Moving CAN be for Wimps

#TigressTips for a smooth move


In case you are one of the millions who doesn’t know, and one of the dozen or so who might care…Paper Tigress has a new home!  Our relocation just 15 minutes from Christiana Mall in Delaware, will allow a greater service radius and we continue to provide daily money management services in southern Chester County along the Route 1 corridor.  Technology permits us to work with remote clients anywhere in the US.

Possibly, you are contemplating a move sometime in the future.  Moving is known to be one of the big stressors in life and since this was a family and business move, I thought I’d share some personal insights which might make your experience closer to divine.

Let Go

You probably have an emotional attachment to your home, neighbors, yard, and much of your stuff.  It’s normal.  If you’ve been somewhere for a long time like we were, it’s like ripping out a part of you.  Think of your home as a gift you are bestowing on someone else.  You want it to be the best it can be so the next owner will emotionally latch onto it as you did.  You also want to bring the highest price.  The problem with a house or even the contents is that you can’t see the forest for the trees!  You have to let a professional who knows the buyers to guide you.  If they say paint, then paint!  If they say update, then update!  Many people don’t think it’s worth spending money to try to please someone else, but it absolutely pays.  Styles and tastes change dramatically in just 15 years and you will have a less stressful sale if you can let go of your past choices and accommodate the market.  “It was good enough for me” thinking will not sell your home.

>>We got rid of out-dated appliances and lighting, painted cabinets white, painted most of the walls cream to white, and replaced some cloudy windows.  The carpet had already been redone (after the dog and kids were gone).  Everything was light and neutral.

Start Early

Moving had been a topic of discussion for about 5 years in our house.  Consequently, every time we painted or did something in the yard, it was chosen to enhance marketability.  Not that it didn’t make us happy too!  Tell yourself you are moving in 1 year and you’ll feel more pressure to get it done.

You will need to get rid of a lot of stuff!  Isn’t it amazing the things we keep?!  I found 3 easy ways to clean out:

  • Sell It:  Facebook Marketplace was easy to find buyers willing to pay market price.  (If it doesn’t go…it’s a market, drop the price!)  People will pick things up.  You just have to be there.  Craig’s List is another alternative if you don’t use Facebook.  Just be careful and not too trusting.  Most people are very nice.
  • Avoid the Landfill:  Check out FreeCycle, where you can often find someone to take almost anything from paint and household chemicals, to old lamps, toys and well, you-name-it!  Also, will take clothing, small household items, books, and toys.  Visit their website for a list of acceptable items.  They will pick up from your doorstep and the proceeds benefit veterans and their families.    Other local charities will accept items too if you have time to drop off.  Win-Win!

>>I sold enough STUFF to cover the cost of some new appliances.  It made the move easier too.

Plan Ahead

For the DIYers, if you know where you are going, measure the rooms and make sure that what you want to take will fit.  The things you decide you can pack first are probably the ones you should get rid of (not that we did)!   Pack in stages and take the season into account.  It’s easier to pack & move all in one season if you can.  

Choose your realtor early.  They use photographers (and drones) and will want to take photos of the outside during a ‘look good’ season.  Your realtor is an expert who knows the market and can guide you with upgrades so you don’t spend on the wrong things.

Choose a reputable mover.   Get 3 quotes and go with one who takes the time to review the process and walks through your house to take inventory.  Don’t cheap out on this part.  You truly get what you pay for.

>>I’ve already decided to use a move manager next time.  We did our own planning, packing and box moving.  I don’t think we’ll be up for it the next time around.  Move managers do everything from taking things off walls, packing, decluttering, planning, move coordination…all the way to making up the beds and hanging pictures on the other end.

Keep the Stress Factor Low

If you can possibly do it, buy your new home, move, have the old house staged and then list it for sale. You can be gone before the sale sign even goes up!  There will be no strangers pawing through your stuff.  You don’t have to keep your house immaculate as the snow while you are still living in it.  You won’t have to move twice, store furniture, or live with your mother-in-law! 🙂  It’s easier on kids and pets too.

Staging is when you engage a professionally trained decorator (usually) to either rearrange your décor, bring in furniture and accent pieces from their warehouse, or a blend of both.  It is becoming more common to stage homes for sale because they LOOK FABULOUS!  A good stager can totally transform a space and make it so appealing to buyers that you will recoup the cost in spades.  

>>We took our good, bad & ugly with us and let the stager stage several rooms. The house looked like a model home!  The funny thing was that because of all the changes we had made and the complete transformation by the stager, we began to feel more like it wasn’t our house and THAT made it easier to let go.

The Bottom Line

Get rid of stuff, start early, listen to the experts, pay the money & keep the stress down.

> Our house sold in less than one day for the full asking price to a highly qualified buyer.  The proof is in the pudding.  (I like idioms in case you haven’t noticed.)  

If you have questions or want recommendations for trusted move-related services, feel free to contact me.  In addition, our Families in Transition consulting service is geared to help people consider options and plan for the future when they are at a crossroads in life.  
•    Aging – planning ahead, learning about resources
•    Divorce – financial and other choices
•    After the loss of a loved one
We help evaluate options, assess the pros & cons, and provide experience-based insight as to what could lie ahead and how to plan for it.

Your health and peace of mind are worth every step of this journey.