1. Get rid of anything and everything that you do not love or use: Decide what is trash and either recycle or properly dispose of any junk inside and outside the home. Really consider what you really want to keep, pack, store and unpack and anything that is not worthy of this effort should be gotten rid of. Consider the actual amount of storage space you have in your new home, both inside and out. Pick one room, closet or area to work on at a time so that the decision-making process does not feel overwhelming.

2. Donate all useable, unwanted items: Begin clearing out and sorting all closets throughout the house, including the pantry and laundry areas. Donate all usable household items, including clothes, books, furniture and decorations that you no longer want but that can still be used by others.

3. Pack up pictures, decorations, and collections: As soon as you have decided to more, begin packing all pictures, decorations and collections. These are not items that you use, they are actually for aesthetics, and if you are doing all of the packing and moving on your own, this process takes a lot longer than you might think.

4. Pack properly: Depending on what you are packing, be sure to choose the right container. There are cardboard moving boxes specifically made for dishware, glasses, large pictures and mirrors, lamps, and hanging clothes. It is a worthwhile investment in these specific moving materials if you are moving a long distance. Plastic storage bins are stackable, have handles and are moisture and insect proof compared to cardboard boxes; these may be a better choice for some items. Be sure to label all boxes clearly on both the top and sides so that you can read the label either way the box is stored. Leave anything that you are not comfortable packing yourself to the experts. Professional packers and movers are very experienced and also insured!

5. Ask for assistance: Without help, this process can be overwhelming. Utilize your resources; ask for help from friends, family, and professionals. Make packing and moving easier with music, food, and fun.

Shannon McGinnis, CPO®, Certified Professional Organizer
Author of The 10-Minute Tidy: 108 Ways to Organize Your Home Quickly
www.organized4success.com, www.10minutetidy.com

©2008 Organized 4 Success, Inc.

Author's Bio: 

Shannon McGinnis is a natural born organizer. She has over 25 years of experience clearing clutter and creating organizational systems and is the only Certified Professional Organizer in Santa Cruz, California. Shannon enjoys helping her clients feel empowered while creating a more supportive and balanced environment in their homes and offices. She offers confidential, non-judgmental sessions, classes andworkshops on a wide variety of organizational topics. Shannon’s first book, The 10-Minute Tidy: 108 Ways to Organize Your Home Quickly has been a huge success across the country. She is available for booksignings and speaking engagements.