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Moving soon?

After the initial shock of it all, you may start to panic. You may be excited for the new job or new location, but scared at the same time. You may have kids who have to move as well and that can get complicated too. So what do you do after you realize you are moving?

You breathe. Then you realize you have to make a few decisions.

In my case, we are moving overseas to Stuttgart, Germany for 3 years and then coming back to North Carolina. So we knew we didn’t have to sell the house, but we did have to rent it out. And that still requires staging because you want the pictures to entice people to come and rent it.
The first thing I did was decide what really needed to come with us. For this move, we have to split up our belongings 3 separate ways:
1) Unaccompanied baggage (which shows up about a month after your move and cannot include furniture)
2) Household goods (which can take up 2 months or more to show up)
3) Local storage unit for items we KNEW would never fit in a German house because they have smaller houses
But even before separating everything out, I knew there were items we never used or no longer use. And since we have a weight limit with the government, we had to start purging.


I started going through our closets and toys and determined what we didn’t use anymore and or what we outgrew. For example, the kids didn’t fit into all the clothes they had in the closet, so we went through and started a donation pile. My husband and I also had clothes that no longer fit or were never worn so those went too. I used to donate to the local Goodwill, but then I heard they don’t keep everything local, so I donated the clothes to Sandhills/Moore Coalition. I went through the same process for the the toys and books.
We have A LOT of books in our house and we knew we could only take 1 large bookshelf (we currently have 6 bookshelves in our house). Even my husband is an avid reader and he donated 50 books. My kids had little reader books that they outgrew and are too easy to read. They had another 50 books or more.

What did we do with the books?

We donated the adult books to our local library and the kids books went to the school library. Some teachers have personal libraries in their classroom and they could use some of these to help their kids stay interested in reading.
So if you have to start thinking about moving and packing up all your stuff, think about what items you used while you lived in your current home. Did you really use all the clothes, toys, lawn equipment, outdoor gear etc?
Are you moving to a smaller house? Then you need to decide what items you MUST have to live in the new smaller house. Purge what you don’t need by either selling it or donating it. I gave myself a week to go through all the rooms and start purging stuff. It was amazing how many things we no longer needed or used and we have lived in this house for 3 years. Now granted, each year I would go through my kids’ closets and donate clothes or toys they outgrew but this was getting to be crunch time and we have a weight limit.

After the purge

Now look at the rooms and see what is left in there. Is there still too much furniture? Are there too many pictures on the wall? You may find yourself removing more items after the initial purge and that’s ok. Or you may find there is not enough to make the room look nice anymore. Our playroom still had too many items in it and I had to remove an arm chair, ottoman, 4 foot dollhouse, and some pictures while other pieces were simply rearranged. Some items were donated while others went into storage. See the before and after in this corner of the playroom.

Final Purging Tip

Always keep a donation bag or box handy so as you go through each room, it is ready to go. I find it easier to simply remove the items from the room and place it in the hallway. That way, I can visually see what I have left to work with in the room. This helps me stage the room and get it ready for pictures. I also recommend working in one room and then moving onto the next. If that is too much of a challenge, start with a corner of the room and move in a clockwise direction around the room. That way you know everything has been touched.

Once the donation bag/box is full place in your vehicle so the next time you leave the house, the items are ready to go. If you still need staging help after your purge, please contact me for a staging consultation so we can get your house ready to sell!

If you need some help to get things fixed before you sell your home, check out this bonus below!