Five tips for an easier move with organizing expert Rachel Rosenthal
My least favorite thing about living in Washington, DC is how transient it is. Goodbye parties and birthday parties seem to happen with the same frequency. But now here we are, the ones moving. I’ve moved around my entire life but I still needed an article on how to make moving easier, luckily I’d connected with organizing expert Rachel Rosenthal a few weeks back and she has some thoughts on the topic.
I’ve moved a lot but I’m no pro
My husband and I have both moved a ton throughout our lives! And it looks like something we are making a habit of doing together. I’m hoping that we can buy a house and put down roots in Austin but, who knows.
I grew up as a military brat which means moving is totally old hat to me. Packing, decluttering and organizing while I move is another story though. During some of those childhood moves we had professional movers who would not only pack our stuff, but move it for us. I remember having moved from Tampa, Florida to Las Vegas, Nevada and opening boxes only to find actual garbage. It was my garbage, movers won’t declutter for you!
When I was in college, I would move from new apartment to new apartment using trash bags. All my stuff could fit into one bag which was squishy enough that I could stuff it into whatever backseat or trunk I was using to relocate with. My now husband was horrified by this packing method, absolutely horrified. (he’s much more fastidious than I am)
All that to say, my emphasis has always been on adventuring. Organizing and basic homemaking is something I am willing myself to get better at. It helps to know people who are excellent at what you struggle with. Rachel Rosenthal is a highly acclaimed organizing expert, we met at a blogging event a few weeks back and stayed in touch. She was so kind as to provide some tips on how to have my best move yet!
Tips from Rachel
One of the best times to create organizing systems is also during what can be for some a very stressful period: moving time! It’s the only time you will have a completely blank space to work in and get to re-assign what goes where, which–if done strategically–will make your life easier moving forward.
Here are my tried-and-true tips to keep in mind during the moving process:
Prepare for the process. Dedicate an area of your home or corner of a room as the “declutter zone”. This is where any items that you will be getting rid of can be moved to. Purchase large, durable bags for the items that you are getting rid of. Once the bag is full, make sure to close it so that you are not tempted to go back through and second guess your decision…remember: you decided to get rid of the item for a reason. Invite a friend over to offer opinions on what should go and to help with the process overall.
Sort and purge. Go through every room in the house and categorize all items: KEEP, DONATE, CONSIGN, and TRASH. Set a “donation date” every week during the last month leading up to the move. Schedule for a donation pick-up or carve time out of your schedule to drop off items at a local donation center.
Take it one room at a time. Choose one room to focus on at a time and touch every item in that room to determine how it should be categorized. Remember: while the item might not take up much room in a box, you will eventually have to find a place for it in your new home. If it’s not something you love or use on a regular basis, let it go.
Keep the floor plan in mind. Before you pack, think about your future space and what will fit. Will your future living room fit your existing couch? Will your utility shelving unit fit in your new garage? Are you downsizing and no longer need guest bedroom furniture? Make a plan to dispose of or sell these items so you aren’t stuck dealing with it on the other end when space is limited.
Create a moving folder. Include important document (i.e. estimates, receipts), and a full inventory list of what you will be moving. As you identify items to KEEP, add it to the inventory list. When you get to your new home you will be thankful that you have all important paperwork in one convenient location.
Moving resources for DC area residents
For those local to the DC area, check out our list of recommended vendors to make everything from paint removal to donations and moving a breeze: https://rachel-company.com/resources.
Have an upcoming move? Whether you are moving across the street or across the country, check out our Moving Checklist to make sure you are prepared for moving day!