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Downsizing? The Stress Free Moving Guide For Seniors [Free Moving Checklist & Labels Included]

Downsizing Tips For Seniors

Moving is a BIG undertaking for anyone, to say the least.

And when you’re a senior, there might be some important elements to consider during a move. It can be quite an emotional journey, leaving a home where you’ve raised your family, to downsizing into something smaller. By taking just a few extra precautions, you can prevent unnecessary (and unhealthy!) stress during the days to come.

Here are a few golden tips to help you prepare like a pro to downsize and move, smooth sailing all the way.

Knowing When It’s the Right Time to Downsize

Life moves fast. One day you’re in a house that hardly seems big enough as you’re tripping over your kids and the next, your children are adults with kids of their own — leaving you with a house that’s more work than it’s worth.

Most families don’t purchase their home with the thought of downsizing later. However, as they enter their years as a senior, owning a big home starts to catch up with them. Knowing when it’s the right time to downsize isn’t easy. Luckily for you, these tips should give you some insight as to when it’s a good time to consider downsizing:

  • Stretching the retirement budget — This is one of the most common reasons people look into downsizing. If retirement savings are only going so far and they’re needing to be stretched, downsizing might be worth considering. A smaller and cheaper property can help decrease your yearly expenses by reducing property taxes, insurance, and mortgage payments.
  • Feeling overwhelmed with upkeep — If maintaining and cleaning your house is becoming overwhelming and it’s not in the budget to hire help to do the job for you, it may be time to consider downsizing.
  • Empty rooms — If there are multiple empty rooms in your home that are never used, then frankly, you don’t need them. Walking by empty rooms in your home that do nothing but collect dust and cost you money to heat, cool and maintain does absolutely nothing for you. Downsizing fixes this problem, meaning you’ll use less energy, use less space, and spend less money.
  • Stairs are a no go — As we get older, going up and down stairs can become increasingly difficult. If you have a multi-story home and you find that you’re having some difficulty, downsizing to a single-story home or apartment might be the route to go.

Any of these true for you or a loved one? Then it might be time to consider downsizing to a smaller home. Maybe a switch to a one-story townhome or a first-floor condo is what’s best for you. Maybe it’s a 55+ resort-style golf community. There’s something out there for everyone.

Alternatively, you might consider opting for a senior living community with assisted living and independent living options. It all boils down to your unique needs.

Sorting Through Belongings

Ok, you’ve decided to downsize. Great! Now what?

It’s time to start sorting through everything you’ve accumulated over the years, especially all of those knickknacks and memorabilia. Downsizing means you can’t take everything with you, no matter how attached you are to that one thing you bought that one time at that one place.

When you start sorting through your belongings, it’s best to sort them into four categories: Things to keep, things to store, things to sell or give away, and trash. Start with one area or room at a time, even if that means you’re working on just one closet or one dresser and as you go, sort each item into one of the four categories.

Struggling to figure out what to toss in the trash? It’s okay, look for these signs that indicate something is best thrown away or given away:

  • It was never taken out of the box
  • The item no longer fits your desires or needs
  • “I might need this someday”, is a thought you have
  • It’s out of date or old
  • It won’t be used or read again
  • It’s an unfinished project
  • You haven’t touched it in more than a year and it has no sentimental value.

The next step is to know what needs to be stored. A lot of items won’t be needed on a daily basis but might need to be kept for various reasons.

Items that are best stored are:

  • Documents and paperwork.
  • Items that hold sentimental value
  • Seasonal items that you don’t have room in your new home to store.

Lastly, deciding what you should keep. Don’t overlook:

  • Items that are sentimental that you wish to see regularly
  • High-value items that you want to keep close
  • Clothes that are important to keep for special occasions.

It’s important to remember that you’ll have an easier time moving (and fitting) into your new home with less.

Packing in Preparation to Move

seamless transition into new home

Next, comes the task of packing. This isn’t an easy job and it’s important to give yourself enough time to complete the task and to do the job well.

Keep in mind, packing is physically demanding. If you’re packing alone and you don’t have help, give yourself enough time to finish packing without putting yourself under physical stress or potential injuries.

Here are some suggestions to help make packing a little safer:

  • Break it up into small tasks — Doing this will make the task of packing more manageable. Keep in mind, it took several years for you to accumulate your belongings. That being said, don’t expect to be able to pack them overnight. Plan to work for an hour or two a week until everything is complete.
  • Pay attention to box weight — Even with help on moving day, you might have to move boxes around. Be aware of the weight of the boxes you’re packing, mixing heavy items with light ones will keep the weight of each box reasonable. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to ensure that no boxes are heavier than 50 pounds.
  • Ask for help — More than likely, this isn’t a job you can handle by yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If help isn’t available, consider budgeting some money to hire movers.
  • Pack a box to “open first” — Unpacking can be just as stressful as the job of packing itself. Make your job slightly easier by packing a few boxes to “open first” with all the essentials you’ll need for the first few days. These boxes can be things like bedding, linens, clothes, and toiletries. Things that will help you get through the first few days with as little stress as possible. When loading the moving truck, put these boxes in last.
  • Label your boxes well — Doing the best you can to label your boxes well so that you know exactly what’s in each box will help you unpack more effectively in your new home.

