Move-in Tips

Whether you're moving or helping a loved one move, downsizing is never easy. Choosing what to keep and give away can be difficult. Here are some tips to consider during the process.

Assess the New Home

Knowing the measurements of your new living space and the sizes of your larger furniture can help you decide what will fit and what can make the move. The Cottage offers this Move-In Checklist along with a Move-in Wizard to help in the planning of your move. Bring your loved one to the Cottage and introduce them to the new space. Listen to how they'd like to see the space look and plan accordingly.

Start in Storage Areas

Moving out of a family home can be overwhelming. Start small. Take a day to talk about the move. Small tasks, such as going through a desk drawer or a box from the attic, is a good starting point. Spend only 15 to 20 minutes a day on one task. Taking small steps will help your loved one get used to the idea of moving. Typically rooms that are used for storage contain less sentimental items that are being stored rather than used. Try starting in the attic, laundry room or spare bedroom.

Pack as You Go

Sort, pile, and pack as you go through each room of the house. Keep items you're donating or giving to family in a separate area. If they begin to accumulate, ask family members to pick up their items. Donation piles may require multiple drop offs, or you may consider arranging a pick up. Allow enough time so no one feels rushed. Sorting through belongings can be emotionally painful.

Ask Questions About Each Item

Asking questions about the items you are deciding to keep or donate may help with the process. Here is a list of questions to consider:

  • When was this used last? How often is it used?
  • Do I already own an item that serves the same purpose as this one?
  • Does it have sentimental value?
  • Would I have to replace it if I choose to get rid of it?
  • Will it last for a long time?
  • Does it need repair? How much will the repair cost?
  • Do I know someone else who could use it?

Be Kind

Moving presents a significant change that's both physically and emotionally draining. Try to keep these things in mind:

  • Be sensitive of you and your loved one's feelings.
  • Be patient and understanding.
  • Give yourself time to work through it: rest, take breaks, talk to someone.
  • Remember that belongings contain memories.
  • Remember that items you can't decide on can go into storage.
  • Remember that your goal is to simplify your life.
  • Ask for help if you need it.

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