How Move Management Promotes Minimalist Home Staging

NASMM A+ accreditation represents superior level of excellence in Sr. Move ManagementThe job of a realtor is much more than just finding homes and facilitating sales. Forward-thinking realtors offer their clients all the necessary connections to make the moving experience smoother. By working with a professional move management company, you can streamline the home buying and selling process for a better customer experience.

The expression ‘less is more’ may sound ridiculous when you think about trickling cheese on nachos. However, it holds absolutely true when it comes to prepping a home for sale. More often, minimalist home staging works wonders in creating a first impression and closing deals faster.

Unfortunately, many homes are often filled with personal memories and clutter, making them unsuitable for pictures or showings that would garner the price the client wants. Potential buyers don’t like to show up for an open view and feel like they’re creeping around someone else’s home.

Make your property appealing to potential buyers by moving away excess furniture and sentimental crap and letting the home speak for itself. To achieve that, move management can come in handy and help you declutter and sell your property quickly, and here is how:

Declutter the Home

Move management will help you get rid of all the clutter, including family photos, cliché quotes, and any personalized items in the home. By stripping the property of excess stuff and pieces that reflect the previous owner’s personality, you’ll be left with a simple, minimalist space that potential buyers can picture themselves in.

Professional movers also offer services to address trash, e-waste, shredding, and toxic waste. They can even organize an auction or an estate sale for more valuable possessions.

Make a Home Look Tidier

By sticking with the bare necessities, a room can appear tidy, chic, and even more spacious. That’s an art that furniture stores have mastered, and that’s why those tiny exhibition rooms in fancy furniture stores look dazzling.

When staging a home with unnecessary furniture and knickknacks for sale, it will simply look cluttered and closed-in. Move management can help you take away excess possessions and make the property more appealing.

Help Potential Buyers Imagine Themselves in the Home

When a home is filled to the brim with furniture and personal belongings, it’s difficult for potential buyers to picture themselves living in the home. For example, if a sensual nude portrait hangs on the bathroom wall, it may seem even harder for some people to imagine living in that home.

Move management allows you to take away any unnecessary stuff and stage each room with just the basics. This allows people to mentally move in with their own stuff and visualize how they’ll look in the new home.

Improve Customer Experience

When you collaborate with a reliable moving company, you will significantly improve service delivery to your clients. By connecting your clients with a trusted move manager, you’ll simply be demonstrating how much you care about their overall happiness and satisfaction. This will in turn earn your trust and attract more business.

Professional cleaners also have the experience and expertise to organize and clean properties quickly, which saves your client time, money, and the headache of rushing to do things at the last minute.

Using an NAPO organizer to organize your closets and drawers, puts everything in the right placeOrganize Cupboards and Drawers

Don’t assume that no one will see those personalized portraits just because you stashed them in the bedroom cupboard. Some potential buyers are a nosy bunch – they will likely open cupboard doors and drawers to see the storage space. Move management will help you organize drawers and cupboards and dispose of any junk you don’t need.

Arrange for Thorough Cleaning

After moving out excess furniture and other possessions, your move manager can organize with a reliable cleaning company to carry out a thorough cleaning of the home before you set it up for sale. This will help eliminate lurking dust-bunnies and make the home spotless.

Professional cleaners have the right machinery and expertise to clean floors, walls, and the ceilings – ensuring that every potential buyer who walks into the property falls in love with it.

A Clear Path Can Help!

At A Clear Path, we offer a one-call service to make any home picture-perfect and sale-ready. Our team of experienced professionals and organizers can transform any property from undesirable to “got to have it.” Through our move management services, you can meet or even surpass your quarterly and annual sales goals by listing and selling high-end real estate as quickly as possible.

By converting your property into a blank slate, you can realize better results from your staging experience. Moreover, we roll our fees into Escrow to aid in packing, organizing, and unpacking all your client’s valuables and take care of the whole moving process. Contact us today to learn more about our move management services and how we can help you stage your property for a quick sale while keeping your clients fulfilled throughout the moving process.

Using a Checklist before downsizing will create an easier less stressful move

7 Reasons you should Hire a Senior Move Manager

moving and using a sr. move manage makes the easier for all involved.Moving is always a stressful endeavor no matter how old you are, and it gets even tougher with years of memories and possessions accumulated in the home. Statistics from the National Council on Aging indicate that more than half of seniors say that the hassle of moving is the primary reason why they prefer to age in their current homes.

Senior moving management can help relieve this burden by helping the elderly downsize and transition smoothly to assisted living communities or other alternative housing programs. Whether your elderly parent has passed on or is experiencing a deterioration in mobility and cognitive ability that requires additional care in an assisted living facility, a senior moving manager can help you through this challenging transition.