Do You Hire Movers or Move Yourself?

Once you’ve started the process of downsizing and packing your belongings, the next decision to make is whether you’re going to hire movers or handle the move yourself. Before you start weighing out the pros and cons, consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • What’s your health currently like? Can your body handle taking on the majority of the tasks without hurting yourself?
  • Do you have a family to help nearby and do they have the time to commit to helping you?
  • How tight is your timeline? Do you have the luxury of taking your time to pack and move?
  • Are you moving far?

If moving on your own is something you think you can do, then it’s time to weigh the pros and cons of this choice.

The major benefits of moving yourself are:

  • You spend less money.
  • You can make sure your fragile items are handled well.
  • You can move in your own time, with the option to move little bits at a time.

However, there are a few drawbacks:

  • It’s physically stressful.
  • There is a greater demand for help from family and friends.
  • If you’re moving cross-country, it gets expensive.

Making the choice to hire movers has many benefits as well, including:

  • Less stress in packing
  • Safer and more efficient moving practices
  • With experienced movers, large items are better protected.
  • The move is faster
  • When moving cross-country, it’s cheaper.
  • There is no demand, or need to rely, on friends and family.

A good rule of thumb is if you’re moving 500 miles or more, hiring professional movers is the cheapest choice, more often than not. It’s also definitely the least stressful option. There are some small drawbacks to hiring professionals to consider, though:

  • Strangers are packing and handling your stuff
  • It’s more expensive for local moves

The bottom line? Your answer to whether or not to hire movers is going to depend on several factors. However, if you’re moving a long distance or your health is compromised and you can’t rely on friends or family, then hiring a professional moving company is your best option. If this isn’t the case for you, you’ll be able to save money by doing it yourself.

Keep Moving Day Safe

Once you’ve finished all of your planning, packing, and preparation, moving day finally here. You’ll want to take measures to ensure all of your belongings and everyone helping you are safe throughout the move. Moving is a huge undertaking, so planning ahead isn’t a bad idea.

Avoiding physical injury is a priority here. To make sure back strain or any other serious injury is avoided, consider these tips:

  • Get plenty of help. You can’t handle this alone.
  • Avoid packing boxes that weigh more than 50 pounds.
  • Make sure you lift with proper lifting techniques (lift with your legs and not your back)
  • Leave the heavy boxes to someone younger, or use a moving dolly.
  • Make sure there’s a clear path into and out of the house.
  • Make sure pets are secured on moving day, doors tend to stay open a lot.

It’s also important to make sure you’re taking care of your nutritional needs. It’s easy to forget or skip meals and water breaks when you’re busy in the throes of moving. It’s extremely important to make sure you don’t get dehydrated and you have plenty of food for yourself and those who are helping you move. You’re going to be burning quite a bit of calories.

Next, you’ll want to make sure you take the necessary measures to avoid damage to your belongings. Stacking boxes carefully, with heavy boxes on the bottom, will help prevent any boxes and their contents from being crushed.

Labeling boxes so that the labels are clearly visible will make your life easier when unpacking. While loading the truck, making it so the heaviest items are near the front protects the balance of the truck while it’s headed towards your new home.

Lastly, make sure any items that are likely to shift during transit are secured and tied down properly. The last thing you want is to arrive at your new home and find some of your belongings damaged.

Plan For The Emotions That Come With Moving

Some people consider moving a new adventure and an exciting time. However, not everyone feels this way. Some find the transition of moving to be emotionally challenging. Even more so if they are giving up a home where their children were raised, have made wonderful memories, and where grandchildren were welcomed into their home.

The best way to prepare for these emotions that come along with moving is to embrace those emotions first. Feeling sad when making a big move is normal. Don’t be afraid of the emotions you might feel, they are a healthy part of transitioning into your new home.

With that being said, sometimes those emotions and sadness can turn into something more serious. It’s important to be aware that some seniors will struggle with Relocation Stress Syndrome after making a big move.

Relocation Stress Syndrome or RSS is defined as a “physiologic and/or psychosocial disturbance as a result of a transfer from one environment to another. Signs that you or a loved one is suffering from this syndrome include:

  • Depression
  • Sadness
  • Despair
  • Confusion
  • Apprehension
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep Problems
  • Withdrawal
  • Isolation

If you’re noticing your loved one, or yourself, suffering from these symptoms, seek medical or psychological help to ease the transition.

Settling Into Your New Home

Once the move has happened, take time to settle into your new home. Here are a few tips that will help you get settled in quickly.

