Downsizing Your Home: Step-by-Step Checklist | Sylvain Bourgon

Downsizing your home in Ottawa is easy once you know how to proceed. I’ve helped many clients through this process and can give you the benefit of my experience. Here are the steps to downsizing from the moment you make the decision to downsize and start over, all the way until the day you move, so your time and energy will be spent productively and efficiently.

15 Steps to Downsizing Your Possessions

1) Start Early When Downsizing

You can begin downsizing your home preparations as soon as you’ve made the decision to move. Start by shredding unnecessary paperwork and aim to throw out at least 5-10 items each day which can’t be sold, gifted, or donated.

2) Organizing Your Home

Make a Move Binder where you can keep all relevant documents in one place such as box inventories, contact information for professionals, to-do lists, and photos of your expensive items for insurance.

3) Planning to Downsize

Don’t overwhelm yourself when you’re downsizing your home. Set aside two to three-hour time frames and reward yourself each time you finish. Start with simple items like kitchen utensils and tools which don’t carry sentiment and move to personal items when you’re comfortable.

4) Measure Your Space

Get a blueprint of your new home so you can find out how much space you’ll have to work with and decide in advance where you’ll be placing larger items. Check ahead of time that they’ll fit through your new doorways.

5) Label and Sort Your Possessions

Use coloured post-it notes and create categories for your belongings such as Keep, Sell, Donate, and Gift, and put them in separate piles in a room that doesn’t have regular traffic.

6) Digitize What You Can

Photographs, movies, music, and documents can all be scanned or downloaded to save space in your new home.

7) Sell and Donate to Charity

Estate sale companies, consignment shops, Kijiji, and yard sales are great places to sell your like-new belongings. Call charities, shelters, and other places where you can donate the gently-used items you can’t sell.

8) Getting Rid of Duplicates

If you have more than one of an item, choose your favourite and sell, donate, or gift the others. “Just in case” items such as extra mattresses, suitcases, and pillows should also be parted with when downsizing your home.

9) Keepsakes & Heirlooms When Downsizing

Pass down your family heirlooms and ask your children to come and collect their childhood mementos such as toys, school projects, awards, etc.

10) Change of Address

If you’ve already found your new home, update your address with government departments (health card, SIN, driver’s license), financial businesses (credit cards, banks) and other professionals (lawyers, accountants, insurance, doctor).

11) Picking Movers When Downsizing

Find a reputable mover by asking people you know who’ve recently moved and make sure you verify their coverage for lost or damaged items. I can also provide you with recommendations if you would like.

12) Changing Your Utility Providers

Contact electricity, water, gas, phone, cable, and Internet providers to connect your new home the night before you move in and disconnect your old home the day after you leave.

13) Safeguard Important Possessions

Important items such as jewellery, investment documents, passports, birth certificates, wills, insurance paperwork, and medical records should be carefully stored; let someone you trust know where they are in case you forget.

14) Open First

Pack a box of items you’ll need your first night such as toilet paper, towels, toiletries, soap, shower curtain, change of clothes, a lamp, as well as things like scissors and tape, and don’t forget food and water bowls if you have pets.

15) Moving Day For Downsizers

Defrost the freezer, empty your fridge, and take out the garbage the night before you move. When you wake up, pack your sheets and blankets, turn off the water heater, lower the thermostat, and lock all the windows and doors after you do a final walk through.

If you would like to know more about downsizing your home in Ottawa with the best real estate agents in Ottawa, just fill out the form below and we’ll get right back to you.

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