How to Get Organized for Moving Day

“When we move, we want to create a warm and inviting home,” says Ellen Delap, a Certified Professional Organizer and past president of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals. “Proper organization helps you to be less anxious and more prepared, so your new home will be functional, practical and efficient. You’ll save money on moving and packaging by being organized too.”

To help make the task less daunting, break it into manageable steps, she says. Before you get started, designate a recurring time you’ll devote each week to tidying up.

Follow these steps for an easier move.

  • Moving TipsSTEP 1

    Evaluate one room at a time.

    Chances are good you’re underestimating how much you’ll need to get rid of, and procrastinating just makes it more likely that you’ll bring the clutter into your new home. Go room by room, category by category.

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  • Moving TipsSTEP 2

    Decide what to keep.

    Take inventory of your closets, and say goodbye to anything you haven’t worn in over a year. As the KonMari Method™ says, you can also ask yourself if an item “sparks joy.” If it doesn’t, you don’t need it.

    That question is particularly helpful when deciding what to keep based on sentimental value. Give yourself one large, clear plastic bin to pack keepsakes. Put into the bin only what you can’t live without.

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  • Moving TipsSTEP 3

    Devise a storage strategy.

    After purging, you’ll have a better idea of how much storage space you’ll need while house hunting.

    Then think about the best places to store what you have. Items you use on a daily basis should be in easy-to-reach spots — your kids will be less likely to make a mess after using them.

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  • Moving TipsSTEP 4

    Start beautifying.

    Beautifying your home can make it more appealing to potential buyers. Bring in fresh flowers, use books as décor and organize them on your shelves by color, light a few candles. You’d be surprised how little details can make a big difference. Plus, getting into these habits now will help you carry them over into your new home.

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Now that your home has been organized and beautified — and sold — here are some tips to make moving day a breeze:

•Pack an essentials box with what you’ll need for the first night in your new home, such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, blankets and pillows. Setting aside coffee-making supplies isn’t a bad idea, either.

•Keep your clothes on hangers, and zip them into garment bags — it makes for fast packing and unpacking. Plus, they won’t get wrinkled. Use velvet hangers: They have grips so clothes won’t slip off.

•Call utility companies a few weeks ahead of time to let them know you’re moving. Have the utilities shut off at your old house the day after you move and turned on at your new house the day before. That way, you won’t be moving in the dark. And it’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about as you get closer to the big day.

•Give neighbors a heads up as to the date of your move so they’ll expect a bit of commotion. The thoughtfulness is sure to be appreciated.


Moving can be stressful, but with a good plan and proper organization, you can avoid the moving day stress and enjoy a fresh start in your new home.



Meet the expert.

For more than 20 years, Certified Professional Organizer Ellen Delap, owner of, has worked one-on-one with clients, streamlining their environment, creating effective strategies for an organized lifestyle and helping clients realize their organization and productivity goals. Delap has been featured on the Smead podcast; in articles with the Houston Chronicle, The New York Times and The Associated Press; and as a speaker with the ADDA-Southern Region conferences. Delap is immediate past president of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals. She is based in Houston, Texas.

Moving Tips