How we moved my 79 year old mother-in-law: tips on moving, downsizing and getting your home ready to sell

March 29, 2017
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Are you planning to move any time in the next 20 years? This blog post is for you! We recently helped my mother-in-law (Tine – Dutch for Tina) move from Texas to North Carolina. She has been living in Houston for 23 years and lost her husband 15 years ago; she’s never moved or sold a home by herself.

Moving is the 3rd most stressful thing a person can experience. You are often changing your zip code which means getting used to a new area, making new friends, finding new doctors and getting a new driver’s license (yuck). It does not have to be a terrible experience; follow these steps to make it easier:

Step 1: Decide where you want to live?

Do you want to move into a smaller space? Maybe a condo, apartment or independent living is right for you. Is the yard work too much or the stairs to get to your bedroom? A one-level ranch may be your perfect fit.
Tine decided to come back East and live closer to family. She did not want to be responsible for a house or yard anymore and she is physically and mentally fit. The best option for her was an apartment.

Step 2: What do you want to take with you?
Moving is the perfect time to purge! If you are moving into a smaller space, you can’t take everything. Stick to the necessities and irreplaceable keepsakes such as photos. Go through each room and make a list of your “must have’s” and your “really wants”.

I recommended 4-6 of each dish, glass, a few pots and pans, one of each used small appliance (coffee pot), the clothing you wear, the furniture that will fit in your new space, framed photos and art, linens, towels, toiletries, cleaning supplies, electronics, etc.

Don’t worry, anything you don’t take can be donated or maybe even sold.

Step 3:Plan ahead for the move: Get moving and packing quotes ahead of time.

Movers will come to your home and give you a free quote. I highly recommend getting at least 2-3. You may find that storage pods are a better fit or renting a truck yourself.

We decided to hire movers and rent a truck that my husband and his brother drove from TX to NC. This is not the best option for everyone but they wanted a bro road trip and we were able to save Tine some money on a cross-country move. I packed her belongings for her 2 days before the move, the movers loaded everything onto a U-Haul we rented, the guys drove to North Carolina and another team of movers unloaded at her new apt. I also hired unpackers for her so she could be completely ready to spend the night in her new place.

Step 4: Estate sale or donation pick up

Anything you don’t want or need anymore is much appreciated by charities. There are many who will pick up your house hold items for free and give you a letter for your taxes. Go to www.donationtown.org to find a charity near you. Would you rather try to sell your items? Contact some estate sale companies in your area and get them to come give you an estimate (estatesales.net will have a list). Most have minimum requirements and take a % of profit. If you are living in your home, there are some online estate sale options too: try max sold or everything but the house.

For Tine’s house, we went with an auction clean out company. Her HOA does not allow estate sales so this was a good option for her. What they did not take, we had a charity pick up.

Step 5: Getting your home ready to sell

You may have to do this step while you are still living in your current home. If so, just move this to step 1 or 2. The key in this day and age is to make your home as neutral as possible for the buyer. You will want to start with a budget; how much can you afford to put into the home without losing too much. The most important thing is to fix anything that needs an obvious repair: leaky roof, water stains in the ceiling, stains or bad odors in the carpet, etc.

For Tine’s house, I interviewed and hired a roofer, painter and floor company to give the house a fresher look without breaking the bank.

For detailed tips see my blog: www.simplyorganizedyou.com/gettingyourhomereadytosell

You will also want to hire a reputable real estate agent. I interviewed 3 in Texas and chose her neighbor who is experienced, knowledgeable about the neighborhood and can keep an eye on the house for us.

 

Step 6: Enjoy your new home

After you have done all this hard work, made your repairs, sold your house, moved into your new place and unpacked, it’s time to sit back and relax! Yes it’s hard to make big changes in your life but you have your future to look forward to. Life is not about the stuff you had to part with, it’s about the memories you have made and the new ones you are going to make.

