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  1. That is GREAT advice. I wish I would have had that list before my big move. Especially #s 1 and 2. The only thing I could add: Start doing that right away and each night after sorting, take the boxes of items that don’t make the cut directly to the car to be taken to their new destination the next day. Put everything else back neatly in its place. I would put a sticker on the bottom of any item that is needed for staging but don’t want in your new home. That way whoever is packing will know to set it aside in a designated area. Hopefully on moving day all you have to think about is packing up the keepers and how awesome your new home is going to be! Oh and #9 is invaluable. Good luck in selling your home and I look forward to your next post.

  2. That is GREAT advice. I wish I would have had that list before my big move. Especially #s 1 and 2. The only thing I could add: Start doing that right away and each night after sorting, take the boxes of items that don’t make the cut directly to the car to be taken to their new destination the next day. Put everything else back neatly in its place, no mess. I would also put a sticker on the bottom of any item that is needed for staging but don’t want in your new home. That way whoever is packing will know to set it aside in a designated area. Hopefully on moving day all you have to think about is packing up the keepers and how awesome your new home is going to be! Oh and #9 is invaluable. Good luck in selling your home and I look forward to your next post.

    1. Thanks, Kim! And I LOVE your idea of taking the box directly to the car. We will have about 3 weeks between the close and the move, so it will make life easier to take some things over ourselves (like complete drawers just thrown in the car or some kitchen items not necessarily packed well enough to go in a moving truck). Thanks for your ideas!

    2. Oh my gosh! We are in this situation right now! Love your suggestions as they confirmed and refined the process that we went through. Although I did not do a master list and that is brilliant! Looking back (and now again forward) the master list is so valuable! We will do it this time for sure — I have a legal pad already and set aside for the task!
      We just finished building our dream home for early retirement and although we relocated only 8 months ago, our precious daughter accepted a great job offer 6 hours away — and that is too far! So, last week we signed to list our new home! Yikes!
      I find myself looking in closets and cabinets thinking about packing half of the items and showing the house with only the newest and nicest items with plenty of space. I remember listing items on the boxes along with the rooms they belong in which was very helpful but we still had some difficulty finding things. I really think the master list is a great tool! We went through the much needed purge a short time ago so there isn’t much left for a second purge. Hopefully this time it will go more smoothly!

  3. When we sold our last home, we went through a keep, give away or ” item will move with us” process before we actually put the house up for sale. Then we hired a team and we cleaned every inch of the property.

    Last my sister and I staged the home for sale. We went to several websites and learned how to stage the house. We packed up personal pictures, awards, out of season clothes, fancy serving dishes, party items, etc.. We was trying to make the house appear larger and more sellable and storage more ample. Those items then were packed up and put in temporary storage. The process involved the entire family and took about 3 weeks, but was worth it. We listed FSBO on Wednesday and took a contract on Sunday for top dollar. Good luck selling your beautiful home.

    1. Thanks so much, Kerry! Yes, making your house show ready is critical and also helps with the packing process down the road. Thanks for visiting!! I’ll have much more to share shortly… 🙂

  4. Elizabeth Roderick says:

    We have moved more times than I care to brag about. As I see it, we have possibly two more moves. (Work related). I have a lot of things in storage. I type a list of every thing in each box and copy it on the page 5 times. I cut the lists apart and tape one to the top and all sides. That way I don’t have to move boxes to see what’s in the bottom one. We also list the boxes by rows if they’re going to be stored a long time.

    1. Very clever, Elizabeth! I have such trouble living out of boxes, but sometimes there’s no choice. At least when you get your boxes out of storage, it’ll be like getting some new things!

  5. Last time we moved was almost 13 years ago. I hope I don’t move again for a few more year, but when I do, I’ll be looking for this list of yours that I’m pinning! Great advice! Thanks for linking up at Best of the Weekend!

  6. Jann Olson says:

    I think you had really good advice. We didn’t list our last home until after we moved out so I didn’t have to worry about that. But our son rented it while it was being listed and making sure it was clean was a challenge. lol! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    1. It really is such a challenge. We were lucky and only had to deal with it for 5 days (since the house sold quickly), but for 5 days I felt like I lived in the car!! Thanks for hosting!

  7. I moved only once so far and used a color coding system. Once you pack your items and label them how you see fit, I simply designated a color for each room and use sheets of multi-colored construction paper to match them up to your boxes or furniture pieces that belong in that room. So, for the living room – say you pick green. The green paper also says “living room” (use a copy machine at 10 cents a copy). Then on moving day….you put up the green paper in the living room and anyone that has a box that has that same green paper knows it goes in that room. No one needs to ask you where does it goes and you know that the right box is in the right room. I also attached the colored paper to large pieces of furniture with painters tape. So, everyone knows what rooms they go in. Then on moving day I used large post it notes to put on the walls that said “sofa here” and “TV here”, so when my helpful friends are bringing in those big pieces, they don’t have to ask me where does it go and I can focus on other things. For all those knick-knacks, personal pictures,awards, etc that got packed up before the sale, when you were staging your old home? I designated a closet for only that kind of stuff and gave it its own color for packing. For I knew that once I moved, these items would be the LAST items I would be unpacking. I didn’t get to that closet for 3 months, but it was all there just waiting for me. My friends and family said it was the easiest move they ever participated in.