Why Hire a Senior Move manager

For many seniors, the onset of mobility issues could be something sudden, such as a slip and fall, or a culmination of years of illness or self-neglect. In either case, your aging parent may not take care of their belongings, and the responsibility now falls to you.

And, since there is nothing much you can do to reverse the situation, you must focus on managing the family dynamics and emotions, especially from siblings, grandchildren, and other relatives. Dealing with this process often feels like a full-time job, and trying to handle it on your own can easily weigh you down.

Fortunately, a professional move manager can save you time and mental or emotional stress by handling this additional project on your behalf. So, here are the 7 reasons you should hire a senior move manager:

1. They Make Seniors Feel in Charge of Hard Transitions

It’s critical to involve seniors in the moving process, so they don’t feel pushed out of their homes. This may mean allowing them to organize books or clothing or sorting through a box of gift ornaments — it all depends on the physical and cognitive condition of the senior.

If your aging parent is able to make some decisions, they will more likely feel comfortable with the move. More often, the need to move homes for seniors is often triggered by a change in health or loss of a spouse. In such situations, they may not necessarily be in the right frame of mind to take total control.

An impartial third party can help you bring order to the moving process, reducing stress for you and your aging parent. As a result, you can focus on the more important physical and emotional needs of the senior.

2. Emotionally Prepare Seniors for Assisted Living

One of the biggest hindrances to seniors transitioning to assisted living facilities is the strong desire to age at home, surrounded with familiar possessions and memories. A senior move manager can listen to the concerns of your aging parent and offer acceptable solutions based on their experience.

Senior move managers can help reduce the fear of downsizing and make a seemingly overwhelming process less daunting. Once the senior accept the decision to move to assisted living, a move manager will handle the physical aspect of moving, ensuring that the process smooth and hassle-free.

3. Prevent Family Conflict

The stress associated with moving, coupled with conflicting personalities, can raise arguments among your siblings. A senior move manager will help de-escalate the situation by addressing the concerns of different family members to ensure that the move is smooth and free of family conflicts.

With their experience, move managers can provide an objective perspective and guide your family through the process of deciding which items to keep, donate, or sell.

NASMM A+ accreditation for demonstrating superior level of excellence in Sr. Move Management4. Experience and Certification

Professional senior move managers are required to carry general liability insurance, acquire training in ethics and safety, and provide a written contract to protect the family, their senior loved one, and the move manager. There is also a code of ethics and standard of practice that all move managers must follow.

Moreover, many move managers are professionals with backgrounds in nursing, psychology, and social work. Their combination of professional backgrounds, life experiences, and desire to connect with seniors uniquely prepares them for this unique role.

5. Help Seniors Downsize with Dignity

Many seniors have lived in one home for their entire adult life, and probably filled it with reminders of people and places they adore. A senior move manager has the training and experience to help seniors move with their possessions without taking along the memories.

More often, younger generations fail to understand the emotional difficulties of downsizing, a disconnect that can leave adult children frustrated by their aging parents’ reluctance to let go. Senior move managers experience such situations every time, and they can better empathize with seniors struggling with downsizing. They’re able to suggest creative solutions you may not have thought of.

6. Save Time and Money

If your family members live in different geographical regions, a move manager can save you considerable time and resources. Instead of all family members making multiple flights to organize possessions, move, and organize estate sales, the mover will manage many of these tasks.

With advancements in technology, most downsizing and selling tasks can be done virtually. Dependable move managers today use technology to manage inventory, sell possessions online, and locate proper storage for your senior’s remaining stuff.

Most managers also have valuable networks of real estate agents, appraisers, cleaning services, and staging experts to take care of every detail for your family.

7. Support a Senior’s Move Regardless of the Distance

Sometimes, a senior move manager will pack and ship hundreds of items to your preferred location. Other times, they’ll take care of the transportation and accompany your loved one across the country.

No matter how involved your move manager is, the process of downsizing and moving usually creates a personal relationship. Many established senior move managers continue speaking with their clients long after the move is completed to ensure they are comfortable in their new environment.

A Clear Path Can Help!

Are you planning to move your aging parent to an assisted living facility? A Clear Path can help you navigate the hurdles and make the transition smooth and comfortable for both of you. We take full responsibility for sorting, organizing, cleaning, disposing of, moving, and selling all the property in your parent’s home.

It’s a one-call process. Once you make a call to A Clear Path, our experienced team takes charge and can manage every step along the way. If you need to dispose of the old home, A Clear Plan offers services to address trash, e-waste, shredding, and even toxic waste. For more valuable items, we can organize an auction or an estate sale.

