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How to Pack Like a Pro!

by The Hat Team

Congratulations!  You have successfully sold your home!  What a relief, right?  Now comes the hard part. Moving.  Moving is one of the 10 Most Stressful Life Events along with job loss, death of a loved one, divorce and major illness. Sounds fun, huh?  That’s why it is important to go about moving in a thoughtful and organized manner.  The more prepared you are, the less stress.  Packing up your house can be overwhelming, but you can make it easier by spreading it out over several weeks rather than trying to do it all right before you move.  Here is a general timeline for packing that you can use as a guide:

FOUR WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY: PRE-PACKING - Hopefully when you sell your house, you won’t have to immediately vacate.  About a month before moving you can begin to pre-pack items that you won’t need or use before you move.  Out of season clothing, tools and small appliances, and collectibles/knick knacks are items that you won’t miss. Hint: if your house is still on the market you can take this step as well, and it will help with staging your home for prospective buyers.

THREE WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY: NON-ESSENTIALS - Among the items that you didn’t pre-pack, choose those that you know you likely won’t need before moving.  Books, extra linens, and kitchen items can be packed up because you likely won’t be doing much reading, and you only need enough linens, plates, and utensils for the number of people living in the home.  CDs and DVDs can go as well.

TWO WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY: THE SERIOUS PACKING BEGINS - Yes…now it is time to start paring down the amount of “stuff” still in your home. If you have children, allow them to choose a few toys/games to keep out, and box up the rest. If you have a home office, clean it out and pack what you plan to take with you.  Any jewelry and shoes that you don’t wear daily can go as well.  You may feel that two weeks is a long time to go without these items, but trust me, before you know it you will be unpacking them in your new abode! 5 Ways Children Can Help During a Move

ONE WEEK BEFORE MOVING DAY: SEVEN DAYS AND COUNTING - Now it is time to pack up all but the few things you will need to get through the last few days at your current home.  The rest of your clothes and kitchen items can go (leaving yourself what you will need until the move, of course).  Go through your medicine cabinet and toss any expired medications. Pack the rest except for the ones you take daily.

TWO DAYS BEFORE MOVING DAY: IT’S GETTING REAL YA’LL - At this point your stress level may be peaking, but if you have been following the time-line and packing a bit each week, you should be almost finished!  Box up your electronics (in their original packaging when possible), bathroom items, and any miscellaneous items that are left.  Keep a box for essential items that you will keep with you as you are moving.

MOVING DAY: IT’S HERE! -  All that should be left is furniture and appliances.  Whether you have hired movers to load the large items or you are doing it yourself, it will be so much more manageable with everything else already boxed up and ready to go.

IMPORTANT TIP - Label every box.  You can either write what is in the box or what room the box should go to.  Or both.  You will be glad you did when you are unpacking!

Remember that this is simply a general guideline.  You should do what is right for you and your family when it comes to packing and moving. But hopefully this will make what can be a trying and overwhelming time a little less stressful.

If you are in the market to sell or buy a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of professionals assist you with all your real estate needs! Call them today at 334-834-1500!

Creating a Moving Day Survival Kit

by The Hat Team

You’ve closed on your new home and it’s time to move in!  This is an exciting time, but can also be a bit stressful.  Where do you even begin?  A good place to start is to create a moving day survival kit for yourself. It should include anything and everything that is important or of great value to you and should stay with you and not go with movers. Here is a list of “must have” items to make your move as organized and stress-free as possible:

 - Toilet Paper.  At least a few rolls. Trust me on this one.

- Pain reliever and all your medications.  You don’t want to be searching for these necessities, so make sure they are easily accessible.

 -Toilet Plunger.  Yes, really. Especially if your new place only has one bathroom. Better safe than sorry!

 - Cash for tipping your movers.

 - A Multi-Tool.  While having a whole tool box handy would be great, there is only so much you can (and should) fit into your survival kit.  Something like a Leatherman will provide you with a way to open boxes and other small tasks…and it will fit in your pocket!

 - Trash Bags.  And clear recycling bags.  Look up where you can recycle locally and have the address in your phone so you can take packing boxes/materials there after you unpack. Montgomery Recycling

 - Power Strip and Mobile Phone Charger.  There is nothing worse than discovering your phone is dying and you have no idea where your charger is!  The power strip will come in handy because you will probably clear one small area and can plug in your electronics, a lamp, a coffee pot, etc.…

 - Personal Hygiene Items.  Pack an overnight bag with your toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo etc.  That way, when you are ready to call it a day you can jump right in the shower without having to search through boxes for them.

 - All Purpose Cleaner and a Roll of Paper Towels (or two). Hopefully move-in day won’t be cleaning day, but you never know.  Be prepared.  Even if the house looks clean, you are going to want to wipe down the toilets, sinks and counters.

 - Bottled Water and Granola Bars.   You are going to be hungry. And tired.  Have water and snacks on hand to get you through the day.  Look up some Take Out Restaurants and have their numbers in your phone so you can have food delivered.

 - First Aid Kit.  Well, at least a box of Band-Aids in case you cut yourself opening boxes.

