Anyway you look at it, moving is a lot of work. If you are selling a home and moving it is even more complicated. Typically you have a lot riding on the sale, so you work hard to maximize the sales price. You fix, you paint, you prune, you weed, and you declutter. Finally, your house is on the market, but you can’t sit back and relax. The house must be neat and clean for showings. You are held to a new standard, one that dictates that no one should know you own a toaster or have mail on the counter! And when you are not working on your home, you are checking out a daily deluge of real estate listings and trying to imagine what your new home will be like.
Weeks go by, sometimes months. Then finally, you have an offer. The price is settled. Then comes the inspection. More things to do, no doubt. But the end is in sight. Suddenly, there’s a closing date and your next home becomes more than just a slide show online. It becomes a reality. In a matter of a few weeks you will need to pack up your entire life and move it across town or across the country. That’s when the panic might set in.
What will you take with you? By thinking this through in advance, you can save yourself time, aggravation and money. Why? Because the more stuff you have, the more work and expense it will be to move.
Rule No. 1: Get rid of everything you don’t need or will not be able to use in your new space.
It’s not only wise to think about space considerations, but lifestyle. If you are moving to an area with access to public transportation, you might be able to get by with one car instead of two. If you’re moving to a beach home from the suburbs, your formal dining table and china cabinet might not work. Will you be retiring or working? Such decisions could impact the amount of closet space and number of bedrooms you need.
Rule No 2: Start the process early.
Even before you know where you are going to move to, identify what you are not using now. Find good homes for things that you find difficult to part with. Be ruthless about items that hold no sentimental value. There are many good options for selling, donating and recycling. You will be rewarded for your efforts. With less stuff, your storage areas will look larger, cleaning is easier and there will be less to do when you are ready to start packing.
Rule No. 3: Be realistic about what will fit.
Measure your furniture and know your room sizes. Consider how your current closet space compares with the new space. Where will you hang your favorite artwork? Look for space saving solutions but be realistic in your expectations. Renting a storage unit is usually a costly mistake. The average cost to rent a 10’ x 15’ space in Chicago is $309*. A year after they move, most people find that they don’t really miss anything they have stored and they have paid thousands of dollars in fees.
Rule No. 4: Your kids probably don’t want it.
Saving items for your kids or grandkids may seem like a good idea, but unless you know they really want it and there is a set time frame for them to take it, it’s probably not wise to save or store it. If you really need to hold onto it for awhile, consider letting someone else use it in the interim.
Rule No. 5: Wait to buy items to fit you new space.
It’s easier to visualize a space when you’re living in it. Hold off on major purchases until you have had a chance to settle in. Most furniture stores have complimentary interior design services and can assist you in selecting furniture that will work with your layout.
Follow these rules and your move will be a little more manageable. But don’t fool yourself, moving will still be a lot of work. For those who need help separating from their stuff, are physically unable to do what needs to be done or are in a time crunch, we can help. Call us at (847)776-8717.