Seven Ways to Make Your Home “Move Out” Ready

A home of your own. A bigger place. A fresh start in a new city. When it comes to moving, the payoff is huge. But getting there takes effort and, to put it politely, can be a challenge. The good news is that there are simple ways to ease some of your burden and simplify your move. And no – they don’t necessarily involve hiring a moving company (although that is the ultimate stress reducer). Let’s take a look:

  • Start a box (or a few) labeled “Toss” and “Donate” and/or “Garage Sale” and place them in an area (perhaps your little-used formal dining room) that won’t disrupt the flow of your home. As everyone in the family begins to look around and think critically about their rooms and “stuff,” they can easily take their unwanted things and put them in the appropriate box. No muss. No fuss.
  • Pack early. You probably have things in the house that you use seasonally or infrequently, so the moment you find out that you’re moving, start packing those items up. Holiday decorations, out-of-season clothes, etc., can all be neatly packed, labeled and set aside.
  • Pack in micro-bursts. You don’t have to pack your whole house in a day, so baby step your way through your space. To do this, choose a room and grab your kitchen timer and some packing supplies. Set the timer for a few minutes to an hour or so, then pack what you can in the time allotted (being sure to pile up your “toss” and “donate” items, then deposit them in the appropriate box when you’re done). If you need a few extra minutes to finish a specific task, fine – but don’t make the work an all-day affair unless you really do have the time. Otherwise, you risk feeling overwhelmed.
  • Fix what needs to be fixed. As you see things that need to be repaired before the new owners or renters move in, tag them with painter’s tape. If the repair requires an explanation, write the details of the fix on the tape. After each room is packed and completed, you can breeze through and quickly take care of the things that need fixing.
  • Clean up as you fix up. As the repairs are being made – or just after they’re complete – clean up each room (including walls, doors, ceilings, etc.) and then shut the door. You can even put a swath of painter’s tape on the door and write “clean” on it – so everyone knows that that room is complete. And if they mess it up – they’ll need to clean it up. ASAP.
  • Reduce the amount of space you actually use. If you work from home and don’t need everything in your office, pack it up, clean the space and move your laptop to, say, the kitchen table and work from there for a few days or weeks. That way, your office is clean and ready to go and you still have your necessities. Another way to do this is to pack up your non-essential kitchen supplies and consolidate everything you’ll actually use into a few drawers or cupboards. Once complete, clean the now-empty cupboards and label them as “cleaned and sealed” with painter’s tape. That way, no one will put things in them and when moving day finally hits, you can just put the things you use in a box, clean a smaller space and hit the road.
  • Stop buying your regular grocery supplies. Most people have more frozen leftovers, frozen veggies, meats and pantry staples than they probably realize. So instead of adding to your stock, work to deplete it. If it means getting creative, so be it. After all, moving milk that is half gone is a pain, but tossing it is wasteful – so use it. And moving flour and sugar might be easy enough, but they’re also heavy. So before you move, make more meals at home and use up your supplies. Just before you move, you can decide to either pack up what’s left, give it to friends or donate it to a local soup kitchen.

All of these packing tips aside – if you are going to hire movers, even if it’s just for the big things and you’re only moving a short distance, book them as early as you can. After all, moving companies get busy and can get booked out months in advance, so planning ahead is critical – and can save you plenty of headaches in the end.


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