It’s not just about the move

Wow! When I started going over my information on downsizing, moving and setting up a new residence, I realized there is a lot more people need to know to get started. There are some folks out there who can help you declutter and get the move started for you. But what about all the areas from finding a new residence, to paring down, to getting rid of things to making your new residence your new home?? I will be offering some more information on this very shortly!

Downsizing help is on the way!

The more I talk to people about my downsizing business, the more I realize how much help people need. I enjoy what I do and I know that people are so happy to have a big burden off their shoulders when they are getting ready to move. There are so many “moving parts” from deciding where to move, what to move and how to move into the new space. I’ll be back with more helpful hints. In the meantime, if you think this might be a career for you, e-mail me about an upcoming course I’ll be offering-www.designs4u@hotmail.com.

Why you need a plan for moving

It’s a big step going from a large family home to a smaller “made for two” home. Don’t wait until the last minute to start cleaning out. In your closet when trying on something that doesn’t fit or doesn’t look just right-put it in a “to donate bag”. In your kitchen when looking for a particular pot-don’t just move around things you never use anymore-put them in a box to sell at a garage sale. In your home office when looking for some paperwork-start shredding those old bills. Taking small steps makes the job seem less overwhelming.

Working with a designer:

Working with a designer:
Have a vision as to how you want your space to look; use of room, color, style, etc.
Be realistic about the time frame in which you would like your project completed.
Be flexible about your selections. If you choose something that you love which is above your budget, consider waiting to make the purchase.
Choose a designer, not only by their previous projects, but also how comfortable you feel with him or her during the interview. Listen to “your gut”.
As uncomfortable as it is, you must discuss the budget. You’ll be wasting your time and the designer’s time by not being honest about this aspect.

Downsizing your parents:

I’ve help many older clients downsize their home to move into an Independent Living Facility. Some have “children” that help, some don’t have children and some have “children” that just don’t care to help. It is sad, but true. If you do decide to help your parents here are a few tips:
1. Listen to what they are saying-certain items have sentimental meaning for them. If they have too many that won’t fit into the new residence, help them decide which ones are most important and let them take their time deciding.
2. Let them make most of the decisions, but be there to guide them if you feel they need a little direction. Remember, they may be losing much of their independence and it is a very difficult and overwhelming time.
3. If you can be there on the day of the move-be positive!! Great apartment; people are so friendly; lunch in the dining room was great! NOT-this place is so much smaller that your home; you had such nice neighbors before; guess you’ll have to continue to cook if you want a decent meal!

Independent Living Downsizing

In working with those who are downsizing to an independent living facility, I found that not only is it overwhelming, but in some ways sad. They are leaving a home that they thought would be their last, they must get rid of many, many items that won’t fit into the new residence and they have to get used to a new way of living. To give them something to look forward to:
1. Have family photos arranged on the wall in a similar manner that they are now displayed.
2. Offer to shop with them for new window treatments and/or bedding ensembles.
3. Help them find a “loving home” for those collectibles that cannot be moved with them.

Tips for packing and moving

1. Try using clothing to wrap plates and bowls. Socks are best used to wrap glasses and mugs.
2. Instead of stacking dishes inside a box, like one would automatically do, place them vertically like records. This saves space and further prevents your dishes from breaking.
3. Color coding your boxes when packing can help you remember exactly which room they are going to in your new home and you will save of time by not searching for the writing on the box!

Downsizing Decisions

In working with those who are downsizing to an independent living facility, I found that not only is it overwhelming, but in some ways sad. They are leaving a home that they thought would be their last, they must get rid of many, many items that won’t fit into the new residence and they have to get used to a new way of living. To give them something to look forward to:
1. Have family photos arranged on the wall in a similar manner that they are now displayed.
2. Offer to shop with them for new window treatments and/or bedding ensembles.
3. Help them find a “loving home” for those collectibles that cannot be moved with them.

Colors

If you can’t decide on a color for your new family room, try looking in your closet. You will see that many times you choose the same color over and over again. If that color doesn’t seem appropriate for that room (like hot pink!), use that color for an accent wall, throw pillows or matting for photos. If you use a basic neutral and add that pop of color use it in at least 3 areas.

Spray paint-colors, metallics, etc. can inexpensively update lighting fixtures. I’ve had two wall mounted fixtures that have been updated that way and been moved from a living room to a family room to a bathroom!

For paints that have fewer toxic fumes and less taxing on the environment use the ones with VOC levels below 150 grams per liter.

Boomers: Does it have to be gated and age restricted?

As I read an article in one of my trade journals, I agreed with many of the statements about “Boomers”; 1. They are downsizing to smaller, more manageable spaces; 2. They need furniture that will make it easier to rise from; 3. They mix and match furniture they want to keep with new pieces they want to incorporate. As a designer I have been working with older clients who do need to move into adult communities and Assisted living facilities. So yes, I have been doing the floor plans and working with them on lighting, color, etc.. What I don’t agree with is that Boomers downsizing to an adult community is the solution. Where is it written that we need to be “inside gates”! Why not a mixed community where children are living and going to school? That gives the possibility of families living near enough so grandchildren can ride their bikes to their grandparents’ home. It eliminates the problem of the community pool only being available to visiting grandchildren at certain times. It also doesn’t make me feel like I am just waiting for the “inevitable” to happen!