Downsizing and Four Moving Tips

May 28, 2015

Our home is sold, ninety percent of our household goods packed and stored.

My husband and I have been in our two bedroom, two bath apartment on the third floor,

 for two weeks. 

All unpacked and assuming a routine.

 And just as many of 

you suggested and( I thank you so much) we are making the most of downsize living!


The "idea," of selling and moving was nearly paralyzing for me and truly it was something that

I believed I could not do, oh I knew in reality I could do it.  I just wasn't quite sure how.

But through prayer, the support of my family, positive thinking, and a "can do attitude," it has been

far less overwhelming than I had ever imagined it to be.


I know there are many of you out there who are going through the same thing,

and I thought it might be of interest to pass on some tips along the way.

I really never imagined that at 58 years old I would be moving into an apartment and building

a new home.


So, I discovered and implemented a plan that worked for me and I am sharing it with you today.

Set a game plan and stick to it.

Make lists and more lists and above all stay organized and remain logical.

Downsizing and Four Moving Tips

Tip #1

Inventory Your Current Home
  • At least a month in advance begin to inventory your current home.
  • Most  homeowners have accumulated quite a bit and will not be able to take everything they
  • "love," into the transitional living space.
  • Measure beds, sofa's tables, etc...
  • Begin a wish list of what you would like to take with you.

Tip #2

Making the Most of your Temporary Living Style

  • Once you have chosen your temporary living style and your new space- take notes
  • Make a list.
  • Measure spaces, take photos.
  • Check things like the size of closets, cabinets, refrigerator, laundry room.
  • This will help you make decisions on what you truly can take with you.

Tip #3

Donations, Garage Sales or Craig's List

  • Use the lists that you have created to de-clutter your life. 
  • There is no better time like the present.
  • Use moving to get rid of items that you just no longer need, use or even want.
  • It is actually a time to free yourself from carrying so many things around for so long, so embrace it.

Tip #4

It's the Little Things That Make You Happy

  • I suppose that sounds like an odd term, but honestly there were some items that I knew would make me happy and feel less displaced.
  • Photos and keepsakes from and of my family, cookbooks, and my plants.
  • I have little treasures tucked here and there, photos on tables and counters.
  • Loquats, ferns, succulents, mums and petunias on my over sized balcony.


Salvation Army will take used sofa's and items that are not torn or completely worn out.
Local donation centers will welcome clothing, dishes, art work, lamps etc...
If you find that there are items that won't sell or donations that are not accepted ask your
movers if they are interested in any of those items.

Oh, and of course fresh flowers always make one's spirit and home a brighter place.

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  1. You are really undertaking quite a challenge, Jemma. I do not envy you, one iota. Your tips are great, though. Do tell us about the home you will be building...what colors do you plan on using?

    1. Marigene,
      It is a challenge, isn't it and I am discovering there are more and more people changing spaces at this age. Oh, I have about five colors that I am playing with right now-thank you for asking, I will be sharing them very soon!

  2. Such good advice here! And that last one must be so important because it is the little things you miss. I've read that some people who travel constantly pack pictures and a favorite throw, etc. to make each hotel room seem a little like home and you've done that. Who could live without cookbooks? Maybe not the entire collection but most used ones.

    Thank you for keeping us posted, Jemma. Exciting months ahead for you!

    1. Dewena,
      I suppose I am discovering more and more that it truly is "the Little things in life..." thank you for your enthusiasm!

  3. Well, well, well ... you did it! Congratulations my friend :) Having helped my parents 'downsize' I do understand the task that you were up against. I'm so proud of you for staying organized and coming out of that chaos to the other side. Having all that purging behind you, it will be so much easier for your concentrate on your new build. You must be breathing a sigh of relief. Good advice for others going through this journey too. Take care Jemma! Sending you a big hug!

    1. Yes Wendy!
      We did it, sometimes I really wondered if was possible, but here we are anxiously awaiting the next phase of the journey. Thank you for your kindness and support, my friend!

  4. You are doing a GREAT job may I say and I believe that no matter where you live - your home is going to be beautiful. You had a lot of great ideas too! Thanks for the tips.

    1. Sandi,
      You are a such a sweetie and always are have a gift for encouraging others!

  5. So glad you're getting comfy in your new place! Moving CAN be daunting.

    Between 1986 and 2006, I moved 52 times! {That averages out to 2.6 times a year!} WOW! The simplest and Best thing I did when I moved, whether it was across town...across the hall...or across the country {like to AZ or TN}...was to put all my IMPORTANT stuff in a separate box and it ONLY WENT WITH ME! It never went in someone's car...or truck. I transported it myself. I had my purse, pills, checkbook, reading material and whatever else I thought I might need {like TP} upon arrival to my new abode. And I always tucked something special in the box too...just for me. A candy bar, M&M's, a new magazine, a Starbucks gift card...whatever thing I was really "liking" at the time. It worked so well!!

    Take care...blessings,
    Jan ♥

    1. Jan,
      Great tips for nurturing oneself while moving, thank you for sharing.

  6. Hello Jemma, wonderful tips and suggestions. My sister is doing the same now, her house is for sale and they have to wait for their new place to be built. It is tough but, I guess it can be done.. I am glad you are comfy in your new place, enjoy.

    1. Eileen,
      I will be interested to see how things are going for your sister-there are more of us in transition than I had imagined. Thanks for your kindness.

  7. I got on-line to email you and the first thing I see is your new post! I just received the LTD items and I wanted to thank you so very much! The angel is lovely and the cleaner thingies will definitely get used A LOT!