  • Meet your new neighbors — Establishing social connections early on can help you feel more at home in your new space.
    Take time to get to know the community — Whether it’s the social events in your assisted living community or the stores or the social opportunities around your new town, making sure to take some time to learn and know the new community you’ll be living in can help you feel settled.
  • Logically unpack — Start with what you need right away, then move on to unpacking a little at a time until you’ve finished unpacking and settling into your new home.
    Schedule a housewarming party — Plan a housewarming party and invite friends and family over to see your new home and space. Limiting guests might be a necessity due to space, but don’t let that hold you back from showing off your new home.
  • Get Into a routine — Getting into a routine go a long way in making you feel at home. So, establish those routines early on and as quickly as possible. Use routines from your old home that you enjoyed whenever possible.
  • Change of address — Missing bills and other important mail because they weren’t delivered can be stressful. Make sure you change the address on all of your utilities, insurance, medical bills, and bank statements as soon as possible. It’s also important to file a change of address with the post office as well. Besides, you might even get some awesome coupons too! Who doesn’t love coupons?

What to Do With the Extra Belongings: Sell, Store or Bequeath?

When unpacking your belongings you’ll notice several items that missed your initial filter and only realizing now that you’re in your new place that you no longer have a need for these items. It’s time to decide if you’re keeping, storing, selling, or bequeathing these items. It’s not always an easy choice to make, but here are a few guidelines to help.

First, decide which items you’re going to hold onto for a while. This decision is extremely personal and it will depend on how much space you have in your new home or if you’ve chosen to get a storage unit or not. If you still need these items on occasion, they’re items that hold extreme sentimental value or you want to bequeath at some point but you’re not ready to yet, then you’ll need to store these items. Keep in mind, the more you choose to store, the bigger the storage unit, which costs more money.

Bequeathing some of your belongings to the next generation can be a rewarding way to part from them. You won’t have to store them and as a bonus, you’ll get to watch the next generation enjoy them.

Items that might make sense to pass down could include:

  • Heirloom furniture that you won’t have room to use.
  • Sets of china or sentimental dishes.
  • Decor that holds sentimental value.
  • Vintage and antique items you don’t have space for.

Lastly, it’s time to decide what items you’re going to sell. It’s not uncommon for antiques and vintage items to sell for a significant price. Make sure the deal you are getting is fair. One way to do this is to have your items appraised by a reputable antique dealer before selling them. This will help to protect you from accepting offers that are far below the value of the items.

Tips For Family With An Elderly Loved One Moving

If you have a loved one who is a senior and planning a move, here are a few ways you can help them with the transition:

  • Allow for more time than you originally think for the move. Seniors take longer to make choices, pack and settle in. So, allow them more time.
  • It’s important to know when your help is wanted or needed. Be ready to step in, but also be ready to provide your loved one with space when it’s needed.
  • Be ready for frustration if you’re helping your parent move. Especially if they’re moving into an assisted living community.
  • Encouraging your loved one to quickly make friends after they move will help them settle in quicker.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of emotional distress. Even if this move was their idea, there can still be trauma and stress as time moves along.
  • Be patient and show compassion — moving is can be emotionally taxing.
  • Use a schedule and checklists to help keep everyone on task.


Have some downsizing tips of your own? Let us know!


We’re not your typical Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Tania Matthews Team
1200 Oakley Seaver Rd. Ste. 109
Clermont, FL 34711

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Shadow Oak Trail: A Hidden Piece of Paradise with Endless Possibilities

There’s a hidden piece of paradise that even the neighbors don’t know exists. Imagine leaving a subdivision and as you wind around past the gate marked private property, you travel a treelined road that takes you back in time, granting you a glimpse of old Florida, the way it used to be.

The hustle and bustle of everyday life dissipates as you dive deeper into this amazing 20+ acres of natural beauty. Your approach is illustrated with various ponds, canopied foliage, and the wondrous elements of Florida’s wildlife — dragonflies, the singing of birds, and a kaleidoscope of butterflies. This picturesque view culminates towards 660 feet of pristine waterfront on Lake Louisa, part of the Clermont Chain of Lakes — known for its superb bass fishing, colorful sunrises and sunsets, and as the wakeboard capital of the world.

Shadow Oak Trail Clermont FL

It’s almost as if you’ve stepped into a real-life Bob Ross painting.

In addition to the serene waterfront, you’ll find tranquil trails scattered throughout the property, perfect for a morning stroll or adventurous exploring.

An elevated and quaint home already built on the property gives you the illusion of living in a spacious tree house. While beneath the home, you’re invited to relax on a set of cozy swing seats that offer the perfect vantage point to observe Florida’s unmistakable sunrises and sunsets; enjoy a cup of coffee or your favorite glass of wine as you watch the amazing reflection of colors dancing off the water’s surface.

