Tips on Efficiently Downsizing With Your Pet

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This is a guest post from a reader at who reached out to me recently. Since those who progress through veterinary medicine- especially going into advanced training- move so frequently, I thought it was a good topic. Going from undergrad, to vet school, to internship, to residency, to a faculty position usually involves at least 3 moves, and often many more. I hope this is helpful to you, enjoy!

Changing your lifestyle and downsizing your home takes forethought and organization. With the right mindset and a good plan, you and your beloved pet can find the process and end result rewarding and manageable. The Vetducator presents some tips that can help make the downsizing process a little less stressful.

Clear Out Your Old Space

The first key is to give yourself time. Start months in advance to calmly clear out and maintain a peaceful atmosphere for you and your family pet. Doing it in stages rather than cramming it all into a short chaotic timeframe keeps you and pup or kitty more at peace with the changes.

Tackle the garage, attic, and storage barn first while considering your new lifestyle. Depending on where you are downsizing to — such as, say, a condo — you won’t need rakes or the lawnmower, so sell these items and earn extra cash for the move.

Even if you are ready for a change, Rover or Rosie may not be. Keep your fuzzy friend’s bedding, food bowls, and toys the same, and prepare to have them with you throughout the entire moving process. It is reassuring for animals to see and smell their own belongings.

Prepare Your House for Sale

Continue decluttering by clearing out and organizing closets and kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Pack up personal photographs and treasured pieces to depersonalize your space for potential home buyers. Consider storing boxed items in a storage unit until moving day to keep the house show-ready.

On the inside and outside, make minor repairs and freshen paint. Fix any leaks or loose hinges. Liven up your landscaping. Experts find that your property value can be increased by 7% with good curb appeal. Remember that how your house looks on the outside is an indication of what it will look like on the inside, so have your lawn, front door, and porch in good shape and welcoming.

Move Into Your New Lifestyle

If you do not have a pet sitter for Spot or Fluffy on moving day, keep them reassured with their belongings and play soft music during the car ride. Unloading can make for an unsafe environment, so it is best to confine pets in a bathroom or extra bedroom with bedding and food and water until the doors are closed and they can explore safely.

You may have to make modifications to your new home to ensure your fuzzy friend is comfortable and safe, including fencing. Connect with local contractors in your new area using websites like Angi. Evaluate companies by reading online reviews then set up meetings to get quotes and discuss your particular needs. You can plan on paying approximately $4,500, but costs depend on the materials, size of the fence, and location of installation. Make sure your fence installer is licensed and insured and that you have flagged underground utility lines before it goes in.

Making room for pet beds or a kitty litter box in your downsized space could mean creating a niche under a cabinet in the bathroom or a cozy hideaway under a family room table. You may also need to purchase cat posts for kitty to relax in front of windows.

Downsizing and relocating is a lot of work. Set yourself up for success by allowing sufficient time to dispose of clutter, prepare your home for sale, and find your new space. You will be rewarded with a carefree environment for you and your beloved pet to relax and enjoy an easier lifestyle.

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