Is It Downsizing Time?







Unpacking will probably begin the moment you hit the front door of your new home... and it will feel great!  It's also probably going to go on for quite a long time - so it's good to have a plan to capitalize on the gains so as to keep your spirits up.

Whether it's day one or week thirteen, some planning ahead can make the difference between drudgery and something more like pleasure...

Good tips for successful unpacking:

  • Start unpacking right off the bat, as you can/need to:  When you do it without thinking about it, it seems to get done faster, as on moving-in day.  (You need the first-day stuff, so you unpack that; you have a free moment, so you work on getting the dishes into the cupboards.)  So do that... but also attempt to recapture that attitude when unpacking stretches out into the days ahead.  As you walk by a room, let the boxes call to you, and unpack in it a bit.  If you're looking for something in a box, unpack the rest of the box... and maybe one near it.  Give yourself permission to stop - but don't put unpacking off until there's a big hunk of time to spend on it, or you might find yourself living amongst boxes for months.
  • What about the big pieces?:  Getting the furniture settled into place early on is generally more important than filling back up the drawers, cupboards, and shelves...  But as you can, you might want to move the boxes containing the furniture's "innards" over next to the piece of furniture they go with, so it's easy to do "as you can".  When you need paper and a pen, fill the desk with the office supplies... etcetera.
  • Make it enjoyable!:  Rather than forcing yourself to unpack, cultivate a habit of looking forward to rediscovering your possessions and introducing them into their new spaces.  Put on nice music; provide yourself with a cup of tea; provide yourself with a friend!  Then step back and approve of the improvements.  "Hey, we are really getting somewhere!  This is good."
  • Share the wealth:  If you aren't alone, it really shouldn't have to be the job of just one person to unpack, should it?  Assign some containers to other family members.  If they're busy, maybe just feed them one box every other day or so?  Even small children can unpack to some extent.
  • Give yourself a boost with easy spaces:  In general, the smaller the room, the easier it is to complete unpacking - like the bathroom/s:  " Wow, a whole room done!"The places with the most/largest pieces of furniture and the least small items are other good bets (usually bedrooms, the living room, maybe the exercise room or the one with the pool table).  Particularly for the other rooms, break up the task into segments - like the closet in a room, or the bookcases, or one corner.  
  • Rotate rooms:  Don't spend so much time in one room that it feels like a dungeon...  Take a break, and then go back to a different room for a change of pace.

Good unpacking materials to have on hand:

  • Easy organizers:  Particularly if you've downsized and left furniture and/or storage space behind, you're likely to find that there isn't quite enough room for all you have - so it's good to have a Plan B.  Organizing aids can be as simple as zip-lock bags in various sizes - just toss in what goes together, and no labeling required.  You can purchase cardboard under-bed boxes or storage chests inexpensively.  And I bet you'll easily find uses for plastic tubs in varying sizes and shapes (those might be good to ask for when someone wants to give you an early housewarming gift!).
  • A notebook, labels, pens:  Unpacking leads to un-thought-of thoughts - and you may want to capture them on paper so you don't forget.  "Need to get this; want to do that; etc."  Meanwhile, be ready to label what you sort into order as you put it away (because you're unlikely to remember where everything is in a new space).

Still too much stuff?:

  • Yikes, it doesn't all fit!:  It isn't the easiest thing to calculate what will fit into a different or smaller space.  And even when it fits, it might just feel too cluttered that way.  Try to avoid the doom of the forgotten (and expensive) storage locker...  Better to appraise the new setting and delete or downsize furnishings, and seek creative storage solutions, instead.  (Are you moving to a new church?  Adding to their stored rummage sale items will make you new acquaintances fast!)
  • Why on earth did we bring this?!:  We all make those mistakes - or simply didn't have the time to sort enough.  It's never too late to downsize, and great reasons to do so are that you don't really like or need nor expect to use an article you once wanted.  Don't keep it just because you went to the labor and expense to bring it along!  Moving is a wonderful way to plumb the depths of your object-gathering - and you can lighten your load after you move in as well.  It's all good!





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Gordon Pioneering - Copyright 2007 & onward