Thanks to our complete line of services, we can help alleviate the stress associated with this sensitive transition. In addition to the tactical help, we can also become an impartial third party to help you address family conflicts over every belonging. Contact us today for more information about senior move management and how we can help you keep your aging parent happy throughout the moving process.

Downsizing & Move documentss

Steps for Boomers Relocating To More Desirable Locations

As the wealthiest generation in America, baby boomers are starting to wrap up their roles of ‘parents’ and begin their new stage as ‘grandparents.’

seniors can be helped by professional move managers to ease the downsizing and de-cluttering The multi-bedroom family home boomers have been holding onto for decades now seems empty and quiet, and some boomers have felt the effects of loneliness as the kids begin to leave the nest.

Downsizing is not only the perfect solution for couples seeking smaller, comfier homes — but it also may be the solution for a housing supply shortage of detached homes. Since boomers have been encouraged to stay in their homes as long as possible — millennials are finding it very difficult to find detached, single-family homes on the market. 

If you’re a boomer looking to downsize in favor of a more desirable location, follow these tips for success!

Don’t be afraid to start your moving endeavors now

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many prospective buyers and sellers anxious about starting or continuing with their real estate plans. However in HomeLight’s Q2 survey, realtors reported a heavy increase in buyer and seller activity since May. 

Worried your home won’t receive any attention in the market? In actuality, buyer demand remains strong. So strong, in fact, that the majority of real estate agents (60%) in Home Light’s Q2 survey believe the biggest challenge facing the 2020 market is the lack of supply to meet demand. If you put your home on the market now, chances are you’ll have plenty of buyers knocking on your door. 

Vice versa — boomers looking to downsize will find it much easier to compete in the buying process as well. According to the survey, 44% of real estate agents believe the top reason motivating their clients to move is the need for more space — especially as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps the nation at home all day..

This is good news for all boomers seeking to move from their large family home into something more comfortable. You won’t have to compete with the swarm of buyers looking for large homes, and you’ll be selling exactly what those other buyers are seeking. 

How senior moving specialists are key to downsizing

Relocating isn’t all fun and games. Along with the fun of touring new homes and decorating a new abode comes the challenges of finding a reliable moving company, prepping your current home for market, packing and unpacking your belongings, and picking a dependable real estate agent.

Set yourself up for success by accepting the help of senior moving specialists. This will help you turn what’s supposed to be one of the most stressful processes in your life into a seamless, pain-free experience.

There are tons of behind-the-scenes tasks that need to be completed before and after the move, but reliable organizing services and relocation specialists take care of them all — so you can simply relax and imagine all the new memories you’ll create in your new home!

Presenting a clear home for virtual or in-person showings

Looking to get the most for your home during the selling process? Whether you’re going to allow in-person showings or conduct most of your business virtually, there are 3 main projects you should focus on: 

  • Deep Cleanfind a sr. move manager for organizing and de-cluttering to complete a senior downsizing
  • Declutter
  • Depersonalize

While cleaning your home might seem like an obvious step in your selling process, a home that’s been lived in for many years is going to need serious decluttering. Over the years, your closets have been filled to the brim, all your storage spaces are packed with clothes you haven’t worn in years, the fridge is decorated with your children’s kindergarten art, and let’s not even mention the boxes filled with personal mementos in the basement

While daunting, decluttering can increase a home’s asking price by 3-5%. Even storage spaces and closets need to be sorted and organized to receive the most competitive price for your home. Prospective buyers are always looking for extra storage, so — if the closets are overflowing — buyers won’t be impressed. 

Thankfully, organizing services can help. Boomers aren’t as young as they once were, which means taking on huge challenges — like decluttering a home that’s been lived in for over a decade — isn’t such a simple task. A Clear Path can transform all the daunting tasks of moving into a clear and simple plan, so contact us today!

Using a Checklist before downsizing will create an easier less stressful move

5 Rules for downsizing

Downsizing for seniors is a stressful and laborious task. Sorting through a household full of possessions and a lifetime of memories is quite a daunting task. It is even more challenging if you need to downsize unexpectedly because of health concerns or other emergencies. Many seniors find it difficult to part with items they do not need. Here are five rules for retirement downsizing with senior move managers.

1- Develop a Plan

A professional move manager will help your downsizing with helpful checklists.A good rule of thumb is to prepare for a move in advance and not wait until the 11th hour to start making plans to move. You should make plans before you list your home or at the first sign of failing health. It is advisable to consult a senior move manager to help you make an efficient plan.

Start with the three main rooms: the living room, kitchen, and family room. These are the most cluttered rooms because they are used daily and have a high emotional value. Separate all the items in four piles- things you are going to keep, items you are going to donate, items you are going to give to your family members, and items you will throw away. After you are finished with these rooms, work outwards to garages, attics, and shades.