Need help with project management, packing, unpacking, pre-staging or more? Contact us at 404-825-2105 or heather@simplyorganizedyou.com

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How to get your house ready to sell

May 14, 2013
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Getting your home ready to sell

This is a great time of year to sell your home. Recently, I have helped several clients to prepare their home for potential buyers. The number one thing to remember is that many buyers want their new home to be “move-in ready”. The second item buyers want is to be able to picture themselves living in your home. You do not have to spend a lot of money remodeling your entire home to achieve these goals. Here are some easy tips you can do that will help sell your home quickly and get you a higher asking price:

#1. Landscaping/ the outside: If your home doesn’t look clean and fresh on the outside, your buyer may never even see the inside. Plant some flowers, keep the lawn mowed and pressure wash anything that looks mildewed. If the front door looks old, put a fresh coat of paint on it. Also remove any items in the yard or deck that look rusted or broken.

#2. Detail clean: I recommend hiring a cleaning service and tell them you want a “detail cleaning”. Most companies will charge $100-$250 to clean your house top-to-bottom which includes blinds, fans, inside cabinets and refrigerators, ceilings, vent covers and baseboards – THE WORKS! Of course you can also clean it yourself for no money at all just some time and elbow grease.

#3. Let there be light: The lighter your home is, the warmer and more inviting it looks. Put new light bulbs in all lamps and light fixtures. Use the highest wattage you can for each fixture. Keep all windows and glass doors clean and your blinds and curtains open.

#4. De-personalize: If a buyer is going to be able to imagine themselves living in your home, it helps to not have photos of you and your family all over the house. I know it sounds strange but what if a family with four children walks into the home of someone with no children; they may think there isn’t enough space for all of their kids even if there is. Also, put away anything that shows your school or state spirit. Could a UGA fan buy a house from a Georgia Tech fan? Probably not! You don’t want to lose a buyer for any easily avoidable reason. Pack up your framed photos, your fanfare, your “collections” and anything that may be offensive. Also, remove the photos and the magnets on the fridge.

#5. Clean floors, clear shelves and open spaces: The more of the floor you can see, the better. This goes for every room but especially closets. You want the closets to have as little on the floor as possible and some space on the shelves open so they look more spacious. It is also good to have open space to walk from room to room and around furniture. You don’t want anyone having to squeeze past the dresser to get to the closet.

#6. De-clutter: Moving is the perfect time to de-clutter! If you have not used something or worn an item of clothing in 1 year, donate it. Take the time to go through your old books, papers, tools, kitchen appliances, clothing, toys, VHS and cassette tapes (you know you will never use them again) and get rid of it. If you pack these items up, you are wasting money paying someone to move them just so you can toss them later.

#7. Pack it up and store it: Anything you do not need to use for the next six months should be packed up and stored elsewhere. This includes the bread maker, the train set and the skis. Move the out-of-season clothing out of your closets so they look more spacious. If you can get a POD great, if you can’t, at least have it out of the way in a garage, storage area (like an attic) or under the bed. Use Space Bags to get the bulky comforters, sleeping bags and coats smaller so they won’t take up so much space.

#8. Touch up paint: Paint is the cheapest and easiest way to make a room look brand new. A buyer may not appreciate your love of pink and purple polk-a-dots. Try to make each room a neutral color. The whole house doesn’t have to be painted beige but you should try to stay in the gray, taupe, beige or white family. If you have holes in the walls or scratches on any doors or molding, use touch up paint or the Magic Eraser (how does Mr. Clean do it?).

#9. Decorating and staging: Less is more! You do not have to have every surface decorated or every room full of furniture. The most important rule here is every room should have one purpose (if possible). A buyer should be able to tell what the room’s purpose is easily. For example, a bedroom should not have a desk, treadmill and kitchen table in it. If a room has too much furniture in it, it looks smaller. If all the tables, dressers and mantels are covered with knick knacks and picture frames, it looks cluttered. Your home should look clean, spacious and welcoming.

Let us know if you need our help: Simply Organized 404-825-2105 or Heather@SimplyOrganizedYou.com

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