Along with the property’s picturesque views, a wooden dock sits on the water’s edge allowing Lake Louisa to become the personal fishing and watersport playground.

Shadow Oak Trail Clermont FL

Ready To Schedule Your Private Tour?

The possibilities for this property are endless and are only limited to your imagination. Come and experience this amazing property for yourself, we’ll provide the glass of wine.

Schedule Your Private Tour →

Endless Possibilities

Shadow Oak Trail can be left in its current state as a single home on unique private acreage or be transformed into just about anything your heart desires (within reason of course).

Currently, this property has the opportunity for 3 homesites and with the right developer knowledge, resources, and county permission, there may be a strong foundation for a total of 5 homesites; easily providing the possibility for an incredible family compound or as future homesite developments.

Looking for a unique equestrian property? You’re in luck, the current zoning ordinance allows for horses. With plenty of space to add a barn in conjunction with the existing trails, Shadow Oak Trail can easily become an unparalleled equestrian estate.

Shadow Oak Trail Clermont FL

Prefer a bit more action? For the watersport enthusiast, this property could easily be considered as a training facility, camp or school. It provides the perfect camp-like setting and has plenty of space to spare to add additional sleeping areas.

Own a seaplane? Did we mention you can land your seaplane on Lake Louisa?

Every time I visit, I feel the everyday stressors simply disappear and am amazed at the profound healing qualities this extraordinary haven provides. I think of the many ministries and people searching for that quiet, tranquil, and private oasis where one can reflect and search for the answers they’re looking for, whatever it may be. Shadow Oak Trail could easily become that place, an incredible retreat location where one can find answers within nature.

This is Shadow Oak Trail.

Ready To Schedule Your Private Tour?

The possibilities for this property are endless and are only limited to your imagination. Come and experience this amazing property for yourself, we’ll provide the glass of wine.

Schedule Your Private Tour →

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Author Kate DiCamillo’s Childhood Home Designed By Architect James Gamble Rogers II

You’re not going to want to miss this charming and distinctive home with great mid-century bones.

This wonderful vintage home nestled within the heart of historic downtown Clermont, FL, this home claims the notoriety of not only being the childhood home of beloved children’s fiction writer, Kate DiCamillo, but also the vision of the renowned 20th-century architect, James Gamble Rogers II.

A Bit About This Home – 1713 Sunset Drive Clermont, FL 34711

1713 Sunset Drive is truly a one of a kind home rich with culture and history. As you enter the residence you’re greeted with gorgeous hardwood floors with plenty of natural sunlight beaming through its windows. As you navigate to the grand living room you’re graced with a 17-foot long wall of built-in bookshelves and cabinets. The large dining area has plenty of room for those family gatherings and be sure to take note of the built-in china cabinets. And with an amazing amount of closet space (11 closets to be exact,) we doubt you’ll run out of storage.

Enjoy sunny Florida’s weather and sit on the front porch while enjoying a cup of coffee while glimpsing at the beautiful Lake Minnehaha. Located on a dead-end street in historic downtown Clermont, this home is privately situated on a large .36 acre lot amidst mature landscaping.

This amazing home rich with history and charm has so much to offer, it’s a must see to truly appreciate it and take it all in.


About Kate DiCamillo

Born on March 25, 1964, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Katrina Elizabeth “Kate” DiCamillo is an award-winning American author of children’s fiction novels. She’s one of six people to win two Newbery Medals, recognizing her novels The Tale of Despereaux (2003) and another in 2014 Flora & Ulysses (2013). DiCamillo was also named to a two-year term as the national ambassador for young people’s literature by the Library of Congress in 2014.

Suffering from chronic pneumonia as a child, a condition that prompted DiCamillo’s mother, a teacher, to move to Florida when she was five with her older brother. Her father, an orthodontist, was supposed to follow the family afterward, although he never did. Spending a lot of time alone in her bed imagining and observing due to her sickness, DiCamillo credits her sickly childhood as having shaped her as a writer.

Majoring in English at the University of Florida at Gainesville (B.A., 1987), she took on various short-term jobs before moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1994 where she worked in a book warehouse and became drawn to children’s fiction.

Her first novel, Because of Winn-Dixie (2000; film 2005), was published after a young editor spotted it in the “slush pile,” a publishing house’s collection of manuscripts sent unsolicited by aspiring authors. The novel—which relates the story of 10-year-old Opal, a girl made lonely by the loss of her mother and her arrival in a new town, and the mangy dog she finds in a supermarket—was praised for its gentle humour, the clarity of its writing, and the endearing nature of its young protagonist.

In DiCamillo’s second novel, Tiger Rising (2001), she again explored the life of a child beset by the loss of a parent. In it, two friends discover in the woods a caged tiger, and DiCamillo interspersed lines from William Blake’s “The Tyger” to help drive the narrative.

The award-winning The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread (2003; film 2008), DiCamillo’s third novel, is the story of a nonconformist mouse who falls in love with the princess of the castle in which his family lives.

