expert organizing tips for selling, packing, and moving.

October 26, 2020

Shopping for and buying a house is definitely the fun part of moving.  Everything that comes afterwards – packing, loading, unpacking – can be stressful, labor intensive, and downright tricky.  But there are ways to make it easier!  I sat down with Amy Payne, a certified professional organizer and the owner of Lasting Order, a professional organization and productivity consulting firm, to get some expert tips and tricks to make moving a breeze!  {If you’d rather watch a video than read this post, scroll to the bottom for our YouTube interview.}

selling, packing, and moving organizing tips and tricks


Tips and Tricks for Selling, Packing, and Moving


Decluttering will make your home look bigger and, if you’re trying to sell your house, it will give buyers the message that your home has been well maintained.  When someone is touring a home and sees cabinets that are stuffed full or closets that are jam-packed, it can send the message that the home has not been routinely organized and maintained.  Whether that’s true or not, it’s all about the perception of the buyer.

Statistically, clean, well staged homes sell more quickly and for more money than homes that aren’t well staged.

In addition to preparing a house to sell, decluttering helps with the actual move.  Packing and unpacking unwanted items doesn’t make any sense.  Donate, purge, and sell items that you no longer want or need.  Ask yourself three simple questions: Do I need it?  Do I love it?  Do I have to have it?

Have a plan before you start decluttering.  The last thing you want to do is fill your garage up with items you think you’ll eventually sell but never will.  When an item leaves the house and hits the garage floor or your car, it should never enter the house again.  You’ve already decided you don’t need it.

Not sure if you should sell or donate?  Amy uses this rule of thumb: if the item is worth more than ten dollars, consider selling, if less, donate.

Depersonalize your home.

Think of your home as a product to sell.  Removing collections and personal items will make it easier for buyers to see your home rather than getting tied up in the belongings that cover it.  And showcasing your home is the goal when selling.

The more you can live without while your house is on the market, the better it will show and eventually sell so pack up and clean out.

How to begin decluttering.

Getting started with decluttering can be overwhelming and it’s hard to know where to start.

Amy says it depends how much time you have.

If you have very little time and plan to list the house quickly, start at the front door and move in.  You’ll want to tackle the areas that contribute to a buyer’s first impression.

If you have more time, begin with the big areas that tend to get cluttered, like the attic, garage, and basement.

Pack up anything that you won’t be needing.  Holiday decorations, family memorabilia, and off-season clothes can all be packed up before the house goes on the market.

The sacrifice of living with less will be well worth it when you get top dollar for your home.

Preparing to downsize.

Downsizing can be so tricky but Amy has a clever way to prepare.

She asks clients: if you were taking a trip for three months and could only fill a minivan with what you needed, what would you have to have?  What would you not have to take with you?  The things that can be left behind tend to be wants not needs and may be things you can eliminate when downsizing a home.  Ask yourself: can I live without it?

moving tips and tricks

Don’t pack alone.

Packing up an entire house can be overwhelming but most of us have friends or family that would love to help.  Plan a packing party!  Invite friends over, have all the packing supplies ready to go, and let friends and family tackle the rooms.

It’s best if you’ve decluttered before this but if you’re completely overwhelmed or short on time, let them at it.  The house will be packed up in no time!

Furniture assembly.

Make reassembly as easy as possible by placing screws for disassembled furniture items in a ziploc bag.  Label the bag with the furniture piece it belongs to and tape it to the furniture.  You’ll have everything right at hand when you are ready to reassemble {and by labeling the bag, you’ll know what the screws belong to even if the bag falls off the furniture}.


Before disconnecting and unplugging TV’s and computers, take a picture of the back so you’ll know exactly how to reconnect things.  It’ll save you time and frustration if you’re not technologically inclined.

Place remote controls in ziploc bags and tape them to the back of the device they belong to.  It’s another simple way to eliminate confusion in your new home.

Keep important items close at hand.

There are certain items you’ll need during the move or right after.  Designate a special box that’s the last thing you pack and the first thing you unpack.  You’ll probably want to carry this with you in your vehicle rather than sending it with movers.

Create a floor plan.

Figure out ahead of time where everything will go in the new house and create a floor plan.  That way, movers can take items directly where they need to go, making the move faster.  It will also eliminate the need to move items around later.

A floor plan will also help you figure out what needs to be eliminated from your inventory.  If there isn’t room for a couch in the new house, don’t bother moving it.

expert moving tips


When packing on one end, think about the unpacking that will happen on the other end.

Pack for the room items are going into, not the room they came from.  You may have had an office in the old house but only have a desk in the kitchen in the new house.  Label the box for “kitchen” to make unpacking easier.

Think about creature comforts.  Make sure you can easily find paper products, toilet paper, a hand towel, soap,  coffee {!}, and anything else that you’ll want as soon as you get into the new house.

Being intentional about packing will make the process of unpacking so much easier!

For more moving tips and tricks, be sure to check out these best moving tips and tricks and watch the video below.