Moving is one of the most stressful life events there are. Being organized about it, can significantly reduce that stress, but there’s a lot to it. So I am writing a series of posts on how to get organized, every step of the way, when selling a home and moving. This series will include decluttering, staging, moving day, and settling in. The best place to start, however, is with finding the right team, which is the topic of this post

1. Realtor

There are thousands of realtors out there, so if you don’t already have a favorite, it can be hard to know where to find one that works full time, is highly knowledgeable of his or her surrounding community, and is able to connect with the best services. My favorite place to find realtors like this is at your local BNI chapter. I have favorites in Darien,  Stamford,  Norwalk, and Greenwich

2. Mover

It never pays to go with the cheapest mover. In the end, it always costs too much. Choose a mover who is licensed and insured. If he says “no problem” to everything, then he is not a very experienced mover. Better to know all the challenges up front. It’s worth getting at least two different estimates. Here is a list of  Consumer Affairs top rated movers.

3. Hauler/dumpster

For a large quantity of discards, people usually think of getting a dumpster first. A dumpster make sense for a large quantity of items that you can comfortably load into it, over a period of time. However, if you don’t want a dumpster sitting front of your house for days and have some heavy items that you don’t want to lift in, it might make more sense to go with a hauling company. Yes, they cost more than a dumpster, about $600 per truckload, but they come at your convenience, are gone the same day, and they come with strong men to lift those heavier items you might have. Also, a hauling company can be a great one stop shop for discards AND donates, especially if some of those donates are heavy too. All hauling companies will send you a receipt for your donations, for your taxes. My favorite hauling company to work with is College Hunks Hauling Junk, especially during a move, because each franchise also owns a College Hunks MOVING. It makes things so much easier during a move, when the hauling and the moving are coordinated by the same company.

4. Donation

If you have the time and energy to deal with the donations yourself, there are a few options for pick ups. For smaller items- bags, boxes, and small furniture that one person can carry- we like the Vietnam Veterans of America. Big Brothers Big Sisters is also good, but we find their schedule just a little more restrictive. For furniture, building materials, and appliances, we recommend Habitat For Humanity. For all these services, you must have some time to work with. Plan on at least two weeks out and plan on being there all day. Habitat can usually give you a two hour window and you can leave stuff out on the driveway for VVA to pick up, but of course the weather has to be right for that. If you can call VVA on the day of the pick up, they can usually give you some idea of when they will be by, but before that you won’t know if it will be 7am or 5pm or any time in between. Salvation Army also does pick ups (Goodwill never), but they tend to require even longer scheduling than VVA. NONE of these services will take damaged or otherwise unsellable furniture. If you can’t find a friend or family member to unload those on, expect to pay for their disposal.

5. Seller

Of course there will be a lot of items that no longer serve your needs, but are still too valuable to donate, let alone discard. Selling is always hard work and/or costly, so don’t kid yourself about how easy it will be.  Probably the best way to to get the most money for small item is through eBay, because you open up the auction to a global market. I recommend LBB Global Consignment and Sales. A traditional auction makes more sense, when you have a larger quantity of items, when you have larger size of items, or when the cost of shipping is an issue. My favorite is Greenwich Auction. Finally, an estate sale makes sense, if you can sell all your items out of your home and you have someone running it, who knows what they are doing. If you do it yourself, it can be a colossal waste of time and a huge cause of stress.

6. Declutter

OK, here’s the good part, because this is where Matt Baier Organizing fits in;-) Especially if you are downsizing, it makes sense to try and save on storage and moving costs. Our stock in trade is “postponed decisions,” so if you need help making a LOT of decisions about what to keep, toss, donate, and sell, no services is more uniquely qualified to help make those services fast and safely, than Matt Baier Organizing. We are also happy to coordinate all the next steps, 1-5. We also consider moving into your new home as a next step. Your mover can get your boxes out of their truck and maybe they can get your stuff out of the boxes, but that’s entirely different than starting your life in your new home in an organized way. We can do that.

7. Move manager

A move manager is a soup-to-nuts service, when you are moving. The best move manager I know is Pinny Randall, owner of The Settler. She describes her service as being a wedding planner for a move. She can cover all of the above and more.

I will end by saying, that whenever you take on ANY big project, decluttering is a great place to start. When moving, another important step to consider is staging, which will be the next topic in this series, Organizing to Move.