How I Made Our Move Easier With These Easy Steps

Because the year 2020 wasn’t crazy enough, we decided to sell our house. The kicker was, we didn’t have another one lined up! Our family grew at a faster pace than we originally planned, and our home just wasn’t working for us anymore. In order to buy our next place, we had to sell our current one first. We didn’t want to feel rushed into buying another place, so we decided to take it one step at time… sell, look, buy. We are very blessed that most of our family is nearby and graciously offered to let us stay for a short time. 

I read a lot of articles when preparing for this move. Most of them assumed we were going straight into the next place. I gleaned what I could from those articles and then went on my own way. I assume we’re not the only family to ever go a time in between homes. Here are some tips and tricks that made this change and uncertainty simpler. 

Declutter First

I cannot stress this enough. We accumulate so much excess during our time at each home. When you’re going straight to another home, you can pack it all up and declutter later (don’t recommend this). However, when you’re going to a storage unit, space is premium. We knew we would be moving several months before we were actually ready to do so. This was a benefit as I was able to start my decluttering early. However, even if the move was more fast paced, by dedicating a few hours each day to decluttering, you could make similar progress. 

I broke up my declutter tasks by room and took it one step further into segments within each room. In my bedroom, I started with my dresser, followed by my closet, and finished with our nightstands. By breaking into smaller segments, it allows you to not become distracted by the enormity of the task you’ve taken on. Baby steps are your friend! 

When trying to decide what to let go of, think of its utility. Have you honestly worn that in the last year? If not, let it go. To be honest, I have kept some pieces of clothing I haven’t worn in years. Some pieces are tied to a happy memory or were given to me by someone I have since lost. Do not feel like you have to let those go. However, if you have an entire closet full of those items, consider pairing it down to just a few that bring back sweet memories. The rest of the items can benefit others in need. 

Once you’ve gone through, clothes, kitchen tools, linens, etc. Take a look at the furniture that you have. How much of it is useful compared to just taking up visual space. Overtime, I found people had given me furniture, or I bought a piece for a specific nook in my house. When packing things for the storage unit or the move, it’s time to consider what you truly want to bring with you to your next home. I had a large sectional that was very well loved, and it showed. I let that go and held on to my smaller couch and loveseat. The sectional would have taken up SO much space in the storage unit with no guarantee it would even work in our next home. Once we moved my decision was affirmed, the section would not have worked in our new home.

If you have the desire, you can sell your “let go items” at a garage sale or on Facebook marketplace. Doing this can help you make a little extra pocket change along the way.

Once the decluttering is done, it’s time to move on to what I call pre-packing. As I did this, I labeled boxes based on the rooms they would eventually end up in and wrote very clearly what was in the box. This saved me so much time on move in day and made it a breeze for the folks helping us unload the truck.


As we prepared to stage our home for photos and showings, I had to seriously think of what items I could do without for a few months. I started in the easiest place for me, my kitchen. I packed away less used appliances, extra Tupperware, glassware, etc. It made my cabinets so organized and appear so spacious! 

I repeated this process in all of the rooms of the house. The hardest one for me was the kids’ toys! My goodness they have a lot of toys! I had them help me pack up less used toys and only kept out the ones they use every day. With Christmas coming up, I didn’t feel as bad packing away a lot of them. 

This is also the time where you depersonalize your home. Prospective buyers need to see your house as a possible home for themselves. Take some time to set up furniture in a functional but aesthetic way, declutter the décor, and remove the personal touches. I took most of our art off the walls. I left a few generic pieces up like our large wall clock, and entryway mirror. Everything else went into storage. I removed most of my personal décor and left a few lamps, and a handful of decorative trinkets.

I moved any “extra furniture” not used for staging out of the house. Leaving only what we would use and would need to function while we went through listing, showings, and escrow. This stage is when we decided to get a storage unit rather than storing everything in the garage. It was going to end up in storage anyways. Doing it this way meant that we could go at our own pace. We would take a load each weekend which felt like way less pressure.

While you may not think this staging is necessary, I will encourage you to think about that again. For starters, doing this made it so much easier to keep my house clean and ready for showings, even with small children. It also helped me to begin processing my emotional attachment to the home. The last thing it did was show me how much I could live without! When it came time to unpack in our new home, I was much more thoughtful about what I put back into my space. Even more decluttering happened during this process because I saw how easily I lived without certain things.

Split Packing

Once you’ve accepted an offer and made it safely into escrow, now it’s time to start what I call split packing. You’re not just packing to move it to another house, you’re packing to go to storage AND to keep living somewhere else temporarily. Here is how I broke it down and kept most of my sanity.

Three Weeks Out- I made my lists. I walked through every space and decided what I truly needed to come with me and what I could temporarily make do without. We had the luxury of staying with family who had all of the furniture necessary, so we just needed our basics. Here is what I came up with. 

This seasons clothes & shoes
Favorite books
Favorite Toys/ Stuffed Animals
Basic office supplies
Everything else!

Two Weeks Out- I packed up extra linens, towels and my kitchen. I used paper goods to get through meals for the next 2 weeks. You can also save one plate, bowl, cup, and utensil per person and wash between meals. 

One week out- I created a move in box which we kept at the front of the storage unit. In this box was anything we would need for moving. Paper towels, cleaning supplies, scissors, box cutters, picture hanging kit, toilet paper, hand soap. Since my bedding and toiletries was already with me, I did not need to include those items in this box.

Moving is a stressful endeavor, no matter how prepared you are when you begin. There will always be something you forgot to leave pack or keep out. You just have to go with the flow. If that’s a challenge for you, you’re not alone. But try not to add stress to your life by stressing about the things we can’t fix or change. I hope wherever you are moving, that it brings you joy.



Be sure to follow on Instagram for post updates and other fun content.