Melissa Kaspern's Blog
Are you planning on moving in the next 6-8 months? Don’t let your belongings take ownership of you. As consumers, we tend to accumulate a lot of “stuff” over the years. After spending 5, 10, or 20-plus years in one home, this can amount to more than some of us can handle. Do you have more than 4 sets of dishes? How about piles of toys & board games from when your kids were younger? And then there are those passed-down antiques that no one in the family seems to have use for, yet no one wants to throw away.
Rather than rush while packing and having to take the whole mess with you to your next home, consider starting the process early! You can categorize your belongings into the following groups:
- Throw it away
It may be hard to discern which category an item goes in. This is why it’s a great idea to solicit help when you’re moving and downsizing your piles of stuff. An outsider can be a bit more objective to help you see what’s useful and what isn’t.
The Keep Pile
The items you want to keep through your move are those that you use every single day. There’s no question in your mind that you’ll need these things at your next residence. Think of the items that are either irreplaceable or still in good working condition like bedding, the coffee pot, furniture, and personal items like books, DVDs, and electronics.
Sell For Profit
If you have a question about any of the items that you’re going through, you may want to consider selling them. Is your sofa still in good condition, but won’t fit well into your new place? It’s time to get that piece of furniture to another good home and make a bit of cash while you’re at it. There are tons of websites, apps, and other resources that connect you with people who are looking for the items that you want to get rid of.
Some items may not be an easy sell. You may not even have the time to sell them. This is where donation centers allow you to do some good while you’re cleaning out your things. As you’re packing for the move go through things like clothes, books, DVDs, games, toys, and other knickknacks. Those figurines that have been sitting on the shelf may not be ideal for your new house.
It’s also a good idea to keep the amount of space that you’re dealing with in mind. If you have less space, downsizing will be ever important. On the flip side, if you’re moving into a bigger house, you don’t necessarily need to fill it up!
Unfortunately, we’ll always have a few things that need to be thrown out. Items that are ripped, stained, worn, broken, or plain useless must face the fate of the dumpster.
No matter how you go about cleaning out your home before a move, you should know that it will feel amazing to have a lighter load to move as the clutter is cleaned out.
Moving locally might not seem as stressful as a long-distance move, but it can still be hectic if you’re not well-prepared for it. Whether your local move is just down the street or to another part of town, make sure you start getting ready for it early. The following tips can help make your upcoming move a bit easier.
Start Sorting & Packing Early
Even though it won’t take as long to get to your new home when you move a short distance, you should still get started on sorting and packing your belongings as early as you can. Waiting to begin may mean you’ll feel rushed and opt to skip the sorting process. Instead of donating or tossing items in order to downsize, for example, you might end up bringing everything with you to your new home. If you’ve closed on your new home and know your moving date, you can begin sorting through your household items.
Label Your Boxes
Being as organized as possible can help your local move go smoothly. As you go through your belongings and pack them up, put labels on each box or container. Your labels should let you know what’s inside and where each box or container should go. You can either write the room on the label or use color-coded labels for different rooms. Having all of your boxes and containers clearly marked makes it easy for you or your movers to know where to put them at your new home.
Switch Your Utilities
As your move gets closer, keep in mind that you’ll need to change your utilities over to your new home. Since you’re moving locally, you might not have to deal with switching to new utility companies. Instead, you might just have to contact each company to provide them with your new address and let them know when to shut off services at your current home and turn them on at your new home.
Make Multiple Trips
Since your new home isn’t far away, you should be able to make several trips back and forth instead of having to move everything in one trip. You can load up your car with smaller items and boxes for these trips, and unload them in your new residence. For larger items, such as your furniture, make plans to rent a truck or hire local movers to handle these for you. Moving into your new home a little at a time through multiple trips helps make your actual moving day less stressful overall.
If you intend to buy or sell a home, it's never too early to start planning ahead for moving day. By doing so, you can find a great moving company that will make it simple for you to take all of your belongings from Point A to Point B.
Ultimately, there are several best practices that individuals should consider before they hire a moving company, and these practices include:
1. Conduct an In-Depth Search
Dozens of moving companies may be available in your city or town, and all of these businesses claim to be the best. As such, differentiating one moving company from another sometimes can be difficult.
To kick off a search for a moving company, it often pays to reach out to family members, friends and neighbors for support. These individuals likely have moved at some point in their lives and may be able to provide moving company recommendations.
When in doubt, don't hesitate to search for moving companies online as well. A simple online search for moving companies likely will reveal a wide range of results. However, as you check out each company's website and client reviews, you should have no trouble narrowing your search.
2. Ask for Client Referrals
It never hurts to ask a moving company for client referrals. That way, you can gain firsthand insights into what it is like to work with a particular moving company.
To obtain client referrals, call a moving company directly. If the company has a proven reputation, it likely can provide client referrals instantly. Conversely, if a moving company has delivered lackluster results to date, it may struggle to provide client referrals.
