What happens when the idea of packing up and relocating to a new home politely knocks on the door of your life? Like most things, it depends. On the one hand, it might be a “mandatory” move, with opportunities for change, refreshed environments, real estate dealings, and a timeline that’s set by deadlines not of your choosing. On the other hand, there’s the “optional” move, offering its own chances for change and refreshed opportunities, but with a touch of the surreal—a timeline that’s more elusive and imaginary, called “someday.”
In both scenarios, the task of moving your entire household may seem entirely daunting. It’s not uncommon for people in the “optional” category to get bogged down by the decisions involved in “right-sizing” their living situation. Before they know it, they’ve procrastinated so long that the thought of moving becomes immobilizing. Fast forward a year or two, and the idea of moving resurfaces. But now, there’s more stuff, less enthusiasm, and it’s just easier to cozy up on the couch and stay where you are.
As Realtors, we’ve seen the whole spectrum of emotions in these scenarios—the challenges, joy, frustration, and excitement. Moving is a Big deal – capital B – and we believe that working with the right Realtor team can make all the difference. What makes the Christensen Realty Group stand out from the rest? It’s our commitment to share our lessons learned from experience with you, our clients. We’re aware of the strain and decision-fatigue that come with such a big event, and we have “vetted” resources and solutions to help you navigate the moving maze confidently.
Now, hold onto your bubble wrap; we’re about to spill the packing-peanuts on some common moving dilemmas:
Q: Our parents are on board with “right-sizing” to a smaller home, but they’re stuck on the logistics of the whole process. How can we help them?
A: The struggle is real… deciding what stays and what goes takes a lot of mental and physical energy. There is emotion involved with detaching from things that don’t seem to fit anywhere, and you’re left wondering if that handed down treasure is going to spark joy or spark a fight. Once the decision to move has been made, it helps to revisit the reasons behind it—like being closer to family or the new home being a better match for the lifestyle or stage of life. Think of your reason as your “motivational touchstone”. Focusing on the big-picture reason for the move and what you’re looking forward to in the future makes it less painful to part with things that don’t make the cut for the next home.
Q: There’s so… much… stuff… How do we dig ourselves out from under things we’ve outgrown or no longer want?
A: Let’s be real, the process of selling or donating excess furniture and household items can be a challenge. It can take more time than you expect, and the dollar returns might be disappointing. That’s why it’s crucial to start early with a plan and decide on your sweet spot between the value of your time and the desire to clear space. Consider it a delicate dance, but instead of a disco-ball there’s cardboard boxes.
Online selling: Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp and CraigsList are familiar tools that are widely used. Compare prices for similar items and be realistic about setting prices. It’s tempting to overestimate the value of items, but this usually results in delays. Having a way to be paid electronically is helpful and be cautious about sharing addresses only after you’ve struck a deal with someone. Don’t meet a buyer when you’re home alone if you can avoid it and offer “door pick-up” so the buyer will come to you.
Donations: Giving things to a cause or organization you care about is an obvious option. In our experience, charities have become more selective about what they will accept, and not all offer donation pick up. Plan ahead because donation pick-ups are usually scheduled weeks in advance.
Estate Sale: This is a “comprehensive” option, appropriate when there is serious downsizing taking place. The catch is that there needs to be enough “inventory” to justify the sale, and there is a cost to the convenience that comes with hiring professionals to handle everything.
Junk Hauler: Everybody ends up having a little bit of junk that just needs to be dealt with at the end… (No judgement from us!) We have solutions for that too!
Q: We’re past the stage of life to ask our friends or family to help us move. Who can we turn to?
A: Professional movers are “professionals” for a lot of good reasons. They have the expertise, the materials, the crew, the trucks and the knowledge to manage any size move. Whether someone is part of a corporate relocation, or downsizing to an apartment, there are industry experts for every situation. Costs vary, but their expertise can alleviate a lot of stress and help avoid becoming buried by details.
Commercial Movers: There are national brand companies you’ve heard of, and local companies for shorter distances. They handle interstate moves as well as cross-town moves and have the expertise to bid on your move based on your exact needs and location. If you prefer to pack yourself and just want capable transportation and a crew of strong people to get you from A to B – they can do it. Or, if you want them to pack everything, move it, unload and unpack on the receiving end they can do that too.
Senior Move Specialists: Ever heard of “angels in disguise”? These folks can create a comprehensive plan for moving that includes everything from planning where to place your furniture in the new home, to dispersing the things that don’t make the cut.
When it’s time for to-do lists and making a timeline, our team includes a Client Concierge who provides you with trusted referrals for things that come up as you prepare for a move.
The logistics of moving are an interruption of major proportions, no matter what stage of life you are in. We understand that a lifetime of stories and living are reflected in the possessions inside a home, and we approach each situation with empathy, compassion and a desire to offer appropriate solutions for a smooth path forward.
The Christensen Realty Group is a team of 7 full-time agents, each with a particular role, all working together for you. We are here to answer your questions, large or small. (Jan 2024)