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Planning a move – 3 tips and a bonus for a smooth move

Planning a move

Planning a move – 3 tips and a bonus for a smooth move

As stagers we meet people on the way to their next home every day. We’ve seen all sorts of ways to get organized for a move and lots of checklists. Here are a couple of things that many of those to-do lists don’t cover but are good tips to ensure a smooth move. 

One: Important Documents Folder

As you are going through files and collecting information, create a folder that you keep out of the moving boxes and close at hand, for the important documents you’ll need to access at the other end of your move. Yes, some of this is available on digital platforms. Remember you may not have immediate access during the move. Try an accordion file for the ultimate organization. Don’t limit these to real estate paperwork relative to your home sale and new purchase. Think of things like your children’s school records, health records, eye glass prescription, insurance cards, and birth certificates. For family pets, have insurance information and vital records.

Planning a move folder and documents

If you are a caregiver for an older adult or partner, keep their prescriptions, health records, and care plans close in the folder as well. 

Boxes have a way of getting mis-labeled or misplaced on arrival. Keep financial records, your will and health care directives, copies of your credit card numbers, and your passport in your document folder. Think about renewals that may come up in the space of your move, like the DMV/registrations. Add those to your file. 

Two: The Family Move Kit

This bag will come together closer to the move. Think about what you and your household will need for the first night in your new home and the following morning. This could be the lovey that your little person sleeps with or the white noise machine you can’t sleep without. Chargers are a good idea. Add your prescriptions and over the counter meds. Is there a special snack, cup, or breakfast for the small people in your life? How about your book or iPad? Earbuds? Think of this bag as things that provide both comfort and joy for the first 48 hours of your move. 

Three: Begin with the End in Mind

Packing an entire house can be daunting. Unpacking can be a nightmare – unless you think ahead to what will make your life easier upon arrival. For example, having 12 boxes marked “Kitchen” will feel overwhelming when you need bowls, silverware, the coffee maker, and cups for breakfast. But having a labeling convention like “Kitchen – breakfast” will make your morning easier. Use a system that makes sense for your family and household but have a system that makes it easier to unpack what you need as you need it in your new home. 

The Bonus

As stagers we hear stories about moves – not all of them great. As you’re preparing your home for sale and getting ready for staging and open houses, make a list of all your prescription drugs. Have a secure place to store them when you aren’t home during the marketing period. Your agent will have an eye on everyone who visits your home, but things do happen, and prescription drugs are often the target. Your best bet is to keep them with you when you leave your home for showings and open houses.


Check your insurance policy to see if your belongings are covered in transport. Moving companies have limited liability. Know what is covered and isn’t so you don’t have to worry.

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