Don’t wait until the last moment if a move is in your future!

Preparing for a Future Move

Moving is stressful enough, but what if your house is for sale and you don’t know exactly when or exactly where you will be moving? There are many great moving checklists online, but here are a few tips to prepare early for a future move with an indefinite date.

Start early and stay organized, and your move will go smoothly.

1. Create a “moving” file folder. Toss in moving related receipts and quotes, such as from movers and storage facilities. Tally moving expenses on the inside cover. Moving expenses may be tax deductible if your move is related to work.   

2. Plan for help. Recruit moving help or shop around for a professional moving company, even if your moving date is not set yet. You will be able to confirm your moving date later while you are in escrow. 

If you have extra-large, fragile or unusual items, such as guns, a piano, fine art, a pool table or safe, they will take extra planning. Not all movers will handle these specialty items. Ask in advance. Also confirm that your moving company is licensed and insured by verifying their Department of Transportation (DOT) number.

3. Research Schools. If you know the general area you will be moving to, start researching a school for your kids. The Hawaii Department of Education has a color coded map that shows all public schools in Maui County.   If you are close enough to your anticipated move date, request transcripts from your kids prior school.

4. Map out your new home. If you know where you will be living, take measurements of each room and make sketches of key areas such as the living room and bedrooms. This will create a handy guide, especially when downsizing, as you decide what furniture to keep and what to sell.

5. Start decluttering. One good method is to start with four big bins marked Toss, Donate, Keep and Sell. Go through each closet, cabinet and room and pare down your belongings as much as possible. Take away the donation items and trash or recycle the toss items. Designate a place in your house for the items you want to sell at a garage sale or online.

Note- don’t sell key pieces of furniture, window coverings or décor that you have used to stage your home for sale until later in the process. Your realtor can advise you on the timing. However, you can make a list of furniture pieces you plan to sell, photograph them and set a price. Your window of time to sell furniture later will be shorter, so having this part of the task done will be a huge time saver.

Anything you will keep that is not being used can be packed early. Mark the box indicating the contents or which room they will go to, such as “Kitchen” or “Office Supplies.”

6.  Hold an early garage sale. This will be for all of the items you know you will not be moving, that are not being used to stage your home, including extra furniture pieces. If you are in a condo, list furniture or expensive accessories online to expand your customer base. One great method is to join swap and shop groups on Facebook within a 40 mile radius of your home, so you can list your items. Tip- post an item to one sale group, then use Facebook’s “post to more places” button to copy the same listing to up to 9 more of your sale groups. Craigslist is another well-established site to sell unneeded items.

After the sale, separate out some of the more quality items that didn’t sell, box them up and mark “Garage Sale” for the next go around. Donate what remains to a free store or charity like Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill or Salvation Army.

7. Prepare your vehicles. If you plan to sell a vehicle, start researching sale prices and take care of minor maintenance. If you’re moving to or from Hawaii, have your vehicles serviced so you can have a trouble free journey after shipping your vehicle. When shipping a vehicle for a move, don’t leave anything in it. Most auto shipping companies don’t allow this, and items could go missing.

There will be many more details to address in the weeks just prior to your move. Taking care of what you can early-on will mean less to do later.