• It's Time to Downsize

Less stress when Downsizing

How to take the stress out of your downsizing move to a condo

By Marilyn Wilson, Postmedia News October 12, 2012

It is a truth universally acknowledged that moving day is stressful.

The packing of the things, the goodbyes to your old home and the moving of the items you've packed will all take time and effort. Possessions may get broken, thrown away or lost in the shuffle (at least temporarily).

And while moving into a condo is not as simple as moving into a single home, it's also an exciting moment. So here is some advice you can use to make your shift to condo living a little closer to flawless.

You may have booked your movers months ago, having carefully chosen them based on recommendations from your neighbour and your mother-in-law. That's a great start. But if not, be sure to get three quotes and remember that you get what you pay for - the lowest quote is not always the best or the least expensive in the long run. Make sure to tell your movers exactly what they will be moving.

Many people ignore items from the list thinking they may add them on moving day, but the truck that accompanies your movers may then be too small and they will have to scramble around to order a larger truck. Additionally, the company may not bring enough people to move such a large load and your day and stress will thus be prolonged, while the cost rises. While you are billed only by time on a local move, a long-distance move will be charged according to weight.

When moving to a condo, you want to make sure that you tell your movers exactly where you are moving. Are you raising your sights to a highrise or is townhouse living in the cards? Are there many steps or levels? Some condos are two-storey or have a loft while some townhouses are four and five levels. This may make a difference as access to the property will be different and your movers need to plan ahead.

If your last move was into a detached home, this difference may not occur to you. Single-family dwellings have easier access - you can come and go without restrictions - while condo access is limited by time, parking, traffic and use of both service and occupant elevators.

This last concern is a big one. If you arrive with a moving crew and find that another occupant is moving in or out, you may have to share the elevator. This may not be appreciated and may add to your and the mover's stress level.

This is why you must ensure that you have booked the elevator for your move-in date. On top of this restriction is the added headache of parking problems. Many movers may skirt around this problem by double parking, leading to a parking ticket that is calculated into your move.

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