Her other novels include The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (2006), which features a conceited china rabbit that learns how to love through tragedy, and The Magician’s Elephant (2009), about an orphan whose quest to find his missing sister involves an elephant. Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures (2013), which concerned the adventures of a cynical young comic-book lover and a squirrel endowed with human abilities, won the 2014 Newbery Medal. DiCamillo also drew praise for Raymie Nightingale (2016), which centres on a young girl who, in an effort to get her adulterous father to return home, hopes to win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition.

In addition to her novels, DiCamillo also wrote several successful series of chapter books. The first series began with Mercy Watson to the Rescue (2005) and follows the adventures of the exuberant toast-loving pig Mercy Watson. Later books in the series include Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride (2006), Mercy Watson Fights Crime (2006), Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise (2007), Mercy Watson Thinks like a Pig (2008), and Mercy Watson: Something Wonky This Way Comes (2009). Characters from these works later appeared in the Tales from Deckawoo Lane series, which included Leroy Ninker Saddles Up (2014) and Eugenia Lincoln and the Unexpected Package (2017). DiCamillo also published picture books, including La La La (2017).

About James Gamble Rogers II

James Gamble Rogers II (1901-1990) was one of the defining architects of Winter Park, helping to lend the community its distinctive character.Born in Winnetka, Illinois and educated at Dartmouth College, Rogers trained at his father’s Daytona Beach architectural firm until 1928, when he opened a practice in Winter Park.Over the next sixty years, his name would become synonymous with traditional residential architecture in the growing community. His style flowed effortlessly from French Provincial to Spanish Colonial. As his firm grew, Rogers’ work expanded to commercial and government projects, although his true passion was the human scale of residential dwellings.

We’ve Come Full Circle

What do you think about this home? Let us know in the comments below.

We’re not your typical Clermont Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Tania Matthews Team
1200 Oakley Seaver Rd. Ste. 109
Clermont, FL 34711

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Health Benefits of Positive Home Decor


Health Benefits of Positive Home Decor

You began your day just before the sun—waking up to get in that obligatory half hour workout before starting your day. Heart pounding and breathless, you hop in the shower while your coffee brews. Hurriedly throwing some clothes on and trying to beat the clock, you fill your mug and a protein bar and run out the door. During your bumper to bumper drive to the office someone cuts you off and you slam on the brakes, spilling your coffee down the front of your shirt. After a few choices words and fumbling to find napkins, you manage to pull into a parking space and lug your work bag into the office, plopping yourself into the chair.

You spend your day doing whatever it is that you do—make phone calls, send emails, study charts, schmooze people into purchasing something from your company, draw up contracts, write blog posts or articles. The list of responsibilities you may have can go on and on. And so, your day crawls by and the afternoon draws near. You make that drive through rush hour traffic to the grocery store to find food for dinner. After waiting in line behind an obnoxiously loud woman talking on the phone while letting her toddler scream in the cart, you shuffle back to your car with bags in tow. Finally, you get to go home.

After such a long and strenuous day, as most are, walking into your home can either be an addition to your anxiety and stress, or it can be a place of tranquility and rest—a place to breathe easy and relax. I’ve known many people who try to convince themselves that their mess and clutter is a kind of organized chaos; it’s how they are comfortable living and what makes them feel at home. However, science and psychology have proven that there are actual health benefits to a clean and organized home, as well as health benefits to the types of things that you use to decorate your home. Studies have found that people who describe their homes as cluttered, messy, or disorganized had a higher likelihood of being depressed, anxious, and overwhelmed whereas people who described their homes as restful or relaxing were just the opposite.

Truth be told, there are few things in life that feel better than an organized, clean, and uncluttered home. And so, when deciding on the items to keep and decorate your home with, they should only enhance or add to those feelings of rest and relaxation. There are numerous kinds of décor that you can add to your space that are not only beautiful to look at and pleasing to the eye, but that promote health and happiness as well.

There have been studies conducted on negative ions being emitted into the air and the way that they can affect the human body in regards not only to health, but also to mood. Positive ions are carbon dioxide that have lost an electron. Don’t let the term positive fool you, when surrounded in excess by these ions, they actually appear to have a negative effect on the body, leading to tiredness, anxiety, impatience, lethargy, irritability and have even been linked to much bigger issues such as asthma and depression. Negative ions, on the other hand, are a molecule that gains a negatively charged electron and they attract particles in the air such as dust, bacteria, mold, and the like. They attach to such particles and pull them to the nearest surface and out of the air.

The Power Of Himalayan Salt Lamps

And so what do these ions have to do with home décor? Certain natural substances can be used as decoration that will purify the air, as well as create an atmosphere rich in negative ions. Himalayan Salt Lamps are one such substance. Not only are they a hydroscopic substance that will absorb the water in the air (and whatever particles may be found in those water molecules) and act as an air purifier, but it also produces a plethora of negative ions, which will help to make you feel more awake and energetic and can promote productivity and boost your mood.

