More moves take place in the summer than any other time during the year. In addition to my tips in this month’s issue of Real Simple “How to Move Without Losing It” and on the MakeSpace blog “8 Expert Solutions to Your Toughest Moving Problems,” here are some additional moving tips I’ve provided to clients this month.
Moving With Children
- Purge all of the toys they no longer use, anything broken, or missing pieces, AND all clothing that no longer fits or is stain, torn, or beyond repair. It’s expensive and time consuming to move what is no longer needed or wanted.
- Prioritize their rooms first. Moving can be stressful for children. By setting up their rooms first, the disruption in their lives is minimized.
- Create excitement. If you’re moving locally, show them their new room. If you’re not moving locally, share pictures of local attractions, the house, their new room, and school.
- Enlist babysitters to keep them occupied the day of the move or possibly for a few days, so you can get settled without them under foot.
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I was profiled in this month’s AARP magazine, and the article talked about helping seniors downsize. Here are my top 10 tips and a link to the article (http://www.resourcefulconsultants.com/images/aarp-august-2014.pdf).
- Other people’s memories are not your responsibility. If your great aunt’s sterling silver tea set has become an albatross, it’s time to donate it or sell it. If your children are grown, it’s time for them to start storing their own childhood artifacts. It doesn’t mean you love your family any less; it’s just not your burden.
- Work in 2-3 hour blocks of time, focusing on one area at a time. More then that can be overwhelming and you won’t be as productive. Don’t try to tackle the whole house, but instead tackle a desk drawer or a closet.
- Use your new space as a guide. Measure how much storage space you’ll have, and let that dictate your decisions. If you’re not going to have room for something, you simply can’t keep it.
- Keep “maybes” to a minimum. Touch it once, make a decision, and move on. Moving items in and out of “maybe” piles is emotionally draining and time consuming.
- If a memory is worth preserving, treat it as such. Random boxes of pictures aren’t compelling; an album of pictures (whether digital or a book) tell a story that can be enjoyed.
- Group like things together. It’s the only way you’ll know that you have 4 hammers, 3 spatulas, and 6 boxes of staples (5,000 per box). Donate what you don’t need and keep the best of the rest.
- Discard what’s expired. This includes that box of muffin mix that you’ve had since 2009 and the 10 pack of pain reliever you bought on sale that’s long since past its “use by” date.
- Ignore sunk costs. What you paid for something has no bearing on whether it should have a place in your life. Whether you love it and want it is far more relevant.
- Your clothing should reflect your current life, not the life you used to live. If you’ve retired to Florida, you don’t need a closet full of business suits, whether they still fit you or not. If you’re no longer a size 4, you don’t need a wardrobe of small clothes to remind you that you’ve gained weight
- 10. Your possessions should reflect your current life, not the imaginary life you hope to lead. If you haven’t built a dark room yet, it’s time to stop storing all the items you would need just in case.
As Valentines Day approaches, couples everywhere contemplate taking their relationship to the next level. In some cases, this means moving in together, a big step worthy of celebration…and logistical concerns. Whether you’re moving into a new place together, or, moving in with your partner, follow these guidelines, and cohabitation will be smooth as can be.
1. Adhere to the 60/40 rule. If there’s a male and female involved, the woman automatically gets at least 60% of the closet AND drawer space. I hate to be sexist, but if you want this move to go smoothly, do as I say.
2. Divvy up the drawers. Each adult needs at least three to four drawers in the bedroom. One for undergarments, one for socks, one for sleepwear, and possibly one for gym clothes/shorts/swimwear. Anything else can be folded on shelves.
3. Dump the duplicates. You don’t need two sets of dishes, two cheese graters, two sets of steak knives…You get the picture. Pick the best, give away the rest!
4. Expel what’s expired. Prior to the move, you both need to discard any medications, sun block, and prescriptions that have loitered past their expiration dates. This will free up space in the soon to be shared medicine cabinet.
5. Banish the books. Books are heavy to move; don’t move a book unless: it’s a favorite, it’s a good reference book, or it will look nice on a shelf or coffee table.
6. Limit the linens. You only need two sets of sheets per bed, and 4-5 towels per person. Discard any extra sheets that don’t fit a bed you’ll currently be using. This may be a good time to give away the sheets you used on your dorm bed in college.
7. Set the table for two, and enjoy a romantic dinner!