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Transitioning from Large Dream Home to Small Home

Big house into small house

The time has finally come when your children move away, go off to college or get married. You’ve tried to stay in your large home that you’ve been in for years filled with so many memories of your children growing up and maybe even grandchildren. Now you realize that the space is way too much to handle. The work from going up and down stairs is getting to you. You sit and think “what am I going to do now?” It’s time to downsize to a smaller home or maybe even an apartment.

You can find a home that is the perfect size for you. Whether it’s an apartment, condo or smaller townhouse that requires no mowing or shoveling. Everything you need is on one floor maybe two. You already know you need to start getting rid of furniture because you’ve gone from a four bedroom to a one or two bedroom. Your new is great but then you realize you have very limited storage space. With no garage, attic or basement and fewer closets where are you going to keep your grandchildren’s books or school projects? No worries you can save all your precious belongings in a storage unit!

First step is to find the best storage company in your new community. You visit a few of them, call others, ask questions. Make sure to find out if they offer electronic access gates, fencing around the property, security cameras and a property manager who will be on site at least five days a week. Find out if they offer drive-up storage units or temperature control – whatever you are looking for. We suggest that you actually visit the storage properties you are interested in before deciding. Walk around the property and see if it is well cared for and if the buildings and doors are in good shape. Check out the rental office; does it smell fresh, are supplies available for sale, does the property manager seem knowledgeable? Ask to see inside the storage unit you are considering. Make sure it is clean and the door opens and closes easily and the door clasps are not broken or damaged. While you are touring each property or shortly afterwards, make a list of pros and cons so you can compare them. You want to ensure you are comfortable with the property you select.Packing Supplies

Moving can be overwhelming at times. Limit your stress by planning ahead. As you go through your belongings you can figure out what should go into your storage unit, what goes to your new home and what do you plan on donating or throwing away. Go through each room and make a list of furniture, lamps etc. You can tag items as you go if that makes it easier. These lists will help you as you pack and begin storing them away.

Next, you will need to start gathering packing supplies. We have a fully stocked retail shop in every office for your convenience. We keep dust covers in stock for twin, full, queen and king size mattresses, sofas, chairs and more. We also have a large variety of boxes that specifically for storage. They prevent crushing and mildew growth. You can also find packing tape, tape guns, rope, bubble wrap and more in our retail shops.

Once you finish going through each room, you can begin packing. The bed mattress and box frames should be wrapped in plastic dust covers. Be sure to wrap your extra furniture in dust covers as well. It’s a good idea to disassemble any large or awkwardly shaped furniture like desks, TV stands and hutches. Place all the nuts, bolts and other hardware in a Ziploc baggie and tape it to the underside of the furniture to keep them together. You can even place an index card in the baggie with the name of the furniture too, just in case they get separated during the move. When you pack up glass items, wrap them in bubble wrap or packing paper and stuff packing paper in extra spaces in the box to prevent the fragile items from shifting around.

You also need to think about how to pack the moving truck as well as the best way to pack your storage unit to maximize space and provide easy access to your items. Learn “Helpful Tips to Pack the Moving Truck and Your Storage Unit” in a prior blog. You can also learn about “Storage Unit Tetris – Making Your Stuff Fit” from a previous blog as well. We offer a great deal of tips and advice on packing, moving and storing in our blog.

We do recommend that you take separate trips to your new home and your storage unit with the moving truck. This will prevent you from accidentally taking something to the wrong location. Moving things into your new home should be your first priority. Then you can make sure everything fits that you want to keep. If not, you can load it back on the moving truck to place into your storage unit.

Making the move from your large home to your smaller home can be a stressful time. Use these tips to help minimize that stress as much as you can. Also, take joy in knowing that a new family will be able to make great memories in your old home, just like you and your family did over the years. And, all the items you end up donating to a local shelter or mission or the Salvation Army will benefit many families in need in your community. And, find the excitement in the whole moving process and knowing that you will soon be making new memories in your new home! Start a new tradition like a monthly family dinner with your grown children or a book club every two weeks with your new neighbors.

If you have any questions about downsizing and using self storage to help you with your move, contact us or reach out to our knowledgeable property manager. And, if you are ready to start the downsizing process and you need a self storage unit, you can rent one online 24/7.