Monday, August 29, 2011

Moving to a Smaller Home

Moving on Monday

One of the biggest challenges when moving occurs when your new home is smaller than your current home. Or, you are combining two fully-furnished homes into one. The reality is, not everything will fit into the new home. So you must decide which items you are keeping, and those you aren't.

The best time to decide this is BEFORE you move. Why pay the movers to move furniture you won't be keeping? But how do you decide what to keep, and what to get rid of?

First, take inventory of what you own. Indicate which items you definitely need, such as a bed and dresser for each family member, and a set of dishes for everyday use. After deciding what you need, mark off those things you would like to bring to the new home if it fits--your preferred items. You'll see what's left on your list are things that you can probably do without. For example, you need a dresser for each room, and would like to bring your grandmother's antique chest to hold linens in the master bedroom. But that old dresser from college really isn't needed by anyone, and is in pretty bad shape, anyway.

Next, make a rough floor plan of your new home. Go back to the house and take photos, if necessary. You'll want to know where doors, windows, outlets and air vents are. Draw in the furniture that will fit into each room. If you have more than one sofa that can be considered for the family room, measure the space, then measure the sofas. Which would fit best, along with tables and a comfy chair? If both are similar in size, which do you like better? Which is newer? Which will wear better over time with your family? For example, the leather sofa is comfy and would look great with the stone fireplace. But will it really be best for small children and two dogs in a combined household?

After placing your "necessary" and "preferred" items into the floor plan, see if there will still be room in the house for any of your other items. Consider closets, pantry, basement, garage and attic. That's not to say you should feel the need to fill every available space. But if there are items that would be nice to keep and you have room, then by all means, keep them.

Whatever doesn't fit into the home can be given to friends and relatives, or donated. You pay the movers by the pound/hour. Don't pay them to move things you can't put in the new home.

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