    A little over a year ago we were in transition housing too. We sold our home of 27 years but had to stick around town until we sold the business which miraculously we did just weeks before our lease was up and we had to move (renewing wasn't an option). I'll be never felt like home, but I was nonetheless happy there. Sounds corny, but home is more about who you're with than anything else, and as long as I have my Fisherman, I'm good.

    Ok, how sappy does that sound?! lol

    I know these next few months will be hectic, but think about what you're working toward! I would so love to build a home from scratch, but that's a dream that will probably never come to fruition. I will anxiously look for ├┐our updates Jemma. You've been missed.


    1. Doreen,
      So thankful the goodies arrived from LTD, happy your are pleased too.
      Not sappy at all, Doreen-transitioning at any time of life is stressful, and these older years bring on new fears and concerns. Team work, love and patience are always a winning combination!
      Thank you for caring and missing me too!

  8. Good evening Jemma,
    I did not realize you were going to sell your house and live in an apt while building! I must have read one of your blog posts incorrectly. It sounds as though you have everything under control though and that doesn't surprise me ! You are so organized!
    This is an exciting time for sure, so embrace the process and look forward to the next chapter! The best is yet to come!

    1. Linda,
      Thanks so much for the positive outlook-embracing life, living intentionally and finding joy no matter what the circumstance -these are all great tools. Looking forward to sharing the journey with you my friend!

  9. Moving is always a challenge. Great tips here, and you are right, fresh flowers always help. I've moved over 20 times in our 38 years of marriage and moving is wonderful way to cut down the clutter.

    1. Lorrie,
      These are just the thoughts I need to hear and I am sure others will appreciate them too.

  10. You know I've been there, Jemma. You got this, my friend. Feels wonderful to be rid of so much stuff, doesn't it?
    Simplicity ... and fresh flowers ... lifesavers.

    1. Marcia,
      I know you have and your words of wisdom inspire and encourage me-thank you, my friend!

  11. Oh Jemma, pink carnations, so pretty. These are great tips, my friend. It's hard being in between houses, and I sure feel for ya. Simplicity is the key though. When we moved to our new home, I think I gave away about 10 bags of stuff. Felt so good, and we don't realize how much we accumulate through the years. And if you're downsizing, you'll probably want to give away even more. Keep the cherished and treasured stuff, that's all I can say, because you will be in your new space in no time and will look at them and smile every day.

    Bless you, Jemma, through this journey. You are such a lovely woman with a beautiful mind and heart.

    love, ~Sheri

    1. Sheri,
      I am listening to these tips that you and some of the other gals are sharing. I know your recent move was a busy one and just like me you downsized and reconfigured, but I can tell already that cleaning out and keeping what really matters is truly cathartic. Thank you for such inspiring and loving words.

  12. Love the tips and I really love your beautiful carnation! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  13. What an exciting adventure. I am 58 years old also and we have lived in our house since we were 19. I can't imagine what a task it would be to move. I really admire your spirit and wish you the best! You have an amazing and positive outlook!

    1. We are kindred spirits too, and I am so happy to meet you! I am finding that our attitude makes all the difference. There are many-most things in life that we can't change. But we can choose how we think, feel and approach our circumstances.
      Thank you for your sweet words:)

  14. Hi Jemma :)

    Those are such pretty pictures. It sounds like you've got it all under control and your head is in the right place. Good! I'm really happy for you.


    1. Rue,
      You are a sweetheart and I am working on my outlook everyday!

  15. Jemma,
    Our next step in about 10-12 years will be to an apartment......permanently. Even though I live in a small townhouse, I have been a home owner my entire adult life and when I can no longer climb the 13 steps up to the front sidewalk that runs in front of our row of houses, we will sell and move to an apartment roughly the same size in the complex right down the street. There we will have NO maintanence and be able to just pick up a phone and it will be fixed and will not have to pay for it!! I will so be ready for that!!
    Good luck with your new home..Hats off to you undertaking this at this stage of the game...


    1. Deb,
      What a great plan you have set in motion and planning is super important. Going into change with a prepared mindset, financial goals,emotional awareness and optimism make it all an entirely different experience. My hat is off to you too!

  16. I am here by way of Brenda's Cozy Little House. We have lived in our house for 30 years. It's for sale right now. Not sure where we ill move since it is taking so long to sell. Thanks for your tips.

    1. Hi Debby,
      So very nice to meet you and I am so happy you stopped by. Planning and preparing are very beneficial and can make this change so positive. It is not too early to make those lists, begin visualizing moving and if you know where you are going next start looking at your housing options now. Stay positive and embrace the change!

  17. Having done the same thing a year ago I know what you have been going through. However, my move was a permanent one to an apartment as I grow older and need less space (and things). It was such a freeing experience.

    1. This is what I am finding out, the change, the smaller space, the eliminating "things," is enlightening. Thanks for sharing your experience with us and I am so thankful that the move was
      such a good one.

  18. Good thoughts and advice. I know another blogger who is literally doing the same thing as you. Their house sold quickly, they moved into an apartment and are building a new home. Her blog is called Good Life of Design.

    1. Liz,
      Thanks for the name of the blog-also thank you very much for your tips and guidelines on finding a builder-we put those tips to use and now have one.

  19. Great tips Jemma! I'm looking forward to seeing your new home. Almost 6 years ago we actually moved into a larger home. At almost 62 I should be downsizing, but I still am buying treasures. lol! Someday I will have to. I thought this would be our last home, but I'm thinking that 10 or so years after many of our grands are married it is going to be too big and we may consider downsizing. Thanks for sharing with SYC.


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