How to Downsize Your Home When Moving: 10 Downsizing Steps

How to Downsize Your Home When Moving: 10 Downsizing Steps

Have you considered downsizing your home? A moving company in Cape Town explains why you should – and how you can make it happen.

Times are tough economically and it makes sense to cut back and tighten up in all areas of our lives. If you are planning to move house, now might be the time to downsize your home. In so doing, you can reduce almost all your living costs – rent/ bond repayments, utilities and other regular expenses. However, moving into a limited space will require a lot of preparation. Follow these ten steps to prepare yourself and your household for smaller living space.

1. Understand the benefits

While there may be some drawbacks to downsizing, there are several benefits that are difficult to ignore: by moving to a smaller home and simplifying your household, you can save money, lower your utility bills and other living costs, and give yourself more free time because you will have to spend fewer hours on maintenance and cleaning.

2. Make sure the time is right

Even with all these benefits, it may not be the right time to downsize. You should move to a smaller property only under the following circumstances:

  • Your income doesn’t cover all your current costs
  • You are retired or about to retire and want your pension to stretch further
  • Your current home is simply too big for your needs – perhaps after your children have all moved out
  • You need more free time but are preoccupied with the upkeep of your house

3. Use a moving checklist to manage your time

Before you get started with any move – especially one where you have to shed some of your belongings and lifestyle habits to fit into a smaller home – you should start early and make a checklist of everything you need to do, from sorting through your possessions and disposing of what you don’t need, to completing your unpacking in the new home.

4. Create a floorplan of the new home

You need to have a thorough knowledge and understanding of what is going to fit into your new house. Measure each of the rooms and draw up a floorplan. This will help you decide what you can and can’t take with you.

5. Sort your belongings

Draw up a home inventory and take stock of all your household contents. Divide the list into five categories: Keep, Sell, Gift, Donate, Dispose/ Recycle.

6. Apply the 12-month rule

The 12-month rule is quite simple: look at each item in your home and ask yourself if you have used it within the last 12 months. If the answer is no, the experts at relocation specialist companies advise you to get rid of it.

7. Move your existing furniture

It might be necessary to leave some of your old furniture behind if it doesn’t all fit into the new home, but try to hold onto whatever you can. Buying new furniture is expensive, and it is best to make the most of the pieces you have. It is much cheaper to fit in what you can of your existing furniture. You can always shake things up with a quick, half-hour consultation with our interior designer, who can help you fit your furniture into the new scheme and tell you how to spruce up the look with some new curtains and scatter cushions.  

8. Get rid of unwanted items

Now that you’ve taken your inventory and sorted your belongings into five categories, take the things you don’t want and clear them out, whether you’re selling them or throwing them away. Make sure this is done by the time moving day comes around so all that is left is what you plan to take with you.

9. Pack by yourself to reduce moving costs

Downsizing is all about reducing your costs and making your lifestyle more manageable. Why not start by taking the most economical measures during the move itself? Now that you’ve cut out all the things you don’t need, you can create some great short-term savings by handling the packing of what’s left on your own.

10. Manage your new space

You are moving into a space with much less living and storage area than you have been used to, so you will need to find ways to maximise the space you have. Try making use of vertical storage and invest in multi-functional furniture that includes storage room.

You may find that several of your treasured belongings don’t fit in the new property and you will want to rent storage space to keep them safe. A small storage module in which to keep certain items can be an important part of  a downsizing project. Sometimes there are items that you can’t bring yourself to part with, but that simply don’t fit into your downsized home.  Many moving companies, such as Master Movers, offer storage modules where you can store your items safely. Just remember to take precautions to preserve your belongings while in storage. Clothing should be mothballed and if you have valuable carpets to store, they should be cleaned beforehand, and a certificate provided to Master Movers. The storage units are monitored and assessed on a regular basis.

If you are still in the process of planning your move and downsizing, and are still searching ‘residential moving companies near me,’ let us narrow your search. Contact Master Movers, an expert moving company in Cape Town, and let us handle your relocation.

10 Essential Things to Do After Moving

10 Essential Things to Do After Moving

You did it! After all that preparation, you are finally in your new home. Unfortunately, that’s only half the job done. A moving company in Johannesburg suggests ten essential things that you need to do next to settle in.

You have all those boxes to unpack, not to mention several administrative and personal matters to take care of before you can truly feel at home. Make your settling-in period easier by working through these ten essential tasks.

