Your Guide to Making Moving Easy

Are you planning for a move?

I have several friends right now that are looking for a new home and preparing for a move in this busy Seattle housing market.

Moving can be a cause of disorganization – specifically situational disorganization*. We know moving adds extra tasks on top of an already busy schedule. And understandably all your other important work doesn’t take a break during a move (like jobs, family commitments, childcare, meal prep and planning, etc.).

Here are some tips to keep things on track during your move and reduce the stress that can come along with it.

Prep for your move:

  • Identify the goals of getting your home ready to sell. What areas need to be organized in order to maximize the full potential of your home and increase the selling price? The National Association of Realtors recommends that “at a minimum, homeowners should conduct a thorough cleaning, haul out clutter, make sure the home is well-lit and fix any major aesthetic issues.” Additionally, Realtors® believe that buyers most often offer a 1 to 5 percent increase on the value of a staged, organized home.

  • Decide what you’re going to keep and what you’re going to let go of. For the items that are leaving, decide and make arrangements for those that will be donated, sold or given away. Sorting and reducing belongings before the move will save time and money during the move so you’re not paying to move extra things you don’t need or want in your new home.

  • Decide on how you’re going to store the stuff that is going with you, but not serving you during the selling process. Is there a staging area in your home (i.e. basement) or will you need to arrange for a pod or offsite storage?

  • Select a realtor, moving company and other service providers, such as estate sale vendor or cleaning service. Please reach out if you need recommendations for service providers.

  • Create a schedule to detail exactly which task needs to be accomplished when. Use a checklist to make sure you are taking care of necessary goals by their due dates.

  • Create a moving handbook so that all documents, schedules and materials needed for the moving process are organized, all in one place and easily accessible to everyone helping with the move. Consider whether you can create an electronic handbook that can be shared online (such as with Google Drive).

During and after your move:

  • When packing, label all your boxes and containers. Label with the items included in each box and if possible, where the box belongs in your new home. For example, some items that lived in your den might actually belong in the dining room of your new home because of different storage options or room layouts.

  • Pack a new home kit that is marked “first box to open” or bring it with you on your first trip to your new home. Include a roll of tp, hand soap, paper towels, basic cleaner, any medications you’ll need and other essentials. In my experience, these are the things you’ll need during the unpacking process and asap in your new home.

  • Create a space plan or layout for your new home. Starting fresh in your new home will open all new possibilities. Identify the optimal location for belongings and create a map or other visual representation of the layout, so you’ll know where things belong and don’t have to make decisions on the fly when moving in the boxes.

  • Consider what storage spaces were available in your previous home and what is available in your new home. Identify what storage solutions might need to be purchased or set-up in order to best utilize what’s available in your new home.

  • Label everything (cabinets, shelves, etc.) in your new home so items can easily be found and everyone knows where to put things back. This is especially important when setting up systems in a new home. Until you and your family are adjusted to the new environment, labeling is an important strategy to set-up and maintain effective and efficient spaces.

  • Create a checklist of the utilities to change and addresses to update. Make a timeline of which ones need to be updated before your move and which ones need to be made after your move.

* There are two types of disorganization: Situational Disorganization happens when you experience a change in your life and your organization systems stop functioning. The second type, Chronic Disorganization is defined by struggling with being organized most of your adult life and disorganization affects you every day. People who are moving can experience both types of disorganization at the same time.