Thursday, 31 October 2013

Downsizing from the Family Home

As a household owner, you go through a cycle of home ownership. You initially start with rental as a student and even as you move on to owning your first home as a young professional. You may start as owning a studio type apartment or a one bedroom apartment, with just enough storage space for your simple needs. As you move along in your career and personal life, your home ownership needs become more sophisticated - you cohabitate with someone, sharing the living space with another person and, thus, saving some costs in the long-run. This cohabitation may result to starting a young family, investing in a bigger living space, with ample storage of personal belongings for at least three people. As the children mature, they may require more space as they would need a study room and a family room.

When the children reach adulthood, they leave for school and even venture out on their own. This leaves you with a huge space that only gets filled during holidays. That is the time that you and your partner are looking into downsizing your space for a smaller one, just having a provision for one guest room when the kids are home. Apart from that, you begin to look at reducing the space you have around you. This nesting period, then, kicks in.

With the increasing costs of real estate, more and more mature householders are looking at downsizing their home as a way to save money to fund their retirement. It is not only savings that they get from a smaller home, but also when it comes to mobility, accessibility and convenience of taking care of a smaller home. Although, the advantage for matured household owners is greater than the disadvantage it brings, there are some issues that, if not properly handled, could be costly for the homeowner. Moving into a smaller house could raise a  potential problem of what to do with all of the furniture and family memorabilia that has built up around the home over the years.

Kerri Rodley of Domestic Downsizing, a Queensland-based removalist service, advises mature householders who are planning to downsize to get their kids to clear out their own personal heirlooms and clutter. This will save the time and headache for the parents to coordinate of what to keep and what to dispose.

It is true that in most of the time, some parents are very sentimental when it comes to their kids items, but it is also a good idea to keep only a few of these. If there are items that they couldn't keep with lack of storage space, but are too valuable to throw, they could ask each child if they are willing to keep these to show to their children. While parents will want to keep some photos, they may not want every school yearbook and their children's old toys; thus, it is a good idea to go through these items and ask if the kids would want to keep these at their end. It is a reality that many retirees will be moving to a home about half the size of their current one.

Like what Rodley suggested, mature householders should pass on their heirlooms to children or grandchildren and put other items into storage, rather than clutter up their new home. This will help the matured homeowner to save on costs during the move, avoiding any costs of self storage for these, and only requiring a smaller new home. It is also important to remember that the downsizing process begins well before the removalists come and organisation is the key to a successful move. Children should be very much involved in this downswing process in order to avoid the risk of throwing away through oversight what is deemed valuable by the family.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Paint Your House Before Moving In

You may be keen to move straight into your new home, but it’s a good idea to get painting done before the rooms fill up with furniture and other personal bits and pieces, not afterwards when they will just be in the way and could even get splashed with paint!

To save time on painting major walls and woodwork and other interior design, consider putting some of your household items in temporary self storage. Having a house free from belongings helps:

  • Avoid damaging furniture - if you are moving around a lot painting and renovating can damage furniture. Even just bumping it with ladders and other objects can cause marks and scratches.
  • Cut painting costs - an empty home is much easier for contractors (or yourself) to paint. This will save you either a lot of money or a lot of time if you are doing it yourself.
  • Give fresh ideas - if you are yet to buy all your furniture, adding the main house colours to the walls will help you see what items will fit.

A storage facility makes a lot of sense for homeowners in the process of moving or carrying out some serious renovations and redecorating work, as it offers a safe and secure place to keep valuable and personal items out of harm’s way. Storage is a very affordable option for most people and facilities are very modern these days. Most up-to-date storage services will actually provide portable storage units that are delivered to your location, so all you have to do on the day is pack up your things and load them into the unit. The service then comes and picks up the loaded module!

Now you can move into your new property that is clear of furniture, personal possessions, and moving boxes, and start to paint each room. The process will be much faster as there is plenty of space to move around and as long as you put your mind to it the job will be completed in next to no time. If you decide to employ professionals to do the work then even better as they have the experience and the equipment to complete the tasks quickly and efficiently.  

If you have to move your furniture and other belongings to your home and don’t want to use a storage facility for whatever reason then always make sure to keep the rooms as clear as possible before painting, and cover them with large old dust sheets for extra protection.

Once the house is all clean and freshly painted then you have a blank canvas that makes it much easier to see where items of furniture fit in and what other necessary items are still needed.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Storage Solutions for Businesses

If you have a cluttered office or your storeroom is looking dangerously overcrowded, you may need to look at external storage solutions. Hiring a storage unit can help you keep any excess stock, shop fittings, office equipment and documents and records safe for later use without your business premises being affected and looking crammed full of products, which is messy and doesn’t look very professional or organized to any potential or present clients.

Start by making a complete inventory of items you want to keep in your storage unit. This will help keep track of everything once it is out of sight and will make it easy and quick to locate items in the future.

Prepare items you want to send to storage the same way you would if your office was relocating. Remember, the items still have to travel to the storage unit and they will be packed away, so it is important to avoid damaging anything. Get dust covers for all furniture and pack smaller items safely away in sturdy plastic or cardboard boxes.

Storage is also useful for putting away outdated files that you no longer use but still need to keep. The law states that tax and employment records have to be kept for a period of time and if you have a large customer base this can add up to a lot of paper. Instead of having boxes of records and files cluttering up the office, pack them away, label them, and ship them off to your storage unit with the other items.

There’s nothing to say that they have to remain in the boxes either, if you need regular access to them then consider leaving them in the filing cabinets and store the whole thing in the unit. Then when a particular client’s file is required send someone along to pull it out of the cabinet – it’s so quick and easy and efficient!

With storage fees so low it works out much more economical to rent a storage unit from month to month than moving into larger premises, paying all the moving costs and extra rent. Pay the fees upfront and you might even be eligible for a discount.

Business storage is also useful for restaurant owners and seasonal businesses as it means they can offload their extra equipment and products until the next high season at a very low monthly rate.  Thousands of people use business storage and benefit from the high level of security these places offer, it means you save money on having to hire your own security team too and the headache of employing people to do the work.