Tranquility With Indoor Waterfalls

In addition to Himalayan Salt lamps, small indoor waterfalls can also act as a negative ionizer while at the same time purifying and humidifying the air in your home. Not only does it offer the benefits of cleaner and purified air, but it has the added benefit of drowning out otherwise annoying background noise, which can help to calm and relax our already constantly thinking and moving minds.

Purify Your Air With Indoor Plants

Which leads to just a few more pieces of home décor that can improve your mood, boost your energy, and make you feel altogether happier. It’s no surprise that bringing the outdoors in can help to reduce anxiety and ease stress. Indoor plants, cacti, and succulents will, without a doubt, improve the quality and the cleanliness of the air in your home. Not only that, but their mere aesthetic presence can create a quick change in a person emotionally, as well as stimulate them physically.

Brighten Your Day With Floral Bouquets

Along those same lines, brightly colored floral bouquets can work wonders, ranging from increased happiness, emotional connection with others, compassion, creativity, energy, and improvement in problem-solving with a decrease in depression, anxiety, and negativity. It is recommended to keep such bouquets in places that you often spend time—in your kitchen, bathroom, and even on your bedside table, so that they are the last thing you see when going to bed, and the first thing you open your eyes to in the morning.

Meditate & Enhance Memories With Your Sense Of Smell

Last, but certainly not least, appealing to your sense of smell can have exponential effects on your body and mind. Our brain connects specific smells to specific memories and so incorporating scents into our homes can actually help with our ability to remember things, as well as make such memories appear more vividly in your mind’s eye. Furthermore, mood can also be changed when inhaling certain scents. Lavender, chamomile, and pine are all scents that can help to calm and relax the mind and body, while citrus scents, peppermint, and eucalyptus are all scents that can help to energize you.

I think that we can all agree that in a world full of aggravation and frustration, a world of disagreement and segregation, overwhelming stress and ever-growing anxiety is constantly knocking at our doors. We have the opportunity to turn our homes into something we love and adore stepping into every day, a place where the tension of our day can melt away. Incorporating any one of these pieces of décor is such a small and incredibly easy way to help ease stress, even if it is just the smallest amount—every little bit helps.

And Now Back To You

Have a home décor tip that helps you reduce stress? Let us know in the comments below.

We’re not your typical Orlando Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Tania Matthews Team
1200 Oakley Seaver Rd. Ste. 109
Clermont, FL 34711

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20 Key Steps for a Seamless Transition Into a New Home


Just recently I had a friend who purchased a new home—closing day came along and they felt as though they had all their ducks in a row, ready to sign papers and move into their new home. It was a Friday morning, they got the keys to their new home and were excited to start moving their things. Their excitement waned a bit when they realized that they’d forgotten to schedule for their electric and water to be switched over and turned on at a new address. And so, as they began the moving process they had no lights, no running water, and most importantly (considering the fact that it was July in Florida) no air conditioning.

It’s so easy, even when you are normally good at making sure everything is done and taken care of, to miss something. And one little thing that is missed in the moving process can make it incredibly difficult and steal the joy of new home ownership with the flip of a switch. And so we’ve made a checklist of the 20 most important steps to ensuring a seamless move into a new home.

Here are 20 key steps ensuring a seamless move into your new home. As a bonus, here’s a free download to some printable moving labels.

seamless transition into new home

1. Change Your Locks

Schedule to have the locks changed the day of closing. Although you are supposed to be given all copies of the house keys at the closing table, it is still a good idea to have the locks to your new home changed that day, just in case there are any other spare keys floating around. Your closing shouldn’t take any more than a few hours, so if you have a morning closing time, schedule to have a locksmith come in the afternoon to change your locks. You will sleep soundly that night knowing that you, and only you, have the key to your new home.

2. Change Utilities

Get the electric and water company information for your area and call ahead to schedule everything to be switched over and turned on. Don’t end up like my friends who had to move with no electricity.  It was such an inconvenient and frustrating situation that could have been altogether avoided had this been done.  Ask your realtor for the preliminary closing disclosure, which you will need to provide to the utility companies so that you can schedule to have them turn everything on in your name.  It is incredibly simple and can be done at least several days in advance.

3. Change Your Mailing Address

This seems like a pretty obvious one, though many forget to do it.  Make sure that all of your bank information, credit card bills, car insurance, etc. are all switched over to your new address. All of those documents contain quite a bit of personal and private information that you certainly wouldn’t want in the wrong hands.


4. Do A Walkthrough

Conduct a thorough walkthrough and be sure that everything looks as it did the day of inspection. Be sure that there is no new damage and that everything was in the same condition as when you last left it. Once the closing documents are signed, there is no more negotiating. You are now the sole owner of your home and are responsible for it.