It is also good to create a system of downsizing. Some of the standard systems are de-cluttering, donating, and documenting. A senior move manager can help you employ a method of downsizing that is best suited for you.

2- Consider the New Space

It does not matter if you are moving to an assisted living facility, a small apartment, or a family member. You need to develop a plan of where items will go according to the available space. First, determine the amenities that you are going to need. What security measures or physical needs will you require. You should plan your new space based on these accommodations.

It is also essential to consider size. If you are moving from a large house to a small apartment, you will have to do a significant downsizing. In this case, you should consider the most critical aspects of your lifestyle. For example, if you like writing, do not get rid of the desk. Make room for things that matter in your life. It would help if you considered hiring a storage unit for essential items that may not fit in your new space.

3- Eliminate Duplicates

This is very common in the kitchen where you may have several stockpots, different cookie sheets, a handful of spatulas, and so on and so forth. Since you are reducing clutter, you can do with one kind of everything. If you do not feel like donating kitchen pieces you feel are emotionally valuable to you, consider giving them to your child or grandchild.

4- Donate

The best way to make the most out of precious items is to donate them. Donating gives you a feeling of relief, knowing that you are giving back to society. Things like civil war memorabilia are best suited for a school or museum. You may even receive special recognition for legacy gifts in the form of plaque and tax deductions. Items that will Donatoins are a great way to help downsizing with a professional move managernot fetch much at a yard sale should also be donated where they will be more helpful, like at a children’s camp.

5- Make Some Extra Cash Through Sales

Nowadays, it is easy to sell things yourself through online sites such as eBay and Craigslist. There are also Smartphone apps that enable you to make quick sales. Yard sales are a fast way to sell items, but the prices are usually low. On the other hand, Craigslist has a broad audience, and you have a good chance of getting more for your items. Consider consignment for handbags, furniture, and unnecessary accessories. They have reasonable prices and you will be able to get rid of substantial items like furniture. If you are not handy with computers, you can request for the help of your children or grandchildren who may be more computer-savvy and will efficiently market your items through popular online platforms.

In Conclusion

Moving as a senior can be depressing if you are unprepared or cannot let go of your possessions. Many senior people struggle with sorting out what they do not need because they are fond of all their memorabilia and precious items. In such situations, it takes the expertise of a senior move manager to help with downsizing. Some of the rules of retirement downsizing may not be easy to agree with, but they are necessary and help to declutter your home before you transition into a new home. Make sure you consult a senior move manager in advance to help you adjust to the prospect of downsizing and moving to your new home.

 

Baby Boomers Are Downsizing: How to Cope with the Crisis

Baby Boomers are slowly downsizing, but a new crisis is arising in the housing industry since few Millennials want their homes, particularly big and outdated ones. According to a recent report, the housing demand from younger generations is inadequate to fill the void left by the crowd of departing older owners. Overall, seniors are projected to exit more than 21 million homes over the next two decades. As they exit their huge homes and downsize, there is going to be massive investment implications across the country. So, what can you do to cope with the challenges of baby boomer downsizing?

Aging in Place vs. Downsizing

Many baby boomers wish to retire by the age of 60 and settle closer to their children or grandchildren, but finding affordable houses to downsize to is a huge challenge. As a result, there is always a tug of war between staying put or downsizing. So, which is the better option?

According to a 2018 Survey of Home and Community Preferences, AARP revealed that 76 percent of Americans aged 50 and above prefer to remain in their current homes, and 77 percent would wish to live in their current neighborhood for as long as possible. On the contrary, just 59 percent of older Americans envision the possibility of staying in their community, either in a smaller home within the area (13 percent) or in their current home (46 percent).

Baby boomer downsizing is faced with several challenges as many boomers enter their golden years with substantial mortgage debt. Much of the mortgage borrowing is carried by households with no pension and below-median incomes and assets. This is perhaps the reason why many baby boomers opt to remain in their current homes. Other factors, such as living in familiar territories, retaining home equity, or a lack of affordable housing options, may also drive the decision to stay put.

Aging in place, on the other hand, can be harder to achieve if the home isn’t equipped to meet the future needs of the boomers. There is a close linkage between housing and health care, and making your house accessible for in-home health care is of paramount importance. However, this can be a big challenge in lower-density areas with limited transportation and accessibility to medical practitioners.Organizing and packing for a downsizing boomer

The Solution!

As a baby boomer stuck in this dilemma, there are multiple options you could explore to cope. They include:

1- Tapping Equity to Stay Put

Mobility and health issues are the biggest retardants for seniors looking to stay in their current homes. You may need amenities such as bathroom grip bars, wheelchair ramps, walk-in showers, and wider doorways and hallways. However, such home improvements can be costly. Fortunately, if you own your home outright or have adequate equity, you can borrow some cash against your home’s equity to help pay for the modifications. Some of the best options to consider include home equity loans, home equity lines of credit (HELOC), VA financing, and reverse mortgage.

