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Plan ahead and plan smart for your next address change


Moving is stressful.

Whether you’re upsizing, downsizing, moving across town, across the country — or to another part of the world — planning and solid preparation pay high dividends when it comes to moving to your next home destination.

Laurie Palau, founder and CEO of Simply B Organized LLC in Solebury and creator of This Organized Life podcast said the first step in any moving plan should be to identify the nature of the move — then decide how the move will be achieved.

“As soon as you know you need a move, you want to begin researching a company. You want someone that is referred and insured. And during busy times, they book up quickly, so you want to get onto their calendar,” Palau said.

Schedule sooner (rather than later)

Begin researching moving companies and requesting referrals as soon as you know you’ll be moving.

Ask to see proof of insurance. Ask about any service menus well in advance — especially if you plan to pack yourself or manage other aspects of the move, Palau said.

“During busy times, movers book up quickly so you want to get onto their calendar,” Palau said.

Consider a specialist

Professional organizers bring a wealth of experience and many sub-specialize. Look for someone with experience and skill in a particular kind of service like short- or long-distance moves, home organizing, downsize moving for seniors, couples, those with kids or clutter control or management, she explained.

Hiring a move management specialist to meet your needs offers the best guidance through the process.

“Sometimes people need temporary housing so there may be immediate needs and long term needs” complicating the move, Palau said.

Avoid jumping directly to hire a moving company before you’ve had a chance to break down the steps and tasks needed to complete your move.

“The mover’s goal is pack up your stuff and move it,” Palau said.

This means organizing your items or grouping them according to where they’ll land in your next location is a critical step to include.

Organize first

A thorough move process should include: sift, gift, sort, toss, label and box up everything in the house and on your property — wherever your things are stored. It also can mean deciding what is — and isn’t —coming to the next location.

“Don’t move things you won’t unpack. (In reality) there are many people who move and still have unpacked boxes from the last move. There is no reason to pay to pack and move stuff you no longer want or use,” she said.

If you create a list and label packed boxes up front it will reduce stress after items are moved to the new location.

You can also identify where boxes or clear storage bins with snap down lids will be deposited at the new property. This forward-first activity saves time and effort on the back end, reduces moving stress and creates a more efficient — and effective — moving process, Palau explained.

“Assigning a key — either colors or some other system — so boxes land in the correct room in the new space makes (a move) easier on the back end,” she said.

What’s your clutter type?

Personal mementos and generational items passed down through the family can emphasize clutter types and bring out the best — and worst — experience of dealing with possessions.

“For emotional attachments, a professional organizer can come in and walk you through that emotional clutter because it is a huge bottleneck” to the moving and life-organizing process, Palau said.

Grandma’s bric-a-brac or curios may be great — but do you still want these items?

Volumes of photo albums may be fun, but do you recognize or know those in the images by name?

Old furnishings, clothes or other items may be tied to feelings and emotions, not practical considerations.

A professional organizer skilled in this kind of work can help. From providing referrals to estate sale professionals to helping you sift through items, a friendly, neutral companion can help reduce this burden, she said.

“There are professional organizers that will help with the unpacking and house setup part. Go in with a clean slate — you’re starting a new chapter,” Palau said.

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