Blog provided by Meghan Smith

President and Founder of OrganizeSmith

Moving is a major event and can be stressful and overwhelming. However, a good game plan and sufficient lead time will make it a far less painful experience. The following guidance is based on my experience as a professional organizer gained by helping over 50 households relocate. 

To Start: Develop a Game Plan 

When it comes time to move, there is a lot to get done.  Most people underestimate how much time they really need.  By starting early, you save energy and money, making the process less stressful. 

Scenario: Paul and Sarah were clients of mine moving from a three-bedroom home to a condo. Both worked full time and realized early they were going to need help to meet their deadline.

The big tasks to accomplish before a move:

  • Sort and organize belongings
  • Stage home for sale
  • Sell current home / Find a new home
  • Map the space for your new location
  • Pack and move possessions
  • Take care of the final admin 

You do not have to do it all alone. There are service providers, who can help. 

The biggest mistake in moving is procrastination. Do not wait until you sell your home to start getting ready. 


Step 1: Sort and Organize 

Know what you own before you move. To know what kind of space you will need in your new home, determine what you have to take with you. Using a systematic approach, makes the problem less overwhelming and less taxing. Break the project into smaller pieces and set realistic goals. See progress and don’t force yourself to go too quickly. 

Eliminate Clutter 

Scenario: Paul and Sarah knew not everything would fit into their new space and were determined to let go of what wouldn’t fit. We worked through their house room-by-room assessing what they had. In one three-hour session we reduced the kitchen storage by 50% and prioritized items based on move-in space. 

Moving is the perfect time to reduce your clutter. Only take what you use, need, and love. You will save money and time by getting rid of unwanted items now. Purging allows you a fresh start in your new space.

ScenarioSarah had 5 quilts from her grandmother. They sat unused in a cedar trunk for the past 30+ years. She removed a single pattern from each quilt and had them framed and matted. This piece of history could proudly be displayed in her new home. 

Keep those items you LOVE and that provide you with GOOD memories. When possible, consider creative solutions that help you keep the memories, without the clutter. 

Sell/Donate Items 

Be realistic in your expectations about selling items. Moving sales are a lot of work and do not usually gross much money. The best way to balance income with effort is to focus on the items with the greatest worth. Sell them directly using online classifieds including: Craigslist, LetGo and ThredUp. 

In addition to sites like Freecycle, several charities offer pick-up services for donations of sufficient size.


Step 2: Selling and Buying Real Estate

For most Americans, a home is the most expensive purchase they’ll make in their lifetime. It’s a serious transaction with significant financial and emotional ramifications for all parties involved. The DnA Home Group can help you find the right home or buyer and negotiate the best contract. When selling your home, AZ Premier Home Group can also help you with staging suggestions and recommendations. 


Step 3: Staging for Sale

Experience has proven, staged homes are sold for more money, faster. Staging does not have to cost a lot. We recommend only those changes that will have a BIG effect on the house. Reduce the visual noise that distracts potential buyers from your home. 
Think upscale hotel. Use limited furniture and decorations in neutral tones, so that anyone can be comfortable in the space. By making some home improvements and simplifying the contents of the home, potential buyers are better able to imagine living there. 

Step 4: Space Planning 

Mapping out your new space, provides a better idea of what fits. Compare the size of kitchen cabinets and closet space. Save money – don’t move those items that will not work in your new space.
With a map, you can tell the movers where to put items. Make sure the furniture and large items are placed, while you still have man-power.


Step 5: Pack and Move 

Packing is like a game of Tetris. Fit everything you can into the smallest space and don’t leave any holes. Get it done quickly, but more importantly get it done right.

Organized and Logical

ScenarioAt the time of the move Paul and Sarah had 7 large and wardrobe boxes, 16 medium boxes and 18 small boxes. In addition, there were several boxes for artwork and TVs.

When packing boxes, always consider these tips to make unpacking easier. 

  • No Kraken Sweeps– Don’t just grab everything within reach and shove it in a box.
  • Box items with like items, destined for the same space
  • Write content on boxes
  • Use the right size box
  • Don’t make any box too heavy
  • Clearly place destination room label 
  • Keep a tally for each space  

Remember, to pack the items you will need in clearly marked suitcases. Plan for delays in the moving process

Use Care

Packing up valuable crystal and other breakables requires some time. This is not the place to rush. The more your items can be constrained from movement, the less likely they are to break.  Packing paper and bubble wrap prevent shifting and cushion items against vibration. If an item is not worth extra care, is it really something you need, use or love?

Professional Moving Companies

ScenarioPaul and Sarah were moving across town and therefore were able to use a local moving company. It took two hours to wrap furniture and load items for a three-man crew. One hour to drive to new location and almost three hours to unload at the new condo.

The process of finding a good mover can seem daunting, but it is worth it to make sure you are working with a quality company.

  • Get recommendations
  • Do an initial screening
  • Ask for an in-home estimate
  • Compare bids
  • Make sure company has a solid reputation and are properly insured
  • Select mover and set a date

OrganizeSmith Relocation Consulting

Don’t know where to start? Need an action plan and task list? OrganizeSmith offers Relocation Consulting service for any aspect of your move.  Get specific advice to get any project done. 

Experience, Knowledge & Skill

OrganizeSmith has assisted in the move of over 50 households and businesses. Some clients end up using assistance with the entire process. Others pick and choose the services needed to get the job done.

Moving tomorrow, next month or next year. Call for a FREE estimate! 

If you are looking for relocation assistance, contact Meghan with OrganizeSmith or DnA Home Group!

Meghan Smith
President and Founder

DnA Home Group
Diane M Alexander: 602.921.9934
Angela McInnes: 480.370.7951