2- Tapping Equity to Stay in your Community

The increasing shortage of affordable housing coupled with skyrocketing mortgage rates creates a significant barrier to baby boomer downsizing. However, higher rates create a huge mobility barrier to all cadres of the society, including the millennials. If you have significant equity in your current home, you have an upper hand in competing for smaller, less expensive houses, thanks to the inflated appreciation.

Instead of trying to relocate to more expensive neighborhoods to be closer to family, you can look for a smaller home within your community and tap into your current home’s equity to raise funding.

3- Thinking Outside the Conventional Housing Box

In many communities, the limited housing options complicates everything for baby boomer downsizing. Surprisingly, some older folks are devising more creative solutions that buck tradition. According to an AARP survey, adults aged 50 and above are today open to new housing alternatives. To be precise, 32 percent prefer home sharing, 31 percent are open to building an accessory dwelling unit, while 56 percent prefer living in villages that provide services that support aging.

Whether your aim is to gain companionship or attain economic viability, you can think outside the box and opt for unconventional housing solutions. The “Golden Girls” system of roommates is one example of shared-housing arrangements that are gaining steam. As the affordable housing crisis continues to brew, unconventional solutions are increasingly becoming less taboo and more accepted.

Another alternative is to build an accessory dwelling unit that suits your senior needs. An accessory dwelling unit is simply a smaller, secondary building that attaches to your primary home or situated on the same lot. Think of it as a mother-in-law suite or granny flat that offers a livable solution for seniors. It’s a great option if you wish to age in place while generating extra rental income from your main house. However, check with your local zoning or building authorities if it’s possible to get approval for an accessory dwelling unit in your region.

Final Thoughts

Whether your plan is to downsize or stay put, housing expenses will undoubtedly play a critical role in your overall retirement plan. It’s important to craft a financial plan for retirement. Talk with a financial advisor or a mortgage lender to figure out what options will help you live comfortably without jeopardizing your retirement income. Other than affordability and having a comfortable place to call home, baby boomer downsizing should be informed by accessibility to family, doctors, hospitals, transportation, and social amenities.

Is Virtual Staging the Solution to Your Home Sale?

staging is an important task for preparing a home for sale

Image via Unsplash

Whether you’re looking for a safer way to sell your home during the coronavirus pandemic, selling property from out of state, or selling a vacant home, virtual staging can help you show off your home’s best side. Not only that, but virtual staging can be much more affordable than traditional home staging. Want to learn more? Read on to learn all about virtually staging your home to sell.

How Virtual Staging Works

Virtual staging eliminates the need for expensive rental furniture by using digital applications to insert furniture, artwork, and other staging elements into real estate photographs. Virtual staging apps let agents choose from a gallery of furniture and décor options in order to decorate a home to appeal to a specific set of buyers.

While virtual staging is simpler and cheaper than traditional home staging, it’s not a DIY solution. Designing a space that appeals to buyers takes skill. That’s why agents use apps and software that let them upload photos and receive professionally staged rooms in return. Luckily, the costs are much lower than traditional home staging: Even the most high-end staging apps are only around $120 per photo.

Virtual Staging and Your Selling Strategy

Staging is just one part of your home-selling strategy. If you’re opting for virtual staging due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, you also need to consider how you’ll show your home safely.

Live video chat tours have exploded in popularity during COVID-19. With a live agent leading a virtual tour, buyers get all the benefits of an in-person walkthrough minus any health risk.

Video tours are beneficial outside the current climate as well. Out-of-state buyers in particular may opt for a live video tour rather than traveling to view a property in person. 3D walkthroughs are also popular with both local and out-of-state buyers. By including a 3D walkthrough on their listing, sellers ensure only serious buyers schedule tours. In some cases, a 3D tour can eliminate the need for an open house.

Whether sellers opt for a 3D walkthrough or not, they shouldn’t skimp on real estate photos. Professional photography is the curb appeal of modern home buying, and without it, you’ll have trouble getting buyers to take a closer look at your listing.

Preparing Your Home for Virtual Staging

Virtual staging works best on vacant homes. With rooms already bare, it’s easy for staging professionals to add furniture and décor.

That doesn’t mean you can’t virtually stage your home while living in it, however. It’s possible to virtually stage furnished homes by first editing out furniture, clutter, and cosmetic flaws. Keep in mind, however, that this adds to the cost of virtual staging. Sellers who occupy their home while selling still need to spend time preparing the property in order to avoid overpaying for virtual staging.