1. Manage your post-move period

Just like in the pre-move period, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed once the moving house company’s trucks have driven off and you’re faced with the haphazard assortment of boxes and furniture left behind by the residential moving company. The key is to schedule, organise and manage your time after the move. Draw up a to-do list and plan the time you will spend on each task on a day-to-day basis.

2. Unpack

After all that time spent putting your belongings into boxes, now you have to spend just as much time taking them all out again! Remember to arrange this giant task into bite-sized pieces: one room at a time, a few boxes at a time – unless you have time off work and want to tackle it all within a few days, whichever works best for you. Start with the bedrooms, so that everyone can settle in. Then do the bathrooms and the kitchen. Tackle the rest of the house from there. As you go, you should also ensure that everything is in the same condition in which you packed it – and contact your movers if there are any problems. In case of any discrepancies, Master Movers has DAMAGED BEFORE REMOVAL STICKERS that can be placed on certain boxes during the loading process to make sure that everyone is on the same page

3. Become familiar with your new home

How well do you know your new home? You’ve walked through it a number of times, yes, but have you inspected every corner, looked behind every door? Now is the time to take full control of the space. Examine every inch of the building and property and make notes of things that you might need to repair or replace. As you go, you will probably come up with some great ideas of new ways to use and arrange the different areas of your home.

4. Change your address

If you haven’t already taken care of this seemingly trivial, but really very important bit of admin, get it done and out of the way as quickly as possible. Contact your bank and other important correspondents and service providers and let them provide them with your new address.

5. Register your child at a new school

Again, you may have dealt with this already but, if not, make it a priority to get the children registered at new schools in the town or district you now call home.

6. Find the health care providers in your new area

Within the first week, look up the nearest, general practitioners, dentists, clinics, hospitals and vets. You never know when you will need to consult a medical professional, so it’s best to have the information readily available.

7. Re-register your car

If you have moved between provinces, or even if you have moved within the Western Cape or KwaZulu-Natal, you will need to do a new registration for your vehicle. You could wait until your licence comes up for renewal, but why not just get it done? Go to your nearest licensing office or post office and tick it off your list.  

8. Make your pets feel at home

Moving can be very stressful for your pets. You will need to give them extra love and attention and be sure not to leave them alone for too long as they try to make themselves at home in strange territory. Also remember to clean your house as thoroughly as possible to reduce the strange scents that you don’t even notice but will drive your dog or cat crazy. If you are struggling to get your pets to settle after several weeks of being in the new home, consult your vet.

9. Get to know the neighbours

It is always best to at least be on passing good terms with your neighbours and know them by name – even if you don’t end up being close friends. It’s worth the effort to go over and introduce yourself.

10. Explore your new town/ city/ neighbourhood

Whether you’ve just moved to a new neighbourhood within your home city, a completely different town or a different province on the other side of the country, this is your home now and you need to get familiar with it. Use Google to find the nearest amenities, such as supermarkets, malls, schools, libraries, landmarks, etc. Take regular drives and use different routes so that you can familiarise yourself with all the main roads and side streets.

If you are still in the process of planning your move, and you are looking for a moving company in Johannesburg, contact Master Movers and let us handle your relocation.

Clutter Unwanted: Get Rid of Stuff When Moving

Clutter Unwanted: Get Rid of Stuff When Moving

If you ask moving companies how you can reduce your moving costs, they will probably all give you a similar answer: get rid of what you don’t need. The longer you live in a house, the more things you are likely to accumulate. Even the most spartan homeowners gather a surprising collection of furnishings, books, clothing and various other tokens of their passions, hobbies and occupations.

While there will be selected items among these hoards that we will genuinely want to keep with us throughout our lives, there are always things that diminish in importance over time, that we stop using, or simply lose interest in. There are many people who diligently spring clean their homes at least once a year, but the rest of us let things pile up around us without really noticing.

Moving house provides an excellent opportunity and incentive to finally get around to sorting the things you still love from those that have served their purpose. Clearing out the clutter is not simply a matter of organising your life in anticipation of the change to come. It will also make your move easier and cheaper.

Save money on moving services

While there are several criteria by which the cost of moving services is calculated, one of the most important is the size of the load. By getting rid of the things you don’t need, you can reduce volume, and cut down significantly on your costs. Also, the more you get rid of, the less you have to pack, which means you can reduce the amount of time you spend packing. After the move is completed, remember to get your moving company to come and collect the unpacked boxes to assist you in reducing the debris as quickly and effectively as possible.