5. Plan for A Deep Cleaning

Plan for a few hours of deep cleaning before beginning to move your belongings. As much as we would love it to be able to move into a spotless and immaculate home, a lot of times this is not the case. Seller’s tend to find that leaving the place empty means that they’ve done what is required of them, and so the deep cleaning doesn’t get done. Carpets aren’t vacuumed, shampooed, or steamed, floors aren’t swept and mopped, countertops aren’t wiped down. I know how frustrating it is to have to clean when you weren’t planning to. Prepare yourself for that possibility, hire a cleaner or come prepared with your own products and tools. You may be pleasantly surprised with an already clean space. If not, you are ready for anything!

6. Paint The Home Before Moving In

If you happen to have the luxury of a little bit of time before moving any belongings, plan to paint the home, or hire someone to paint, before you begin the moving process. It will be so much easier to paint without the hassle of removing things from the wall, pushing all of your furniture to the center of the room, covering everything with tarps, and so on. By taking two or three days prior to moving and getting that done, you can save yourself a world of frustration and effort.

7. Take A Thorough Inventory

Take a thorough inventory of your belongings, especially if you’re using a moving company. It may seem like a tedious and unnecessary thing to do, but at the end of the day, you most certainly won’t regret it. We are all human and we all forget things and misplace things and if you’re using a moving company, you’ll want to have a list of such things just in case something does go missing. You’ll at least have a record and know where it should be and whether or not you should be concerned.

8. Stock Up On Moving Supplies

Make sure to stock up on boxes, tape, bubble wrap, markers, and any other moving supplies. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get things packed up and organized and not having what you need on hand. It slows the process down and puts it on hold, which no one enjoys when you are eyeballs deep in dishes with nothing to wrap them in to make sure they don’t break.

9. Make Sure Your Smoke Alarms Are Functioning Properly

Install any missing smoke alarms and make sure all have fresh batteries. You’ll definitely want to make sure that the home has the necessary smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in each room before moving into the home and sleeping there. It’s also a good idea to go ahead and put fresh batteries in all of them. After two weeks of being in my new home, the battery in my bedroom smoke detector died and the alarm went off in the middle of the night—it wasn’t a pleasant way to wake up, especially since I was still getting used to the newness of my home and sleeping there.

10. Invest In A Fire Extinguisher

No one plans to set a fire in their home, but accidents happen. To be safe, have at least one fire extinguisher that you keep in your kitchen. Store it in the pantry or under the sink. It doesn’t need to be on display, but it’s always a good idea to have one.

11. Childproof Your Home

Childproof your home as soon as possible. Obviously, this is only relevant if you have children—however, if you do and they are young, make sure one of the first things you do when moving in is to childproof. While you are absorbed moving and all that comes along with that, you don’t want your toddler to be able to shove that stray screwdriver into the uncovered outlet.

12. Keep All Of Your Receipts

If you ever do any work from home or have an office in your home, a lot of what you do could be considered tax deductible (though you should always consult an accountant before deciding what can and can’t be included). Hold onto those receipts and keep track of any and all home improvements.

13. Inspect Your Appliances

Make sure that all of your major appliances work. If you have had your major appliances moved into the home by a mover, make sure that nothing was damaged or broken in the move and that it was all installed properly. If they have potentially broken something, you will want to know as soon as possible in order to make a claim.

14. Check For Leaks

As you are getting settled into your new home and beginning to use your kitchen and bathroom sinks and the showers and tubs, pay close attention to the plumbing and pipes and keep your eyes open for signs of leaks anywhere. The sooner something like that is caught, the easier it is to fix.

15. Clean & Wipe Down Kitchen Cabinets & Drawers

The plates you eat off of and the silverware you use are all going in those cabinets. You’ve no idea how clean or unclean the inhabitants of the home were before you moved it—better safe than sorry. Take a little extra time to clean all of those nooks and crannies before putting your belongings in them.

16. Get A List Of Recommended Vendors

Get a list of recommended vendors from your Real Estate Agent. As agents, we know a lot of people and have access to a lot of different businesses that do work on homes. Simply ask for that list and you won’t have to scour the internet for hours to find a company that you think may do good work, though you don’t know much about their references. This list would have been compiled through word of mouth and those who have had good experiences with such companies.

17. Find A Good Pest Control Company

Regardless of what time of year it may be and how clean the house may seem, you want to make sure that you find and schedule a visit from a good and reputable pest control company every month. If pests don’t appear to be an issue when you move in, you’ll want to keep it that way. Prevention is so much easier than resolving a problem that developed due to lack of prevention.

18. Find The Circuit Panel & The Main Water Valve

Storms knock electricity out. Two blow dryers, a straightener, a curling iron, and an assortment of chargers all plugged into one bathroom and short circuit a room and cut the power out. Pipes burst and water gushes out. Having to figure out where to go and what button to push or valve to turn in the middle of that happening is never fun to deal with. Figuring out where all of that is ahead of time, labeling it, and familiarizing yourself with it can help keep you calm in an otherwise stressful situation.

