions, the item should not be moved to your new home.

If you are unsure about an item, consider the following:

Ask a loved one or trusted friend to store it for you.
Gift the item to someone who will value and appreciate it.

STEP #2: Movers!!!

Always use a recognized mover! Ask a friend who has recently moved for a reference. Call the Better Business Bureau. Remember that you are entrusting the mover with a lifetime of treasures. You want your belongings to be handled by professionals and insured to destination.

Try to move mid-week. Movers ultimately rely on part time help to get through the busy weekends. By moving mid-week, you will have the advantage of a full time, experienced crew who will provide you with a more efficient move.

Try not to move at month end. You pay a higher hourly rate for a month end move and are likely to get a less experienced crew. Your move will be less efficient and will cost more!

Anything you pack yourself is not insured! Leave the packing of all breakables and other valuables to the mover’s crew.

Keep the mover until you have all of the essentials unpacked. Be sure that your bathroom is set up, your bed is assembled and made, and the kitchen is in working condition for breakfast the following morning.

Finally, remember to give each member of the crew a gratuity if you are pleased with their work!

STEP #3: Disposition of the balance of your property

As mentioned in Step #1, this is a good time to gift any item(s) that you know have special significance to a family member, cherished friend, or an organization (e.g. museum). Gifts to some organizations may be eligible for a tax receipt as a charitable donation.

You may want to sell some valuable items. Contact a certified appraiser to help you chose the right option for the various items you wish to sell. The options include:

Sell on consignment. Some auctions houses will sell the items on consignment taking a commission on the selling price. The commissions will be in the range of 25% to 40%. They will also charge a fee for pick up of the items. Completing a commission contract can take up to six months or more, because you will not be paid until all of the items are sold.
Outright purchase. Some auction houses will agree to buy outright any items that you may wish to sell. This option is appealing to many because the deal is completed in short order and while you may come away with less cash in your pocket you will not have to wait for your money.

Other items can be donated to a charitable organization like your church, The Salvation Army, and many others. Contact the charitable organization of your choice to make arrangements for pickup of the items that are not saleable. Each charitable organization operates under different rules and regulations. Make certain that the items you wish to donate will be accepted.

Finally, contact a disposal company to take away the balance of your belongings. You have many options ranging from national disposal companies to the local “man with a truck”. Get an estimate before making a commitment to use a particular company.

Step #4 : Notification

Approximately 2-3 weeks prior to your move advise the following:

Submit a change of address form to the post office.
Arrange for disconnection/transfer of:

- Telephone service
- Hydro/Gas/Oil
- Cable/Internet services
Send change of address to:

- Banks/Credit Card Companies
- Insurance Companies
- Ministry of transportation
- Canada Customs and Revenue
- Clubs/Subscriptions


It’s always a good time to “de-clutter”! Whether you are downsizing or just trying to make life simpler, take the opportunity to:

Make a donation to your favorite charity whenever they call. Pack up unused and unwanted items from your storage locations (closets, cupboards, the attic, the garage, the storage shed, etc.). You’ll feel better for doing it!
Go into your bathroom vanity and discard any outdated prescription and over-the-counter drugs (pharmacies will dispose of any drugs that are past date). You will be safer for doing it!
Don’t keep makeup longer than six months. You’ll be safer for doing it!
Do you really need the curlers from that home Toni kit or the old hairdryer? You’ll be glad you got rid of it!
Shred old invoices, etc. Do not shred any legal documents or federal income tax information. If in doubt, ask your lawyer or accountant, or do not shred! Mobile shredding companies will come to your door if you have a large quantity of documents.
Deal head on with your boxes and boxes of family pictures. Spend time once a year to choose the pictures you want to keep. If you are downsizing, and not in an emotional state to make decisions, take the pictures with you to work on at a later date.


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