    1. Sounds like a great system. I’m also a super organized packer and mover, generally labeling each box, not only by room but what the contents are (in case I don’t want to unpack everything the first day). All boxes are numbered and matched up against a master list. This move, however, is nearby and we will also be doing work on the house before moving in, so I’ll likely move much of the small stuff myself and set up things like the kitchen long before the movers pick up a stitch of furniture. Fortunately, I’m so anal, that much of my stuff is already kept in plastic drawers, so I simply need to put the drawers in boxes and move as is. That said, I always remember moving day as one of the most exhausting days ever… 😉 Thanks for stopping by and adding some thoughts!!

  8. Thank you for these advises. I’m moving at the beginning of April and I’m trying to plan in advance. Although I’m a professional mover, packing and organizing my stuff for a move is not that fun. It’s much easier to do it for other people. Your suggestions gave me some good ideas that seem to be quite useful. Really thank you for sharing!

  9. Jamilyn Norman says:

    I have moved a lot and have found that leaving a suitcase open while packing is very helpful. Pack sheets for the beds, the ones that will be slept on right away, a towel and wash rag for each person, and clothes for the next couple of days. Pack pajamas, a few light snacks, the kids favorite toys, toiletries, soap, washer pods, dryer sheets, iPad, dog leashes, treats, chargers…anything that you regularly use. Then when you get to the new place, everything you use all the time is right there in one place.

  10. This is some really good information about getting a home ready to sell. I liked that you talked about how it would be best to try to only move pieces of furniture once. That does seem like it would help make it easier to move things and keep the design of the home intact as well.

  11. Very joyful post. I just stumble upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. Thanks a lot for this beauty Enjoying article with me. I am appreciating it very much!

  12. Laura Mitchel says:

    Thank you soo much for the article. I found it to be very helpful. I wasn’t prepared to sell my home so soon. I had used an online home selling platform (sellanyhome) and sold my home in just a couple of days. I don’t have time to pack, this article was very helpful.

  13. Really Informative and decent post moving packing this much helpful, excellent moving tips. I will bookmark your blog and take a look at again right here frequently. Thanks for such post and keep it up.

  14. Thank you for sharing such an informative and useful post. I do agree with the fact that we should pack the belongings properly in order to prevent their damage. Sensitive belongings like computer, materials made with glass needs special attention. Such packed items needs to be labeled properly in order to track their movement. Apart from this, we could hire professional movers to reduce the stress of moving procedure.

  15. Ruth Ledyard says:

    I have saved this article for a while to use when I move. I finally put it on pinterest so I can go back to it. You have some great ideas and I will be using them if and when my house ever sells. The house is 4200 sq. ft and 47 acres so needs a special buyer. The land can not be subdivided because of only one area for an entrance. I think the house is beautiful with some 12 ft ceilings and beadboard walls and ceilings in some rooms and shiplap in some. It has a lot of charm and I would not be selling it if not for it being the time in my life to downsize. My realtor is great to give us 24 hours notice before she comes.I have spent so much time making this house my own with decorating and building gardens with hundreds of hydrangeas and other flowers. It will be like leaving my heart behind but life must go on and I will start decorating again.

  16. It’s great that you gave some very detailed tips on how to deal with a large wardrobe when moving out to sell a home. We’ve finally managed to find a buyer for our old home so we can move on to the one we purchased from our friend, and since we have a lot of clothes to run through while packing, I had to start really early if we’re to pack everything in time. To lessen the time spent packing, I’ll follow your tips as soon as we find a moving company willing to help us relocate the items we will still use.

  17. C.Gresham says:

    Lory, Several years ago I made a rather quick decision to move and had done all I could to prep the house: painting inside and out, spruced up the flowerbeds, and had the trees all trimmed, things looked great. I had decluttered, which basically meant packing everything in boxes and moving them to the garage. I have been looking online at houses to buy but wasn’t really in a rush since my house had not gone up for sale and I had no idea what the market really was like
    Well, I was in for a shock. My house went on the market and was sold in six hours, seriously I had a great offer in six hours. The buyer needed the home rather quickly so I ended up putting my home’s contents in containers while I found a place to live. It’s basically like a moving van that comes in packs up to your stuff and carries it away and stores your furniture and belongings until you were ready for it and then delivers it to your new home. Fortunately I could stay with family for a couple of weeks until everything was ready for me to move into my new residence but wow, six hours on the market has to be a record.