 - Note Pad and Pen.  Because you WILL come up with a list of things you need and need to do as you are unpacking and you will want to write them down so you don’t forget.

 - Scented Candles or Air Fresheners.  Even the cleanest house will smell a little musty if it has been closed-up for a while.

 - Flashlight.  Some rooms won’t have overhead lights and if you haven’t unpacked the lamps yet, a flashlight will come in handy.

Enjoy your new home!  And if you haven’t found your dream home yet visit Homes for Sale in Montgomery AL  or call Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of Professional Realtors at 334-834-1500 and start your search today!

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

What NOT to Throw Away When Downsizing

by The Hat Team

Getting organized to move is an arduous task.  It makes sense to get rid of a lot of unused belongings when you are getting ready to pack and move, especially if you are downsizing.  But it’s important not to go overboard! There are some things that are worth keeping. In fact, there are some things you should never throw away, even when downsizing:

  1. Important Papers.

You should let go of as much paper as you can before moving, but be careful that you don’t thrown away important documents.Hang on to the following: birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, social security cards, retirement documents, medical records, insurance policies, passports, wills, trusts, power of attorney documents, property deeds, investment records, education records, diplomas, military service records and vehicle titles.

  1. Collections.

If you collect something, clearly it has significance to you. Maybe you just like it, or maybe it has sentimental value.Either way, you should definitely take your collection with you and make room for it in your own home.Now, if you have several collections, you might have to pick your favorites and leave some behind.But downsizing doesn’t mean having to let go of the things that mean the most to you.

  1. Family Heirlooms

Sometimes you inherit things that you feel you must keep just because they were passed down to you from family.But you don’t really like them. You keep them packed in a box and don’t use or display them.There is no point in moving these to your new home. But family heirlooms that you love should make the cut.Downsizing gives you the opportunity to take stock in your family heirlooms and decide what is worth keeping and what can be sold or given away.Take the items that you enjoy and that are meaningful to you…leave the rest.

  1. Electronics

Unless you have the time to make sure that all your electronics have been completely cleared of personal information, you should take them with you.The last thing you want is to give away, sell, or dispose of electronic devices that still carry your personal information.

  1. Photographs

When you are in the midst of packing for a move and you are exhausted and overwhelmed, you might start throwing away things that seem unimportant at the moment…but you may regret it later.Take all your photographs with you.If you have time, save space by getting them digitized using a company like Legacy Box. But don’t throw them away!

  1. Landline Phones

Many people rely solely on cell phones these days.But you never know when you might misplace your mobile phone, run out of battery or lose service.Keep at least one land line for emergencies.

  1. Sentimental Items

This may seem like a given.Of course you won’t leave any sentimental items behind.But sometimes it’s difficult to decide what holds deep sentimental value to you, especially when you are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff you have to move and fit into your new, smaller home.Don’t let downsizing make you feel like you must get rid of the things that mean most to you.Choose the ones that mean the most and bring them along!

Are you looking to downsize? Sandra Nickel and her team of professional Realtors can help you get your current home on the market and assist you in finding the perfect home to suit all your needs and desires. Give them a call today at 334-834-1500!

Items to Throw Out Before You Move

by The Hat Team

Moving from an old house into a new house can be an exciting. It can also be a very stressful time for those folks who don’t like to throw anything out.  Don’t worry.  You can keep most of your items, but there are a few that should most definitely be thrown out before you move and those are listed for you below.   
 

  1. 1. If you have a lot of old towels and rags lying around your house, whether you use them or not, you might want to get rid of those before you move  into another home.  These types of things can carry bacteria on them.  And you don’t want to start out in your new place with dirty items when you can purchase new ones once you arrive.   
     

  1. 2. Make-up is good to have but it does have a shelf life.  Once that has passed, it isn’t really good to keep it around.  Avoid the compulsion to throw all of your old makeup into a box and take it with you.  Although you use it once or twice, there really is no need for it because it won’t look as nice as a new pallet of makeup.   
     

  1. 3. Soaps, deodorants, nail polish,  and sunscreen may be things you use on a regular basis but you really don’t need to take up space in your moving boxes for these types of items.  These things don’t cost a lot of money and can easily be purchased anywhere.  
     

  1. 4. Once you start packing and you find a ton of USB cables, realize that you don’t need them all and get rid of a few of them.   You may have a friend in need of a USB cable that you can bless with one or two.   
     

  1. 5. Don’t pack paperwork unless it is absolutely necessary.  Of course you will have to keep important contracts and tax information, but most of the paperwork you’ve collected over the years is likely now obsolete and can be thrown out before you head out.   
     

  1. 6. Last but not least, go ahead and let go of all of the clothes you can no longer fit into.  Donating these types of items can many times be a big blessing to others.   

  2.  

These are just a few ideas of things you might want to get rid of before you move.  By doing this you will avoid having to unpack all sorts of unnecessary items and will save yourself a ton of time in the process.   

 

Courtesy of Montgomery AL Real Estate Expert Sandra Nickel.   

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