19. Walk Your Neighborhood

Walk your neighborhood and get to know the area and your new neighbors. If you have kids or pets, be friendly and amicable and introduce yourself. Not only will new neighbors appreciate the effort, but you’ll feel more comfortable know who and what surrounds your new home. No need to bake brownies or cookies for the neighbors and knock on doors (unless you want to, then I say go for it!), but when walking by, make the effort to wave and smile and invite a conversation. Most of the time that’s all it takes to get a neighbor to stop and talk.

20. Plan A Housewarming Party

Once all is said and done and the house cleaned, painted, and organized; once all of your belongings are unpacked and there is a place for everything and everything in its place go on ahead and reward yourself with a much-deserved party. All of your friends and family will be wanting to see your new home and everything you’ve done with it. Invite your new neighbors and get to know them on a more personal level. If you care to take a more adult route, make it a “stock the bar” party and have everyone bring a bottle of their favorite adult beverage to stock your bar with. Take pride in the home you’ve purchased and the care and effort you put into making it yours!

Take care in making sure that you get the smallest of things done all the way up to the biggest of things. Some of these may seem obvious and like common sense, but when you’re going through the process and in the middle of it, things can get overlooked—even those things that would bite you in the face if it were a snake. Moving into a new home is generally stressful and frustrating and it seems as though everything that can go wrong does.

But the process is worth it—you’ve got a roof over your head and a home that you’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into.

Enjoy it!

We’re not your typical Orlando Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Tania Matthews Team
1200 Oakley Seaver Rd. Suite 109
Clermont, FL 34711

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Quick Tips: Kitchen & Bathroom Renovations


Odds are, if you’ve lived in your home for a few years, you’ll crave a bit of change in it. A desire to implement all of those neat home remodeling pins you’ve accumulated in your home decor Pinterest board over the years. There are some who list their starter homes and upgrade for new construction, a clean slate or “a la cart” option. But for some, it’s either not possible or they would rather renovate their existing home. You might not be able to afford a new home, you might absolutely love the neighborhood you’re living in, either way, a home renovation can give your home a fresh look and transform your living space.

If you plan on taking on a home renovation project, the best place to start with is the kitchen and/or bathroom. Just take a quick gander on Pinterest and you’ll find plenty of renovation ideas to transform your kitchen and bathroom. Before starting any renovation, setting up a budget to learn what you can afford and are willing to spend is a must It’ll create the guidelines and what kind of material you can buy and where you can splurge or where you should cut expenses.

A bathroom is that part of your home where you spend some quality time all alone. A perfectly designed and convenient bathroom can fabulously relax your body, mind and soul. Then, it can also increase the resale value of your property since the condition of the bathrooms and kitchens are what is inspected first by any potential buyer. However, renovation needs considerable amount of time, money, and effort.

Bathroom Renovations – Things To Consider


Looking to renovate your bathroom? Consider the following:

  • Does your bathroom feel a bit smaller than you’d like? You’ll want to give it a spacious appearance by painting the space with light color and make use of light colored tiles. For a tighter budget, work with the space you have, there’s no need to change the floor plan.
  • Use cabinets in the bathroom sparingly. Try not to clutter the space by installing too many cabinets and drawers. It’s true that cabinets have a utilitarian value and everyone loves ample storage space, however, too many cabinets can make your bathroom feel small and cramped.
  • Not replacing your tile? Make sure to at least replace any broken tile or loose grout.
  • When updating your vanity, try and stick to matching fixtures to avoid an “out-of-place.”
  • A well lit bathroom with proper lighting fixtures can make all the difference. Try and use natural lighting whenever possible.

Kitchen Renovations – Things To Consider


Just like the bathroom, a well decorated and renovated kitchen can greatly impact the value of your home. Taking on a kitchen renovation? Consider the following:

  • Your kitchen countertop says a lot about the space. Think about the style of your home. Going for a modern and clean look? Try a quartz countertop. Consider yourself a home chef? Go with a unique wood counter top that you can chop on (a personal favorite).
  • Consider going with a larger and deeper sink. Functionally speaking, it does wonders.
  • Think about updating your appliances with a matching set and go green with energy-efficient kitchen appliances to save on your energy bill.
  • On a tighter budget? Consider improving upon your existing cabinets rather than buying new ones. Sometimes a fresh coat of paint or updated pulls is all you need.

There are tons of bathroom and kitchen remodeling ideas out there. Do your research, and keep the theme or style consistent. And don’t forget to set a budget.

And Now Back To You

What’s your favorite renovation ideas? Let us know in the comments.

We’re not your typical Orlando Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Tania Matthews Team
1200 Oakley Seaver Rd. Suite 109
Clermont, FL 34711