Take these steps to prepare for virtual home staging:

1. Declutter

The less in your home, the better. Sellers should eliminate any and all clutter as well as move bulky furniture into storage. While storing items in closets and cupboards can work for virtual staging, keep in mind that buyers will see inside these areas during a home tour.

2. Depersonalize

Don’t forget family photos, unique artwork, and other personal decor when decluttering your home for virtual staging. If you plan on offering in-person home tours, be sure to secure personal items, too.

3. Repaint

Virtual staging is all about creating a clean look. However, that’s hard to do when a home’s interior is painted in unusual colors. Create a neutral backdrop by repainting rooms with shades of white, beige, or another popular paint color.

4. Rethink window treatments

Dirty or dated window treatments can also get in the way of virtual staging. If your window treatments have seen better days, consider removing them for your real estate photography session.

5. Make repairs

Don’t think you can hide problems through virtual staging. Whether they’re viewing virtually staged photos or taking a 3D walkthrough, buyers notice little problems like missing outlet covers, water stains, and cabinets that don’t close. Take care of minor repairs like these before investing in staging.

6. Deep clean

Finally, ensure your home is spotlessly clean before virtual staging. Many buyers opt to hire a professional cleaning crew to handle this step rather than deep clean themselves. If you do opt to DIY a deep clean, use a checklist to ensure you don’t miss anything important.

Virtual staging is an easy and cost-effective way to get your home market-ready. However, it’s not a free pass for sellers. Even with virtual staging, home sellers should expect to spend time and money getting their house ready to sell. By transforming their homes into a blank slate, sellers can get the best results possible from their virtual staging experience.

Thanks for reading!

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Smart Organizational Tips for Downsizing to an Apartment

Smart Organizational Tips for Downsizing to an Apartment

Downsizing to a smaller apartment can be overwhelming. But, if you plan ahead and take it one step at a time, you’ll find the entire experience not only enjoyable, but also cathartic as you begin the organizational process to simplify your life.  

Renting a smaller apartment comes with plenty of benefits, from lower utility bills and rent to less space to clean and keep organized. A smaller space can even be a simpler way of living, while also allowing you more time and money for yourself. 

But, before you get started, check out the tips below that will relieve some of the stress associated with downsizing and keep you on track for a smooth transition. 

Preparing Your Belongings

Downsizing is always about boxes, packing them and then unpacking them. Pack by room is the best.Start preparing for your move in advance, perhaps even months ahead of time. If you know you want to downsize, begin working on the following now. Doing so will help you tremendously when the time comes to start packing.

  • Keep Track of How Often You Use Things

You probably notice these things every day, but don’t give them much thought. When you’re deciding what to wear, what plate to eat on, what glasses to drink from, and other small decisions like these, you always lean toward certain things. So, start keeping track of the items you use every day and those that you only use once a week, once a month or not at all. Then, track these habits on a piece of paper to visualize the usefulness of your items. This will make it easier to discard some of them when it’s time to pack for a new place. 

  • Find a Use for it

Sometimes, you keep things just because. Although it’s important to have personal trinkets and items you treasure — even if they’re not particularly useful — be careful about becoming an emotional hoarder. That means being unable to get rid of things with which you are emotionally connected. In time, they’ll pile up and you’ll have boxes upon boxes of memories that you just can’t give up. If you have a hard time letting go, ask for help from professionals and check out our guides for coping with hoarding.

So, while it might be tough, try to find the purpose in all of your things. Does that picture make you feel something or is it filled with emotion? If so, then it’s probably something you want to keep. On the other hand, if it’s just something you’ve had forever that doesn’t really speak to you, then it’s probably time to let go

  • Discard Unused Items Regularly

Sometimes, we buy stuff we think we’ll use, but then we never do. These items often include kitchen tools that are too complicated or a hassle, or spur-of-the-moment purchases for that new hobby that we never actually begin. If it’s something you’re keeping just in case you’ll want to pick it up some day, you should probably discard it.

Preparing for the New Apartment

Now that you have a basis for your organization, you can start to prepare for your move.

  • Measure the Space 

Once you’ve decided on the apartment you want to rent, go for a visit before you begin packing. Check everything out, measure the space and write down the dimensions of all of your rooms. As you wander around the apartment, visualize your things in each room and how you will interact with them. You might even want to write down the main items you want in each room. At the very least, have a mental image before you start bringing in boxes. That way, you’ll know what to put where and unpacking will be much easier.

  • Pack by Room, not Item Type

Making lists for downsizing is highly recommended, particularly for boomers.Group your items by room, not by type. For instance, if you’ve visualized a small library in your living room, but you also have some books you like to keep close to your bed, then don’t be afraid to separate those. The same goes for everything else — from pillows to artwork. 

