It's never too early to begin the downsizing process. Begin by focusing on typical problem areas such as the attic, basement, garage, closets and file cabinets.
Since you can't take everything you own to your new home, now is the time to make arrangements to "gift" some of your treasures to special people in your life including, and especially, family, helpful neighbors, friends, favorite organizations, or a church / synagogue.
save your memories
You may have boxes of old photos from every holiday, vacation and birthday party. What do you do with them? Consider the following ways to preserve family photos and stories: a customized process of audio and video recordings called Life-Storying. Copy your special photos on to external storage, or try your hand at scrapbooking. Services now exist that will take archive all of your photos, slides and videos for you.
new looks for books
If you own large quantities of books, spend some time downsizing your collection. Books occupy lots of space and are heavy to move. Consider donating to libraries, senior centers, or used bookstores.
Contact a dealer for older books with potential value.
use it up . . . don't move it out
Take inventory of your canned goods, frozen foods and paper products. Try to use these products before your move. If you simply have too many of these items, pass them on to a local food pantry.
recycle the toxins
Put together a box or two of household, yard and automotive cleaning products, as well as paints that are deemed hazardous.
Visit Earth911.org for more information about disposal of hazardous household materials in your area.
don't lose touch
Create a list of people, places and utilities / services that need to be notified of your upcoming change in address.
space plan ahead
SRP will provide you with a customized floor plan of your new residence to help you determine the best layout for the furniture you wish to take to your new home. Knowing which pieces will fit in your new space will help you in your rightsizing process.
pack a survival bag
Put together a survival bag for move day including personal needs (medications, eyeglasses, toiletries, change of clothes, important papers etc.); kitchen needs (snacks, drinks, folding chairs, disposable cups & plates); basic tools (hammer, screwdriver, flashlight, tape etc.); cleaning supplies (sponge, roll of paper towels, soap etc.); and payment for mover. Be sure you know which form of payment they accept.
And finally . . .
ask for help
Don't be too proud or independent-minded to ask for help. Moving is not easy and you shouldn't do it all by yourself. Don't wait until the last minute to ask for help. Some downsizing steps take months to accomplish. Call SRP to help you create and execute a downsize/relocation plan.