Organizing/Decluttering to move - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 05-04-2006, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So it looks like we'll be moving in early 2007. I'm lucky that we've made the decision now and that I can start to prepare for the move.

I'm trying to figure out how to prepare for the move. I know I can take my time. Should I concentrate on organizing/decluttering one room at a time?

We'll also need to do some small repairs on our current home before we can put it on the market. I'm already working on a list of things that need to be fixed up around the house and making a budget for the repairs. With 4 active kids (especially a 2yo who likes to write on walls), we'll probably wait on painting. But we have a goal of getting the outside of the house fixed up during the summer.

Any suggestions on how to start getting ready for the move? I want to do as much as possible NOW, because by the time we're ready to actually move I'll have another newborn.

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#2 of 8 Old 05-04-2006, 12:49 PM
 
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Do you know what new house you are moving into already? That might make it easier to organize and figure out what you are keeping if you can picture it in your new house.

I would start by just general declutter and getting rid of things you wish you would have long ago. This way you have less to start with when starting to decide. Keep a mental inventory of what you think you have to much of and what could use improving in your new house. Do your kids have too many toys? Do you need to get rid of the toys or find a better way to organize them? Both? Think in terms of what the rooms are in your new house and how big so your not tryin to fill a smaller room with a lot of stuff.

If you start packing stuff now do you have a storage place where you can put stuff to get it out of your way and out of sight? Maybe rent a storage locker if its possible or use your basement/garage. Then I would start by packing stuff you know your going to keep but hardly ever use. Like carefully wrapping China, seasonal items you wont need before then, family items you wont need for a while.

Are there any big furniture pieces you need to get rid of? For instance if you have a big sectional couch and know it wont work in your next house you may want to organize for a garage sale or have it listed as for sale. Of course you can't get rid of anything you need now so if you were to find a couch that would work then you could sell yours and buy the new one.

Can't remember your kids ages but tell them eventually you will go through with them of what they want to keep. Just to get them prepared for the idea.

Get boxes and packing supplies. Good markers and everything so that when you start you have everything you need.

Set aside a weekend a month or a project a month of what to fix on your current house. You don't want to feel overwhelmed.
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#3 of 8 Old 05-04-2006, 02:31 PM
 
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We did this last year. Starting early is key - definitely with the fixing hte house up part - it takes longer than you think.

There are a couple of things to consider - getting rid of things you don't want to take with you, packing to move your stuff and decluttering to help the house sell.

I would go room by room and get rid of the trash, box up anything to donate or sell and then box up anything that you want to move, but don't absolutely need to have from now until after your move. Make sure to mark the boxes that are moving correctly so you aren't confused! Even if you do this and have no extra space to put the boxes and leave them in the room for hte moment, they'll be ready to move when you go to sell. Things I'm thinking of are pictures, decorations, etc.

I think the goal for selling a house is to have it 'sparsely furnished' - so if you have too much furniture in some rooms, consider getting rid of, moving or storing some of it so they seem bigger as a result.

When planning remember that in most parts of the country, the winter is a really dead time for real estate, so you want to plan to put your house on the market in the spring, when things really pick up - If you can manage to plan to sell it in april rather than January, you can avoid having an empty house on the market

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#4 of 8 Old 05-06-2006, 02:36 AM
 
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we are thinking of the very same thing, what i have mentally done is taken inventory of what we have in terms of grocery/non food items etc... i know we have a plethera of toothpaste choices in the bathrooms so i will not be buying any more toothpaste until we are totally out... it makes no sense to move 'inventory'
the same for laundry detergent etc.... start by cleaning out your kids closets, what they dont like/wear/ too small etc either put in a box for the yard sale or take them to a kiddie resale shoppe and GET CASH.....

also start a bit of cleaning... this will make your final cleaning that much easier...

i dread the thought of having to move but staying isnt working for our family either.. hopefully we can be all done by october...
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#5 of 8 Old 05-06-2006, 01:24 PM
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We went through this last year, but only had 6 weeks to get ready to move...and it was a very cold winter, so we couldn't have a garage sale. I don't know if this would work for you, but I made some categories of things I wanted to get rid of before moving. I called a problem pregnancy charity and scheduled a time for them to come pick up all the baby stuff. Once the baby stuff was gone, I packed up clothes to donate to another charity that gives clothing to people who need it. Then I gathered up some small pieces of furniture and boxes of china and jewelry for the Kiwanis monthly rummage sale, because I know that's the kind of stuff they love there, and they donate all the proceeds to worthy causes around town. I made a pile of unwanted toys in great condition and invited my playgroup over...every kid brought home a box of toys! And every week when I went to the library with DS, I donated a heavy bag of books. All the remainder of the junk went into the garage, and my husband called a junk dealer...but not before the neighbors came over and picked through the remainder. Broken items went straight into the trash. We still had way too much stuff when we moved, and I'm still giving stuff away. We had garage sales in years past, but I'm into the whole charity scene now. My only advice for a garage sale is to price things to move, do not attach an emotional price to any item. You can sell absolutely anything, even broken items, if the price is right. I once sold two muddy old tarps for 50 cents!

"Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?" - Andy Warhol
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#6 of 8 Old 05-09-2006, 04:59 PM
 
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Aack! We're moving either June 8 or July 8, so I have to get cracking!! Subbing to this thread to stay motivated.
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#7 of 8 Old 05-10-2006, 02:02 AM
 
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We are moving in 2 weeks and I've been packing since January! A few things to add to what others have written:

- I packed up anything we wanted to save but wouldn't need before the move (china, holiday decorations, toys or clothes the kids won't grow into, etc.). I stored the packed boxes in the garage. Most importantly, on each box I wrote a number and the room where it would go after our move, then I have a notebook where I list what's in each box. This is great now, when I have no idea what's in a box I packed 4 months ago!
- I collected a bunch of stuff that I wanted to get rid of. Having time meant I could get rid of it in an orderly fashion- if it was salable stuff, I listed it on my local mom's group email list or eBay. I collected lots of books to donate to the library. Lots of pantry items went to the food bank. I had a huge pile that I donated to dd's preschool rummage sale. And now I'm making a Goodwill pile with what's left. I made an appointment to dispose of household hazardous waste (paint, cleaning supplies, etc.)
- I planned meals around what was already in the freezer and pantry, to use up as much food as possible without having to toss it at the end.
- I really think carefully when buying things- if I don't need it before we move, I don't buy it. I have a list at the back of my notebook of things I may want to buy after the move.

Even though I've been working on this for months it is still a push at the end. I have gotten rid of a ton of stuff, which feels great. Even so, I think when I unpack our stuff (it will be in storage for a year) I have a feeling that I will get rid of another ton of things!
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#8 of 8 Old 05-11-2006, 12:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the suggestions and ideas.

Quote:
Do you know what new house you are moving into already?
I do! So that makes it so much easier to plan what we'll have room for. Although the new house is about the same size as the house we're in now, it's laid out so much better, less wasted space and more bedrooms.

Quote:
Can't remember your kids ages but tell them eventually you will go through with them of what they want to keep. Just to get them prepared for the idea.
Right now they're 6, 5, 4, and 2. But by the time we move I'll have another baby too. In any case, yes, we have WAY too many toys. Luckily, we will have enough room for each child to have their own room (if they want), so that might help with the toy situation.

Quote:
When planning remember that in most parts of the country, the winter is a really dead time for real estate, so you want to plan to put your house on the market in the spring, when things really pick up - If you can manage to plan to sell it in april rather than January, you can avoid having an empty house on the market
Yep, I know this. But I really don't know if there's anything I can do to get around this. We're moving into a relative's house, and can't move until their new condo is ready. We may consider putting the house on the market a little early just in case. If the current house sells quickly, we could stay in a temporary place until the new house is ready.

Quote:
I made a pile of unwanted toys in great condition and invited my playgroup over...every kid brought home a box of toys!
I LOVE this idea! A friend of mine did this a few years ago when she was preparing to move, and it was such fun. She cleared out a bunch of books (kids and adult) too.

Quote:
Most importantly, on each box I wrote a number and the room where it would go after our move, then I have a notebook where I list what's in each box.
What a fabulous idea! We still have almost a year before we'll move, so I still want to keep many of the seasonal items around. But if I can manage to box everything up after each season is over, I should be able to keep on top of everything.

Other things:
-We've started making a list of things we want/need to do around the house to fix it up (paint the eaves, refinish the deck, etc.) and an approximate budget and time frame for each item
-I've decided to clean/declutter/organize my house going room by room. At the very least, I'm making a first attempt at get rid of things I don't want to move. Today I started with my bedroom. I thinned my closet and dropped off 2 bags of clothes at Goodwill this afternoon.

Thanks for all of the tips and suggestions, I really appreciate it. If anyone else has more advice, I'm all ears I'll try to update my progress.

New signature, same old me: Ann- mama of 2 boys and 2 girls, partnered to a fabulous man.
I'm an unintentional weasel feeder and I suck at proofreading.
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