Five Tips for Moving in a Hurry

Suppose you’ve just found out you have two weeks to move, and literally nothing is packed. Should you panic? Should you throw it all in the trash, or conversely into random boxes with no rhyme or reason?

Here are some tips to make things go smoothly without too much time or frustration:

Tip 1: Make a plan. Five minutes of planning can save hours on the other end. Make a diagram for the movers of where you want your items. Tell your packers what your priorities are. Decide what items are essential for daily life and what you can wait to look at for a few weeks.

Tip 2: Label your boxes according to plan. Of course you want to write what’s basically in them, but for example, if you are moving things to multiple locations or rooms, code your boxes with numbers for where the items will go and how important they are. 1 for “immediately needed at the new place”, 2 for “send to new place but don’t need right away” and 3 for “storage”. Then you can tell the movers some basic rules about those 1, 2, or 3 boxes and your life will be much easier the day of move in.

Label your boxes with large numbers, coded for their final destination.

Tip 3: Don’t spend too much time on this end sorting papers and small things. Make a large rule, like “keep all papers until I can sort later” or “all stuffed animals can be donated”. This information can be communicated to whoever is packing with you and you can get much more done.

Tip 4: You will need more boxes than you thought and more supplies than you thought. Look for free boxes on Craigslist or used boxes at ecobox.com. Get lots of small and medium size because heavy things should go in small boxes.

Tip 5: Donate whatever you can easily donate. Put out an ad on Craigslist for all the free things in your driveway. Try to get rid of as much as possible so you don’t ever have to deal with those items again. Items that will bring more than $100 can be sold, but try not to spend too much time on that when you’re frantically packing boxes.

Bonus Tip: If you’re overwhelmed, call an organizer. We can often make a plan or help you just a little bit. $50 or $100 spent on an organizer can save you tons of time and frustration.

 

Seven awesome tips to clear away the holiday clutter

Perhaps you have already put away all of your holiday stuff. Perhaps all of the Christmas presents have been accommodated into your house and all the decorations are up in the attic and you already vacuumed all the confetti up from your New Year’s Party, and the turkey has long since been eaten.

If so, congratulations! You are really cool!

On the other hand, perhaps your Christmas decorations are still halfway up, and starting to look a little dusty. Perhaps you still have leftovers from Thanksgiving in your fridge. Perhaps you have no idea where all your kids’ new toys are going to go because they have so many already. If that is you, then read on.

Step 1:

Give away some of your stuff. If you got a lot of new books, find some books to give away. If you got new games, give away some old ones. We got about 5 new games this Christmas. I just went through my game closet and found ten we had outgrown.

 

The games we really want to keep!

Step 2:

Give away some of your decorations. When you re-pack your decor, check the bottom of those boxes for the crumpled star, the broken lights, and the ugly ornaments. Toss ‘em. Trust me, you can do it. If you started the holidays with five boxes of decor, end the holidays with five boxes. Don’t buy new storage for your ornaments unless you really are just starting out in life and don’t have enough. If you are like me, though, you have enough. Set a limit (3 or 4 or 5 or 20) and stick to it. Your husband (or other attic-ladder-climber) will thank you.

Clean out your boxes and only put back the things you really like.

Step 3:

Start each day with filling one grocery bag of trash. This will get you moving and get you to see what is bugging you the most so you know what to tackle next.

Even a small bag of trash is better than none!

Step 4:

Clear out that fridge! If you have any leftovers that are from before New Year’s, now’s the time to toss them. Unless it’s chocolate. Then send it to me.

Yes, clean out the fridge.

Step 5:

Slowly catch up. Don’t spend 15 hours cleaning at a time. Do one more extra box, or one more extra area, than you would normally do in a day. I promise you (probably) don’t have an inspector coming by on January 15 who will kick you out of your house if there’s still a Christmas tree in the corner. Take your time, do it slowly. Especially if you have babies or toddlers running around. They need you more than the clutter needs you.

This kid is a good reason for me to take a break!

Step 6:

As you pack, try to make notes of what you wish you could do differently next year. If you have cards that you bought on clearance, rather than packing them in the attic with Christmas stuff, put them with your Thanksgiving stuff, so you actually have time to write them. Make a note on your calendar for next year about when you want to start working on projects and cards and gifts.

Make a list. Write your goals for next year.

Step 7:

As you clear an area of the holiday decor, check for other things that you don’t love anymore, you don’t use anymore, or you wish your kids wouldn’t play with. I know you have some toys lying around that make you trip and yell every time you see them. Pack them in your Salvation Army box and take them to the thrift store ASAP! And if it’s broken, just throw it away. I promise the people who shop at Salvation Army don’t want puzzles with 3 pieces missing or ratty jeans any more than you do.

Get your old stuff out of the house!

 

Mimi’s Closet

The saddest part about losing weight is that you have to go buy new clothes. The best part about losing weight is that you’re skinnier! And for most of us, that’s a good thing! Our client Mimi is in the process of losing weight. She therefore knew she had some clothes she could give away, so before I got to her house she sorted and got rid of everything she didn’t want. This left ample space for us to organize and arrange the things she did want to keep. We brainstormed a way to store her shoes, a way to make the closet more accessible, and a way to store the clothes that weren’t hanging clothes. It was a lot of fun and in just two hours we changed the look of the closet completely.

Before: There are shelves hiding that can't be accessed very well...

After: Lo and behold! The shelves have breathing room and are easy to get into!

We are excited for Mimi to reach her weight loss goal and fill up her super-organized closet with some beautiful new things!

Time elapsed: two hours

 

Candace’s Closet

The client:

Candace has moved into a new house and she is busily trying to make everything fit. She has a great sense of style and order already. She was getting overwhelmed with the last few boxes that she needed to fit into the closet.

The problem:

Candace got a great start on her closet and then stalled. She had too many boxes left to fit in nicely, and ended up with a pile of stuff on the floor. We all know how frustrating it can be to have stuff all over your floor! It steals your joy and is visually overwhelming. Candace was willing to use items she already had as containers.

Before- stacks on the floor

After- floor is clear

Before- shelves are used inefficiently

After- All space is used wisely

The solution:

We took a good look at all the shelves in her closet and figured out how to fit everything in nicely. We found containers in other parts of the house and made labels for her boxes. Sometimes something as simple as having matching labels on everything makes all the difference. We were able to clear the floor pile and arrange all the things in her closet to Candace’s content. This project took about 2 hours of organizer time plus a few hours of Candace working on her own.