Thursday, January 31, 2008


Recently we have been working with some clients who are getting ready to move to new residences. We have been organizing files, sorting items to keep and discard, suggesting storage alternatives and reviewing packing lists. We have been staging homes for sale and organizing selection of methods for storage and packing.

One client has given herself three weeks to move from a shared apartment to a new home several hundred miles away. Another client is planning to place their home for sale in the spring and hopefully sell by summer. They have to implement the improvements they want to make prior to sale and then find a buyer before they move thousands of miles to a another state.

Both of these clients are a little stressed with fitting the things they have to do in the time frame they have. We have developed plans to help them accomplish their goals and will give them the assistance they need to get the job done, but we have gotten a late start and have to compensate.

To be fair, we know that folks do not always have a long time to plan moves. A new job gets offered, an unexpected illness occurs, notices are given that require a quick getaway. We always find a way to get the basics done, but it requires diligence and commitment.

The moving message we want to give is this: When you have adequate time to plan, estimate the time it will take you to get everything done and double it. Life goes on while the move is being planned and work and family issues still need attending. Houses are staying on the market longer. In this area nine months is considered a quick sale. Consequently, the sooner the house is ready for showing, the more likely goals for sales and closing dates can be met.

Even if there is no sale required, having time to make the minor repairs to recoup retained deposits can make a difference in money available for the new digs.

No matter how much time you have to make your move, it is helpful to:

  • Make a list of what you have to do. Work backwards from the moving date to set timelines. Don’t forget to include often overlooked items like picking up cleaning and making arrangements with the building supervisor to reserve the elevator and parking space for the moving van.

  • Discard, sell, and give away anything you will not use at your new residence before you begin to pack.

  • Keep important papers, moving documents and prescription drugs easily accessible and separate from packed items.

  • Make arrangements to appropriately disconnect and package major appliances for transfer

  • Keep an inventory of items packed for check off when your possessions arrive. This will allow easy identification of loss or damage.

  • Do a complete walk-though before you leave. If possible ask someone to accompany you to provide an extra set of eyes to identify anything left behind.

  • Take pictures of the premises as you leave it. These will come in handy if there is a dispute about the condition of rental property or the need to file insurance claims for vacant property.

A good professional organizer can be a valuable asset in helping you make the most of the time you dedicate to moving on to your next adventure.

Beverly & Kristen

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