  18. Making a move after 23 years in my dream home was traumatic. To make things worse the person selling our future home was extremely difficult to deal with. Hence my decision to purchase the house outright before even listing my home. Up until closing we still weren’t sure the deal would go through. So I took out a mortgage on the new house. I had anticipated that it would take three months to sell our home but it sold in a few ours. The first people that looked at it came with check in hand and due to miscommunication with our realtor they upped the offer the following morning. In the one day the house was on the market we had 5 offers, all for full asking price.
    We had the advantage of having a small vacation cottage so we had somewhere to sleep while we began some basic renovations. But when we actually moved here we had most of our furniture stacked from wall to wall in the lower level.
    We were extremely fortunate to have a great bank to deal with and when we closed on our home the offered a one time free mortgage adjustment which drastically reduced our monthly payments. A year later we sold the cottage and were able to pay off the house.
    While this may not be an option in those middle years of married life, when facing retirement and downsizing, my planning ahead was a key factor in pulling this off. I organized a written plan and took it to the bank when applying for the mortgage. One of the few bills I had was a boat payment and managed to pay this so far in advance that I didn’t need to think about it while I carried 2 mortgages. I put my neck out, owning 3 houses at one point but it was worth it in order to maintain control.
    Aside from packing boxes in an organized fashion, figuring out the financial options of what to do first was more important for us. I would urge anyone contemplating a move of this type to think outside the box and carefully consider different options that might prove beneficial in the long run.

  19. N’s comment above was good. I took photos of everything in each box and labeled each box with colored tape, ie blue, living room, yellow, kitchen, etc. The movers loved it. I moved across country and didn’t arrive for several days. The place was full, but the boxes were where they belonged.

  20. We sold our home in just 2 days and we were moving to another state. We rented an apartment in the new state and also rented a storage unit. I realized that the boxes would be stacked, so I marked the room, contents, etc. on the sides of the boxes instead of the top. I could find exactly what I wanted to unpack without opening several boxes to find what I wanted. The movers also stacked the boxes by the room listed on the box, all the bedroom boxes were together, all the kitchen boxes were together, making sorting and unpacking much easier. I have moved 10 times in 20 years and as they say practice makes (almost) perfect.

  21. Great post! We are in that process right now…however our home is not on the market and we have not settled on a townhome yet. We live in one of the top on demand school districts in MN and are feeling confident … most of our homes sell within three days. However…who really knows.

    We are aggressively going through all four levels of our home. Every night I make a list of what we want to get done the next day. We are both retired which helps. No help as both of our sons live out of state. We have tried sorting their keepsakes by FaceTiming only once a week with questions…keep or go.

    We use Buy Nothing for our area. It works out great. I also have nieces and a few friends who are grandparents wanting the toys and books my kids had. Funny as an older mom when I first had them I kept special toys, books and puzzles they loved. My oldest said the other day, “mom it’s more about being a memory of seeing it that you hesitate to let go, I have all the memories in my heart”. What we learn from our kids.

    This post helps because we are serious about making a move if the right home comes along. I told my hubby the other day I want to start packing things and he hesitates. Not to make our home look unlived in but the things we rarely use and can afford to remove from closets. I am still going to do it but label my containers and track contents in a notebook I have dedicated to the move.

    Keep us posted on your progress!

    This is the home we started our life to

    1. Glad you found the post helpful and best of luck with whatever decision you choose! I first wrote the post a few years ago (and update it each time I resend it), so we have since moved to our current townhouse. Our home sold in 5 days, too, but you still have to show your house until everything is finalized, so packing while showing is real. Especially when it all happens so fast, you don’t want to hold off the packing until the sale is done. We found the townhouse we loved before putting our house on the market, so once we committed, it was full steam ahead… 🙂

  22. Hi Kim, I have moved many times in my life and might have the biggest move in two years, we are going from Montreal to Vancouver Island. Here is my secret for marking my boxes. I simply mark my boxes with a number and, as I fill my box, I mark each items that goes in that box on a sheet of paper that you keep with you on moving day. I do the same for all my boxes. I found with this system I was never missing items or boxes in the move. Now with this number system, no one but you knows what is in the box, also by numbering them from 1 to 100 I know if I am missing a box. Should some boxes disappear, you have a complete and accurate list of the items missing for your insurance. When I have finished with my boxes, I offer them to someone else moving and with only a number they are re-usable by the next mover. I used to love moving by now as I age, I find it harder and harder…Hope this helps! One other point, by itemizing each boxes, it makes it easier to find things before you have a chance to unpack all the boxes.