3 Questions To Ask Before Downsizing With Your Pet
1. Do You Have a Plan?
Packing is one of the most overwhelming parts of any move. Before you begin, create a plan to follow throughout the move. Try to pre-arrange a schedule. If you have weeks or months leading up to the move, write out the tasks to complete in the time you have until moving day.
Sort through your belongings to decide what you want to keep. Pace yourself through the downsizing process. You may want to begin with the one-a-day method. Every day, let go of one item or multiple items. Give yourself only four options: You can keep, trash, donate or sell the items. Try not to give yourself the option of storage. For your pet's toys, discard any broken or torn toys and those your pet never plays with.
If you're like many people, you may be trying to sell your home simultaneously. To make the sale, begin by depersonalizing your house. Remove photographs, family heirlooms, and the items that made it home for you. These items may be priority items to keep while downsizing. Try to declutter as much as possible and keep your storage space organized for potential buyers. Ensure your pets have a safe space to limit their stress.
2. Have You Found the Right Home?
When searching for a house, there are several factors to think about. For example, you need to consider the location, the features, and, of course, the size. When looking to simplify your life, limit your square footage. If you own a dog, you can make up for the lack of indoor space through regular outings and exercise.
The AKC recommends a house with a yard and fence for your animals to roam freely. Additionally, you need to know the local laws and ordinances. How many pets can you have in your community? Do your animals require licenses? Find out in advance to stay within the limits of the regulations.
When you find the house of your dreams, make sure you can afford the mortgage. While you may be selling and downsizing from your current property, you still need to ensure you have the correct debt-to-income ratio. Before agreeing on terms, your lender will determine your debt-to-income ratio by adding your monthly debt and dividing it by your income.
In terms of actual moving day, you’re going to have a lot on your plate so do yourself a favor and hire professionals to help you. Simply search for “movers near me” and browse their ratings and reviews to make sure you’re getting a great deal with a trustworthy company. Also, if you find yourself overwhelmed with boxes (or furniture) and don’t know where to put it all, consider another stress-busting strategy: rent a storage area so you can sort it out at your leisure.
3. Is Your Pet Prepared?
On moving day, keep your animals as free from stress as possible. For dogs, try to assign a family member or friend to care for them while you pack the truck. Keep cats in their carrier or the bathroom with a litter box and food. For long-distance moves, make sure you have appropriate carriers and pet-friendly stops mapped out.
Expect your pets to be confused by the new place. Give your pets a tour and set up their space as quickly as possible to provide them comfort. In a small home or apartment, you can arrange a corner of the room with a pet bed, food, and favorite toys for your pet to retreat to and feel more comfortable.
Your pets need stability and routine. If you can preserve your animal's routines and favorite items as much as possible, you'll have an easier move and easier time downsizing.
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