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Getting Ready for a Move

Lately, I’ve been working on a move-in job for a client in Seattle. I’m part of a team of people and it is a big job. I’m learning a lot, but I’m also contributing a lot.

Since relocation is on my mind this week, I thought I’d share some tips about preparing for a move.

  1. Save yourself time and money. Moving is labor intensive and expensive. If you get rid of items you know you won’t want at the new house, before the move, you’ll be saving yourself both time and money. Let’s use that extra TV in your back bedroom as an example. You know it won’t be useful in your new house, but you don’t want to deal with getting rid of it before the move. When the movers come, they’ll carry that heavy equipment out to the truck, it will take space up in that truck and then someone will have to carry it into your new house. Where does it go? You don’t really want it, so it will take up space in your garage until you can either sell it or give it away. By moving it to the new place, you’ve paid someone to pack it, transport it and move it into your new home. Then you’ve taken up valuable space by keeping it in your garage. Multiply this scenario by everything else you don’t want or need in your new home and you’ve got yourself a mountain of costly deferred decisions. Your future self will thank you for getting rid of the TV (and the many other items you don’t want or need) before the move.
  2. Think outside the house. You’ll not only be moving everything inside the house, you’ll be moving everything outside too. What’s in your shed? What will you do with all the plant pots and yard furniture? If you’re downsizing or moving to a condo, maybe you won’t want or need lawn care items or that giant grill that served up so many meals for a crowd. Try to deal with outside items early in your moving process.
  3. Think about what the home inspector will be looking for. I remember when we moved out of Alaska, we had a rug up in our attic wrapped in a garbage bag to protect it from getting insulation fibers on it. The home inspector saw that and suggested we “Get the garbage out of the attic”. That was a big eye-roll for me, but it also made me start thinking about what else an inspector might look for in a home for sale. Do you have wood stacked up against the house? Are the trees growing too close for comfort? Is the drywall in your closet taped and mudded? Are all the windows sealed? Is there anything stashed in the crawl space?
  4. Gather up all your moving supplies ahead of time. If you’re managing the packing yourself, start thinking about the items you’ll need for the move. Consider boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, packing tape, and blankets for artwork and furniture. You can find most of these items new at a local U-Haul location or at any big box hardware store. But if you’re lucky, you might be able to find a good stash of used moving boxes on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.
  5. The final 1% of your house move will be the hardest. These are the items you’re conflicted about moving or they’re the pesky items that are just a pain to move. Maybe, it’s your dad’s old snowshoes and a crate of papers that need to be shredded? Be strong, you can do this!

I hope these thoughts help you as you start your journey toward moving into a new home. It’s hard work, but these are ways your early action can help ease the transition.