Note that you don’t have to keep the design from your previous home. This is crucial if you downsize. With fewer rooms in your new apartment, an exact transition might be difficult. So, when you pack, think of the new apartment, not of the old one. Having the list from the previous section will make the transition simpler. Additionally, remember to label your boxes and drop them off in the appropriate room.

  • Adapt for Your Lifestyle

Finally, know that there’s no such thing as the perfect recipe for downsizing. It all depends on your lifestyle and choices. Although guidance is sometimes necessary and welcome, no one can tell you exactly what to throw away, what to donate or what to sell, because you’re the only one who knows that. Try to detach for a bit and imagine your life with or without certain things. Then, see how that affects the way you live every day. It’s a process you have to be ready for, so make sure to prepare mentally, as well. 

Downsizing is not a burden. It’s a purge and a path to liberation. Embrace this change and remember that it’s not permanent. The choice will always be yours.

About the author: Mihaela Buzec is a passionate reader and writer with an affinity for language and linguistics, as well as the latest technological developments. She discovered her passion for real estate at RENTCafé, and you can read more of her articles on their blog.

Thanks for reading!

3rd Edition of Psychic Debris, Crowded Closets by Regina F Lark, Ph. D.

You might be interested in a free copy of the Table of Contents and 1st Chapter of my Book

Download a complimentary copy of the 1st Chapter of Regina’s 3rd Edition of her book, Psychic Debris

Dr. Regina Lark

regina@aclearpath.net

De-clutter and Toss, Purge and Plan

Getting Ready for Your Next Move

“I wanted to poke my eyes out…”

…said my new client, Kaye. Before doing anything too drastic, Kaye hired my team of Ninja organizers to finally get her long-awaited move underway. Prior to our arrival, Kaye thought she would de-clutter, toss, and purge all the stuff she didn’t use any longer…but discovered that the process wasn’t easy and was taking a lot longer than she really had time for. 

So she invited friends to help but they did more talking and partying than getting down to any real work. 

While trying to figure out next steps, Kaye started calling around to moving companies. At the end of that day she scheduled 3 appointments with three different companies. At the end of that week, not a single mover showed up for the appointment

Speaking with and helping to organize a move can be overwhelming, but a professional organizer is a solution

The final straw occurred when trying to find the least expensive place to purchase moving supplies.  Kaye realized she had no idea how many boxes she would need and she didn’t have a truck to bring it all home in. 

 

“I wanted to poke my eyes out…” 

 

As anyone who has ever moved knows: relocating from one home to another stands as one of the top 3 stressors in the lives of most people. Planning ahead can make a difference – but as Kaye knows, even good planning can fall short.

 

This week, CBS News announced a new government program, Protect Your Move, created to address what’s become known as “hostage load.”  Out of 36 million moves this year, 1 in 10 movers will file a complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that their carriers are looking for more money that initially agreed for hauling their belongings which is different from what they were originally told.  

Trusting your mover has never been more important.

With all the things that can go wrong in a move, I always encourage people tog et references and ask friends, talk with the neighbor most recently moved into your neighborhood, look online for a “moving checklist” – like this one from Real Simple magazine!Trusting a monolithic moving company can be daunting, but you can trust a professional organizer to help with all aspects of the move.

A good Realtor will have a tried and true referral list for moving companies and professional organizers.  Ask for a referral!

For a project as big as any move don’t try to handle everything yourself, instead, surround yourself with people you can trust, take careful notes and , read every contract thoroughly.  

You’ll be glad you did. 

Thanks for reading!

3rd Edition of Psychic Debris, Crowded Closets by Regina F Lark, Ph. D.

You might be interested in a free copy of the Table of Contents and 1st Chapter of my Book

Download a complimentary copy of the 1st Chapter of Regina's 3rd Edition of her book, Psychic Debris

Dr. Regina Lark 

regina@aclearpath.net


PS: Did you know we fold our fees into escrow?

 

Are there 300,000 Things in a Home?

300,000 Things in a Home

I didn’t begin my professional life as an organizer. Rather, I spent the bulk of my career in higher education – as a student, a professor, and an administrator. Budget cuts in 2008 led to a job lay-off at the tender age of 50. It was the beginning of the 2008 recession and the first time in my life that I couldn’t find a job. So I created one.

In those first few months of stepping foot into A Clear Path, I read everything I could put my hands on the topic of de-cluttering and organizing. One thing I remember reading impressed the hell out of me: The average household contains about 300,000 things.

In order to grow my company, I needed clients, which I found by speaking to numerous groups and organizations about clutter, and where I often referenced “300,000 things.”

