Too Overwhelmed to Move? Try These Tips

Updated on October 11, 2022

By Peggy Patenaude, Realtor Prudential, Howe & Doherty

The simple word moving can strike fear in the hearts of the strongest of men and the most organized of women. Just the simple thought of taking several years of collected memories and packing them into a box is enough to send your heart aflutter. Fear not, there are ways to make the process easier, and in the end, you will be thrilled to have a brand new, perhaps, smaller home.

Most of us, when we entertain the thought of moving, immediately look around our home in awe of all of the stuff we have acquired. We think about reducing our stuff by throwing things away, donating things or having a yard sale. None of us really stop to realize that the first place we should begin is with the end in mind.

Ask yourself these questions. What is my ultimate goal? How much room am I going to have in the new space? Do I really need to keep every Games Magazine from 1982? Maybe the answer to the last question is yes, but you’ll never know unless you have an outsider with some appraisal experience come in to aid with the moving process.

Step one; therefore, involve others- particularly if you have been in your home for more than 20 years or you live with a pack rat that refuses to part with even the simplest pieces of paper let alone a large piece of furniture or an attic full of memorabilia.

Perhaps the first thing that needs to happen, is an appraiser needs to be brought in, or you need to go to the appraiser, to go through that enormous stack of old magazines and set your mind at ease over how much they are truly worth.

Appraisers can be found through a website called that will list appraisers in your area. You can also go through places like Antiques Roadshow when they are in your hometown, or bring your pieces to a pawn shop. Places like this often have experts that can help you to understand if you are holding something worth actual cash or better off in the junk pile. If nothing else, the piece of mind may make letting go easier or send you singing to the bank.

Now, back to the task at hand; you’ve brought in an expert for those potentially life altering pieces, you’ve organized to some extent, you’ve thrown things away and now you are left staring at rooms full of massive pieces of furniture.

When you moved into this house, 25 years ago, with six less children, no animals and a whole lot less stuff, the brawny groomsman did the trick, but now, you’ll need a moving company.

This is not as daunting as it may seem as long as you prepare in advance. It’s important to note that most moving companies will need a month’s advance notice, possibly more in their peak summer season. You will also want to ask them if there is a minimum time commitment. In other words, do you need to commit to a minimum of two hours even if moving locally? Finally, you want to find out what types of packing materials the movers are going to use, and how much they will cost. The cost of the packing materials may well determine whether or not you choose to do some of the packing yourself.

With the clutter removed, the appraisals done, and the movers in hand, the task should feel less onerous. Now, the only question that remains is what type of home are you seeking and when do you hope to be living there full-time.

Answers to questions like these and many others you’ve yet to contemplate are an issue for another day. For now, let’s focus on the fact that we’re moving, we’re organized and we’re feeling good about our decision.

Peggy Patenaude is a leader in real estate sales in the Andovers, an affluent suburb of Boston. She has won over 58 awards since she began her career in 2002, including top Sales agent in Massachusetts for her nationwide company. In 2010 alone, which was considered a challenging year in the real estate industry, Peggy alone, sold $18,500,000 in property. Peggy is the “go to” person when considering downsizing and has considerable experience guiding homeowners through the process of putting their home on the market to sell. With the highest integrity and an iron clad reputation, Peggy is a valuable and reliable source.

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