In addition, ask a moving company's past customers about their experiences with the business. Find out why these customers chose a particular moving company, how the moving company handled various moving day challenges and whether these customers would use the same company in the future. This will enable you to gain the comprehensive insights you need to make an informed decision.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Local real estate agents are well-connected in their respective cities and towns. Thus, if you contact a real estate agent today, you can simplify your search for the right moving company.
A real estate agent is happy to provide expert recommendations about moving companies in your area. Plus, if you need help finding a moving company on short notice, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is available to support homebuyers and home sellers alike. This housing market professional understands the challenges associated with buying and selling a house and will assist homebuyers and home sellers in any way possible. In fact, a real estate agent will help a property buyer or seller get ready to enter the housing market, prep for moving day and much more.
Take the guesswork out of finding the right moving company – use the aforementioned best practices, and you're sure to find a terrific moving company.
For parents who need to move a family from Point A to Point B, keeping kids busy can be difficult. Lucky for you, we're here to help you entertain your kids throughout the moving cycle.
Now, let's take a look at three activities that you can use to keep your kids busy on moving day.
1. Packing Last-Minute Items
Last-minute items like clothing and toys will need to get packed up before you can leave your current address. Fortunately, you can rely on your kids for extra help with packing these belongings.
Including your kids in the packing process is a great way to bond with your children. In fact, you and your kids can work together to pack up last-minute belongings and ensure these items quickly and safely reach your new address.
2. Creating a Moving Day Journal
Let's face it – moving can be stressful, particularly for kids. However, if you encourage your kids to create a moving day journal, you may be able to help your children alleviate stress.
A moving journal offers a great opportunity for a child to express his or her thoughts about an upcoming move.
Furthermore, a child can use a moving journal to envision what life might be like at his or her new house. This journal can even include drawings that illustrate how a child might decorate his or her new bedroom, lists of ideas about things to do near a new house and much more.
3. Playing Board Games and Car Games
Pack a bag of board games to help your kids pass the time in the car – you'll be glad you did. These games are easy to play and will help your children stay entertained for hours.
Memorization games are great for kids and parents alike too. Of course, don't forget about the classic "I spy" game that you can play with your children while you drive to your new address.
Lastly, if you need extra help as you prep for your move, you should not hesitate to reach out to a real estate agent.
A real estate agent is a moving expert who can take the guesswork out of relocating to a new residence. He or she can help you get in touch with local moving companies, offer packing tips and provide fun suggestions so that you can keep your kids busy while traveling.
Perhaps most important, a real estate agent can offer comprehensive assistance as you buy or sell a house. If you need help finding a residence or selling one as quickly as possible, a real estate agent will work with you so that you can achieve your goals. Also, a real estate agent is happy to respond to your homebuying or home selling concerns at any time.
Want to get the most out of moving day with your children? Take advantage of the aforementioned moving day activities, and you and your kids can enjoy an unforgettable moving day experience.
All communities have increases and decreases in population, demographics, and times when several (or very few) homes are on the market. Sometimes, it's merely that the stars aligned for several homeowners at the same time. Once in a while, because the market is particularly hot, many of the owners hope to cash in on the rising prices. In a few cases, however, it is a BIG. RED. FLAG.
Proceed with caution.
Getting in early to a neighborhood that is on the cusp of gentrifying—of becoming that trendy place where everybody wants to live—can be a savvy move for personal homebuyers and investment purchases. But just because the neighborhood next door made the transition doesn’t always mean this one is next up.
If you can purchase several homes in the neighborhood, you can try to force the upward change, but if you’re buying your first family home, take heed of a few signs that a community has headed down instead of up.
Lots of homes for sale.
As noted above, sometimes it’s just a fluke that several homes go on the market at once. Other times, it is because some community event triggered it. This event could be a school district redistricting so that students no longer qualify to go to the school they planned for, an increase in a local tax, because the water/sewer lines need upgrading but the city isn't budging, or an increase in homeowner association dues.
Speaking of homeowner associations, sometimes it's not the dues, it's just the restrictive rules. If all the houses look identical; if the color palette seems to be within one or two hues; if the turf is all the same grass, the neighborhood might have a super-controlling association. While many folks are fine with tightly-defined rules, you'll want to know going in so that your dreams of a minty-green paint over all that red brick aren't dashed on the rocks of the rulebook and covenants.
If the school district is moving the lines, it's important to know before you invest. The changes might be in your favor, in which case: get right in there and make your move. But if you had old information on where your kids would qualify to go, you need to know.
In older neighborhoods, an aging population may be in transition out. If so, that might signal the perfect time for younger families to move in, upgrade, update, and upscale the homes into this decade. One way for you to know for sure is to speak to people that know. Talk to the neighbors when you go to that open house. Drive along the streets at the end of the workday to see who is coming and going. Stop by in the morning for a look at how many kids are heading to the school bus stop.
Your local real estate specialist pays attention to trends and can tell you how many homes have sold within the last few years, so use their expertise before making the leap.