Are there really 300,000 things in a home. Probably if you count every little thing.

I’ve asked some colleagues and a few clients to conduct informal surveys in their clients’ home or in their own home. We’ve concluded that items in homes could very well number up 300,000 if one were to count every single thing from underpants to office supplies to photographs to silverware.

I’m serious. Go room-by-room in your home, starting with the kitchen. Count:
• pots and pans and lids
• storage containers (and their lids!)
• utensils, plates, cups and bowls
• spices
• cereal boxes

You get where I’m going? Next up, do the living room.
• Books in bookcases, tsotchkies on shelves
• TV, speakers, laptops, and myriad techy stuff
• A couch, chairs, and fluffy pillows

Dining room? Where do you eat? Count chairs, a table, cupboard, and table linens. And don’t forget candle holders and candles.

I often see a lot of stuff in home offices. My clients love office supply stores, and here’s what they take home:
• Packets of Post-it Notes in several sizes and colors and shapes.
• Copy paper, envelopes, file folders, hanging file folders, boxes filled with notecards and thank you notes, and birthday cards.
• Wrapping paper.
• Tape, scissors, stapler and staples.
• This is actually a nearly endless list – but you get the drift.
• Oh, and don’t forget the box of cords.

A working desk, but a little too much clutter. Some good organizing can reduce this to a manageable state.

Let’s move to the bedroom. How many pair of black pants does one need to own? Start counting:
• Shirts and blouses
• Undergarments
• Socks, shoes, purses, totes, robes, work-out clothes, jackets, belts. And all the furniture.

Don’t forget the bathroom.

And this is a small house!

I’ve often wondered if I had it in me to conduct a study about the average number of items the average household contained. If 300,000 things is where we land, it would be nice to finally put the query to bed. And I will never be out of work again.

 

3rd Edition of Psychic Debris, Crowded Closets by Regina F Lark, Ph. D.

You might be interested in a free copy of the Table of Contents and 1st Chapter of my Book

Download a complimentary copy of the 1st Chapter of Regina's 3rd Edition of her book, Psychic Debris

Relocating your home office

Has your business outgrown your home office? When should you consider relocating your home office?

It can be quite rewarding for startup businesses to work at home because it’s a good way to save on expenses. Not only do you save money on rent, utilities, office supplies and personnel expenses, but since you don’t have to commute, you save on fuel and vehicle maintenance. However, the business could grow to an extent where you need more space, but how can you tell if it’s the right time to move?

Reasons to Consider Relocating Your Home Office

  • You Need More Employees

When you need to hire employees to work at your office, you may not want them entering your home every day. Depending on your business, it could be possible to have them work remotely, but for some, supervision may be crucial. For this reason, if your business has grown and you want to have employees working in the office while you are away, it’s time to think about relocating out of your home.

  • You Are Running Out of Space

As your business grows, you might be forced to accumulate inventory or technology to enhance your operations. If you find your home office space is getting smaller by the day, then it’s time to consider other options. You could rent a storage space for your product inventory, if that is your only concern. However, if you need to upgrade equipment, such as an industrial printer, and it’s larger than the space available at your home office, you’ll need to move.

  • Present a Professional Appearance

For businesses where clients need to visit the office before they decide whether to purchase your product, renting an office space can help to improve your business image. The more professional your business looks, the more moving with the help of a certified professional organizer like Regina Lark can ease the stress of any moveattractive it will be to customers, and therefore earn more money. If the estimated increase in the customer base or sales is higher than the expenses incurred when renting an office space, relocating might actually help your business to grow.

Finding a reason and deciding to relocate your home office can be quite straightforward, but when it comes to deciding where to relocate to, well, it may not be easy. Here are a few tips:

  • Proximity to Your Home

If you can find an office space close to home, you’ll save a lot of time by having a short commute. The more time you spend commuting to work, the less time you have for work. However, if your clientele is location-specific, you may need to strike a balance on the distance.

  • Consider a Shared Office

You can save on rent and curb any loneliness by opting for an open office. In this situation, you share the office cost with others, as well as employees, such as the receptionist. The opportunity for community conferences can also come in handy.

  • Hire a Moving Company

Since your home office is a source of income for the household, you need to give it the utmost attention when moving out. With the heavy and sensitive equipment around the office, such as desks, electronics, computers, printers, and books, it’s always a good idea to hire a reputable moving company. This will ensure that all of your items are handled with care, and that what would have been an overwhelming experience goes smoothly.

Upon moving, be sure to notify your clients that you’ve changed your address. You can do this by email, phone, with business cards, or put it on your website.

Good luck in your new office!

Use these top ten tips form organizing before a move from certified professional organizer Regina Lark to remove stress from a moving.