How to get rid of clutter when moving

The first thing to do when you make the decision to cut out the clutter before your move, is to do a thorough inventory of your household contents. This doesn’t have to be as heavy a task as it sounds. Take it one room at a time and start long before the move is due to happen so that you can give yourself time to work through your home methodically.

In each room, sort the large items from the smaller ones and then start categorising each according to whether it is a must-take item, an unwanted item that is still in good condition (and can therefore be sold or given to someone who has a better use for it) or something that is completely useless and can be thrown away. Draw up a list of what is in each room and mark each item according to the category it falls into. After you have worked through the inventory, prioritise the unwanted items and arrange to find new owners for them. Then throw away everything that is too old or damaged to be of use to anyone. What you are left with will be only the items that you really want and will be taking with you to the new house.

The best relocation companies will actually be able to do the inventory for you. This is a service that Master Movers offers. Instead of writing everything down, you can simply WhatsApp pictures of your belongings to us – so you can even cut down on the admin!

Once you have eliminated your unwanted items, you should have reduced your packing requirements considerably. Even then, packing can be an overwhelming task. It is best to tackle it in much the same way you did your inventory: room by room, a few boxes at a time – and start early so you have plenty of time to spare. Set a schedule and commit to finishing a certain number of boxes per day. That way, you can get the job done slowly and steadily, and without stress.

If you are looking for moving companies to help you streamline your short-distance or long-distance move, contact Master Movers.

11 moving company tips to cut your relocation costs

11 moving company tips to cut your relocation costs

We all know moving can be stressful – even when handled by an expert moving company. It has become a widely accepted fact that the act of changing your living location is among the most traumatic things you will do in your life. One of the main contributing factors to all that anxiety is the cost. While it is true that moving house can be expensive, the costs, just like all other moving stresses, can be reduced and mitigated. These 13 tips will help keep your spending down – and hopefully, help you manage your stress levels too.

1. Plan and control your relocation spending

When moving house, the costs can add up rather quickly. If you don’t start the project with a set budget and then manage your expenditure accordingly, you will lose control and end up taking on more than you can handle. Before you even pack your first box or get your first quote for relocation services, sit down and work out what you can afford – then ensure that you don’t exceed that figure.

2. Pick the best time to move

Moving doesn’t cost the same all year round. If you move during the week, instead of on a weekend, or during the winter rather than the spring, for example, you can save a lot of money. If you do this is within your control, pick the best time to move and do so carefully. Speak to your moving company about the differences in costs, consider your budget and go when the time is right.

3. Budget your time

A move becomes most stress-inducing when it is left to the last minute. If you find yourself a week from moving day and you haven’t packed a single box, you are going to have to cram all your preparation into a few frantic hours. When you’re in that situation, you might be more tempted to look at expensive, last-minute, time-saving solutions like hiring professional packers, for example. Rather draw up a moving calendar far in advance, allocating particular tasks to particular days – and then stick to it. This way you can tackle your moving preparations one manageable step at a time. This means you save time – which amounts to saving money too.

4.  Don’t move what you don’t need anymore!

While you pack up your home, go through your belongings carefully. If you have things that you haven’t looked at in years, or that you had forgotten you even had, is there any point in taking them with you? You can rather sell, donate or throw out what you don’t need, which will mean that you move less stuff and so spend less on the relocation.

5. Deal only with accredited movers

There are plenty of businesses out there offering moving services, and you need to be careful which one you choose. While anybody who owns a truck can call themselves a moving service, a home or office relocation should be handled by an accredited, professional mover. Do your homework when looking for movers. Make sure that you are dealing with professionals and that they have all the expertise required to load, carry and unload your belongings safely.

6. Offset some of your costs by selling your unwanted belongings

Once you’ve set aside all the things you will not be taking with you, take another look and decide which of them you can exchange for a bit of cash. With this extra income, you can offset some of your moving costs.

7. Improvise on your packing materials

The same goes for packing materials. You probably have a few fragile things that need to be protected in bubble wrap. Other than that, you can save money by making use of newspaper and other waste paper to fill voids in your boxes and for padding and buffering. The only thing you will definitely need is a good, reliable box and tape.

