by Ange McNamara
Closing day is coming up quickly and it’s time to start thinking about next steps. Sometimes things can start to seem stressful or overwhelming when it comes to moving – but not to worry! We’ve got some great advice from our friend Ange McNamara from Klear Inc. on preparing and decluttering your home in preparation for your big move.
What are your do's and dont's when it comes to decluttering for staging?
Staging is a very important aspect of preparing a home for sale; it involves giving the space a clean and fresh appearance that allows for buyers to envision themselves in the home. The goal of staging is to attract a wide range of possible buyers and increase the appeal of the property.
Pro Tip: when staging, you almost need to make it look like no one is living there. When we were a family of five, we made an entire child disappear to make our home look more appealing. We listed our 3-bedroom home, which had small bedrooms, and staged it with only one bed to a room. That meant storing away a pack-n-play to give the illusion there was significantly more room in the house than what we were living with daily.
- Pack away all personal items like family photos, trophies etc.
- Clear all surfaces of clutter, including kitchen and bathroom counters, desks and bedroom furniture. The key for decluttering is to leave a palette for the stager!
- Take this time to clear out items that you no longer need or use.
- Shove everything into closets in the house. You want it to appear that you have ample storage. Use crawl spaces or the garage to store the decluttered items. Too much stuff? There are many short-term storage rentals in the area that can be great for decluttering and moving preparation.
- Wait until the last minute to declutter. It can be very time consuming.
- Waste too much time going through personal items or paperwork. This can be done at the packing stage after the house has sold and you have a bit more time.
How would you start decluttering for moving preparation?
Start by making four organizational groups for your smaller belongings: KEEP, DONATE, SELL, and TRASH. In order to reduce stress and feeling overwhelmed, start one room at a time. Once each room has been decluttered, the donation and trash piles should be removed from that area, and ideally the house, before you move on to the next space. Don't forget to give yourself ample time in a room - there's nothing worse than trying to rush all of your decluttering into a single hour or day.
Moving preparation timeline
8 weeks out: Start to research moving companies, storage pods or truck rentals. You can use social media apps as a great tool to narrow down your choices. Who better to trust that your friends who may have used a good moving company? Book the company as soon as you know your move date.
6 weeks out: Purchase any moving supplies you may need, such as boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, tape gun, labels, box cutters and permanent markers. Also, if you have decided to sell items instead of donate, host a garage sale or post these items on a local buy / sell website.
4 weeks out: Begin packing less frequently used items. Label each box with the room / space you would like the movers to put it in your new dwelling. Be sure to label boxes with fragile items very clearly. Make sure to let your utility companies know your move date, so your services can be switched over to your new property.
2 weeks out: Change your mailing address for all bills, etc. and consider the option to have any mail forwarded from your old address to the new one (in case you have missed anything). Start packing up most of your other items. Remember to label clearly!
1 week out: Confirm with your moving company, if you hired one, or with the truck rental company that everything is in order. Don’t buy many groceries; try to eat through your perishables to minimize the items which will require a cooler for the move.
2-3 days out: Pack the rest of your kitchen items. Purchase paper / disposable plates, cups and utensils. Take bed frames apart. Carefully pack up electronics.
1 day out: Leave mailbox, shed, spare keys and appliance manuals for the new owner.
Date of move: After the movers (or your crew) have packed everything up, check one last time through your old house to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Transport your own valuables and documents to your new house yourself.
Find this helpful?
Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty more where that came from! Stay tuned next week for more moving tips and tricks as we discuss making the best Moving Checklist.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about decluttering and have questions about where to start, contact a professional organizer like Ange to get your home ready for your next step.