It has been said that the stress associated with moving falls just after death and divorce. I now can personally speak to that. Here’s how a professional organizer handled her own move. This is a story about a 50 year old woman (o.k. a little over 50 but not yet 55 – phew!) who orchestrated a move 15 days after Christmas.
I had told my 3 daughters, one of whom is a freshman in college and two others who work out-of-state, that I was not hosting Christmas this year. The disappointment was palpable. And, a mother is supposed to hold no guilt, but it kicked in (the guilt was completely self-imposed). So, I can do it all right? Run a company, pack up a house, deal with what seemed like an endless to-do list, feed my girls their favorite meals while they were home for the holidays and host my family and my husband’s for Christmas – no problem! With careful planning, it was possible.
I am not only a professional organizer but a move manager as well. So, who better to handle this than myself.
I can now happily say, I not only moved to a temporary house in Gloucester for two months, while putting my entire house in storage, but now have moved everything out of storage, moved into a permanent place in Beverly and have no boxes lingering around anymore. I did exactly what I tell my clients to do and would like to share these 10 tips to help save your sanity during your move. Good luck!
It is NEVER too early to start.
While it would be nice if we all had clutter-free attics and basements, the reality is we don’t. These are the best places to start because they typically house the items that are not needed everyday. They are the places you have stored things you might need one day and probably have now discovered that you don’t need them, nor may you ever need them.
Give some thought to the big items.
If you do not plan to take your piano, lawnmower, snowblower, grill, think about how you are going to get rid of them. These types of items take special planning.
Oil paint, turpentine, and all hazardous waste needs to be disposed of appropriately, so contact your town to see when their hazardous waste day is. Don’t wait until a month before your move to deal with this.
Have your children review their “stuff”
Give your family members deadlines if they have items at your house. Be stern and tell them you can’t move and store their items any longer.
Get your boxes ready.
While you start weeding through the clothes, kitchenware, books and cobwebs that live in your attic, basement and garage, designate several boxes for a) charity b) consignment/appraisal c) items to move
Mark boxes appropriately.
Consider where the boxes are going in your new home or apartment and mark them accordingly. Don’t worry about where they came from just where they are going.
This holds true on so many fronts. It’s all about “now sizing”. Not only should you assess your new space including number of closets, cabinets, kitchen drawers etc. but you should be realistic about what you truly love and use. If you are storing Grandma’s good china in your basement, realize that this probably is not the best use for it. If you love it, bring it out and use it. If you are just holding on to it because it was Grandma’s good china, recognize the difference between the item and the memory. Or, maybe it is guilt that is playing a part in your sentimental decision.
Line up a donation pick-up.
Always call a donation company to schedule several pick-ups throughout your de-cluttering and packing process. This 1) holds you accountable to a designated timeframe 2) saves you time and energy dropping off items 3) gets the donation items out of your way and makes you feel like progress is being made. You can always over-estimate the items when they ask and tell them before they come that you only have 12 boxes not 20.
Get a dumpster
Most moves require them. Once you start cleaning out the garage, you’ll be amazed at how much “stuff” you have.
This is very helpful, not only for determining potential damage in transit, but also so you know what lamp had which lampshade, what your carefully planned dish decoration looked like in your curio cabinet, and which trinkets were on which side table. You’ve probably spent a bit of time decorating and want to re-create the same in your new space.
Good luck with it all.