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.