Six Things You Can Start To Pack Up Before or While You Are Listed
Trust me, I know the intense stress and overwhelm that comes with moving. Too often, clients underestimate the time it takes to sift through their stuff and pack up before possession day. If the very thought of packing up all of your items causes you to curl up in the fetal position, don’t worry, I've got you covered. The average household owns over 300,000 items. No wonder you are freaking out! It’s time to eat away at this, little by little, so your home shows better, is easier for you to maintain while listed, and so you have less to move, saving you time and money. Here are six categories that you can begin to work on that will give you some control and confidence back for your move.
FOOD. So many clients that we help declutter have an obscene amount of food in their homes. Like they have enough food to last them for months if there was an apocalypse. Not only do they have the standard fridge, freezer, and pantry, but they also have an entire backstock from Costco, a spare clunker of a fridge in the basement full of random stuff, and a deep freeze the size of a small apartment full of five-year-old frozen meat that they have completely forgotten about. A great hack is to begin tossing out anything that is expired. Create your meal plans around what you have and use up as much as you can before you move. A great idea is to quickly inventory what you have and go from there. Near your possession date, do your best to go without a few non-essential items for a few days so you have less food to pack and you can use your coolers to pack other things.
BATHROOM ITEMS. This is usually a tough spot to keep tidy during showings. So I recommend my clients sift through all of the bathroom products and remove all expired medications, make-up, and lotions. Begin to believe in the mindset of LIVING WITH ONE. What I mean by this is imagine that you are heading on a trip and packing only the essentials to keep up your look. THESE ARE THE ONLY THINGS THAT STAY. Begin to pack up backstock, use one palette of make-up, pack away all those nail polishes, the mountain of hair products, and keep only what you need for the next month or two. A great idea is to put your morning routine products into a small basket, and once you are ready for the morning, stick it under the sink with a microfibre cloth to wipe down counters and polish your taps.
LINEN CLOSETS. These areas are always stuffed to the nines. I’m not quite sure why we all keep seven sets of sheets and tonnes of mismatched towels, but we do! A great hack is to use most of these items as packing protection rather than newspapers. For the next few months, you really only need one set of sheets for each bed and enough towels and face clothes to last you a wash cycle. Example: for my family of 4, we go through 8 towels, 6 hand towels, and 6 face clothes before we do a load of laundry… that’s all you really need to keep on hand while you are listed! So pay attention to what your family uses before your laundry cycle and pack up the rest! You can do the same for many things like your dishcloths, rags, tea towels, and dishes.
BOOKS. There are book lovers, and then there are people who collect books. It’s time to start to deal with these. Have the mindset of keeping only a few books you want to finish up before you move. This may be a time when you donate ones you will never read again to the library, friends, senior center, daycare, or school. When considering whether you are going to keep them, ask yourself these key questions:
- Am I going to read this again?
- What does this book symbolize for me?
- Why am I keeping it?
I am old school and still like to read physical books, but I know I will never pick them up again once I’m finished unless it is a specific self-help book or how-to manual. I pass them off as soon as I’m done, and it’s been quite freeing!
TOYS. I know I’m a monster for asking you to pack up your kid’s toys! The average 10-year-old kid owns over 238 toys yet only plays with 12 on a regular basis. You may do this with your child by starting an edit. Example: instead of keeping 25 stuffies, narrow it down to 10. Now is the time to toss anything broken, donate anything your child has outgrown, and organize into clear bins for your little ones to easily find. If your child is struggling with this, you can always pack up and reassure them that these items are coming to the new house. Personally, I have found that rotating toys monthly or quarterly is an awesome experience for my little ones. It gives the child a sense of new wonderment, making it feel new again, and frees up their physical space so their mind has more room to create, imagine, and problem-solve.
"The average 10-year-old kid owns over 238 toys yet only plays with 12 on a regular basis."
CLOTHES. I leave this one till last because I know a lot of people are very attached to their clothes and have a hard time parting with them. But let me tell you, closet space sells, and the less you have, the better it will be for your sale. This process is also incredibly liberating and will make you feel lighter. If we have time to work with our sellers, we ask them to do a complete edit of their clothes, removing everything they aren’t going to wear in the next few months. Seasonal items, wedding dresses, costumes, ball gowns, all should go. Sort your items: DONATE, TOSS, SELL, PACK, KEEP ON DISPLAY. Everyone has a tonne of clothes, but we actually wear the same 20% of clothes 80% of the time anyway. Keep essentials that you can mix and match, and again, consider what you need to keep that will last you until the next wash cycle. If this step is tripping you up, start with the sock and underwear drawer. Then move to accessories like purses, belts, and shoes.