How to organize for a move

How to organize for a move

A move from a single family home in Barrington, Ill., to a condo less than 10 miles away in downtown Arlington Heights, Ill., can be as stressful as a move from downtown Chicago to San Diego, a distance of more than 2,000 miles. And when a transition to a new home has to be completed quickly, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.

When this happens, I’m often called for what I call “triage organizing.” This is necessary when a home just isn’t functioning and the family is paralyzed by the size of the task in front of them. Realizing they need help, they reach out for emergency organizing help to get things back on track.

While you will probably never completely alleviate the stress of a move, here are a few planning and organizing tips that will go a long way to prevent an emergency situation.

Organizing before the move

Before the move, thoroughly research locations, housing options and costs to determine if you want to move at all. Once you make your decision, more detailed plans can be put in place. Create a project file. Ask for referrals to find a good realtor. Choose your new home.

Create a timeline for all the tasks you need to complete and allow extra time for unforeseen obstacles:

  • Get your current home ready to sell by de-cluttering and staging.
  • Find a move manager and a reputable mover.
  • Secure financing.
  • Transfer information (medical, dental, financial, school).
  • Arrange for utility changes at both homes.
  • Consider arrangements for children and pets.
  • Transport vehicles.
  • Pack a suitcase with essentials for each person prior to packing the home.

Organize your current belongings to make your move efficient and stress free. This means keeping only those items you will be able to use in your new home.

  • Review your possessions.
  • Decide what to take to your new home based on new floor plan.
  • Donate what you don’t want or need anymore.

Organizing on moving day

Consider hiring a professional move manager to help out on the day of the move. A move manager oversees moving company personnel, handles furniture placement, arranges unpacking and helps you settle into your new home. A professional organizer goes a step further to establish a personalized organizing system that works for you. Organizing systems help keep clutter at bay throughout the year; allow you to adjust to the seasons and prepare you for unexpected emergencies.

Seek the help of family, friends or professionals to keep you from being overwhelmed by an impending move – especially if you have a new addition to the family, are blending households, or are downsizing from a larger home to a smaller one.

Jane Carroo is a recognized Chicago professional organizer and owner of Clutter Coach Company, which she founded in 2004. Jane combines her experience as an educator, life coach, certified professional organizer and senior move manager to help clients gain clarity and control over their space, paper and time. Jane has been featured on NBC, the CBS Early Show and A&E’s Hoarders, and in many print and online publications.

As of December 18 2012, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.