8. Don’t hire professional packers unless you really need to

If you don’t have any special belongings that require professional packers, you can save money by doing the packing yourself. It is an arduous process but you can manage it by sticking to your moving calendar and doing it in bite-sized increments. This can save you a lot of money.

9. Speak to your employers

If you are moving for work, your employer might be prepared to cover all or some of the costs of your relocation. Before you get started, speak to them and find out what can be arranged. Even if you only manage to negotiate a partial moving allowance, you still reduce your overall costs – every little bit counts.

10. Watch your spending immediately after the move

There is no point making great savings during the move, only to start splurging once you are settled in the new home – and this is a very real temptation. The novelty and excitement of a new location can create a serious urge to spend – new curtains, new linen, a few perfect additions to the new lounge. You will be doing yourself a massive favour by resisting this urge for a month or two after the move. Let your finances settle, feel the benefits of the savings and then start buying a few things for the new house – by that time, you will have cooled off and feel less inclined to buy things you don’t really need.

11. Hire a reasonable moving company

The most important thing you need to do when moving is secure the services of a good moving company – one that will offer you the best rates while working out a solution that is right for you, whether it be a comprehensive relocation package, or a single truck and small crew to move the essentials. Contact Master Movers – a leading South African moving company that offers a full range of professional services, with a personal touch.

Moving with pets

Moving with pets

Not only is moving stressful on you, but it is also traumatic for your pets. You may not realise it, but relocating to a new home can take a massive toll on your animal’s well being. It is essential to choose a moving company that can ease you from that pressure and allows you to concentrate on the things that mean most to you. We’re here to help you with some tips when moving with pets.

Familiarise yourselves

Try and take your pets for a walk or drive in the new town or area that you’re relocating to. This will help them adjust and familiarise themselves with the space and the transportation on moving day. If the property is already vacant, take your dog for a sniff around their new garden and put their food and water bowls where you would place them once you have fully moved in, this will help them feel safe and secure in their new environment.

Distract them from the chaos 

A move can be chaotic with new people operating in and out of your house, furniture moved, and boxes loaded. This is an excellent time to keep your pets busy and away from all the activity happening around them. Take them to a more secluded place, such as a friend’s house or your local kennel.

Make sure your new home is pet friendly 

Your pet’s safety is the number one priority when moving into a new home. Take a moment to evaluate the house. Ensure all fencing is in good condition and secure, remove any plants that could harm them, and make sure there are adequate amounts of food and water on their arrival to their new home. Bringing along their favorite toys and some treats will also  help soften the situation.

Need a reputable, affordable kennel for your furbabies? Contact us for a few recommendations.

Master Movers cares about your pets, too 

Whether you’re looking to move from city to city or state to state, let us worry about your move so you can concentrate on your pets. Master Movers offers a professional and personalized moving experience. Contact Master Movers here for a stress-free move.

Essential tips for your international move

Essential tips for your international move

A great opportunity has arisen overseas, and you’ve decided to take the leap. Exciting, isn’t it? Yes! But it can also be a stressful time for you. It is essential to make sure you have all the ins and outs figured out. And with the exchange rate being  at a record high, now might be the perfect time for your international move. Here are some useful tips to make life a bit easier for you when moving internationally.

Choose your moving company

Moving your belongings can be expensive. Take your time to find the best moving company that will deliver a quality service at the most reasonable price. If you wait too long to find the right company, you may find yourself paying unnecessary costs and fees for rushed and unprofessional service. 

Avoid the panic 

Make sure you give yourself an adequate amount of time to prepare before relocating. Set yourself a date when you’d like to have your belongings collected for transit. During this period, clear out any old and unnecessary items that won’t be needed overseas. Remember less is more, and you’d be better off starting with a clear, uncluttered life in your new city. The bonus is you may even make a bit of extra money from your unwanted items that can assist with the costs involved with your move.  

Finances, Insurance, and Healthcare

No matter where you are in the world, each country has its own rules and regulations regarding finances, insurance, and healthcare. Ensuring your belongings will have a safe journey is highly essential and only use a company that you can trust. Before taking that step, make sure you have made all the necessary changes such as opening or linking bank accounts, ensuring your valuables and assets are insured, and having the right healthcare provider that’s suitable for you and your family’s needs.

If you need some extra cash for your move,you can use reputable auctioneers to get your belongings sold. 

Master Movers is here to help with your international move 

For quality service that will help put your mind at ease when moving overseas, contact Master Movers here. Have the experience to assist in making your international relocation a breeze.