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Moving, the simple way

We all hate moving. The labor, the dust, the boxes, the STUFF! Having just recently moved into the Modern Coastal Canyon House (and 13 times prior!), I believe I've finally become adept at minimizing the pain of a house move.

There is no secret here: Even the most "Kondo'ed" of us will have items that we have no idea how or why we still own. That said, Marie Kondo, watch out! I am here to tell you that nothing is joyful in a move (until you are settled in your new home!), but there are certainly some ways to streamline the process.

Here are some things that worked for us:

1) Three months prior to your move, take a drastic room-to-room and closet-to-closet inventory of what you have. If you have not worn something in the last year (and if it does not bring you joy), SELL IT. Yes, that's right--try to sell first! THAT unexpected $$ will bring you joy! If it is designer-market fashion or a designer home item, create a account, where although they take a hefty commission, they do all the work for you. If it is not designer-market fashion, create a account, or put it on Likewise, Offer up is great for regular household items such as accessories and even furniture.

2) If you cannot sell, DONATE. I like as it is local and effective. During both of my recent moves, I had a steady stream of "Free" takers coming to my curb. However, set your limits by letting those "Freeloaders" (!) know exactly when you are putting the items out, otherwise you may be barraged with messages. Likewise, make sure you mark your items "Sold" (taken) or the same will happen. Note: If both #1 and #2 are not successful for you, which I cannot imagine how, don't forget that Habitat for Humanity's "ReStores" will come and pick up furniture from your home, and that the Salvation Army has many drop-off spots with workers ready to write you a receipt.

3) PAY YOUR MOVING COMPANY TO PACK YOUR KITCHEN AND DINING ROOM. Yes, I said pay for it! Honestly, we have a "Normal" amount of china and dishes (four sets), and a "Normal" amount of cookware and other tchotchkes, and the rate with our moving company was only $30 an hour for three professional packers. A total of $120, and my kitchen and china cabinet was done in four hours! This basically translates into one less pair of shoes at Nordstrom. Worth every penny!

4) On that note, also spring for a professional moving company. Get a referral from the most high-maintenance, frequent-moving friend or family member you know. We used ACME moving out of North County San Diego, and they were fantastic. I mean really fantastic! All family members, including the packers (head packer is the owner's wife) work for this company. THIS is the type of mover you want. . . not the larger, corporate outfits who hire random packers and drivers with dubiously-checked backgrounds.

5) After everything is unloaded DON'T pay for unpacking! This is something we've only done when there has been a Fortune 500 company paying for our move (ah, the '90's. . . ). DO, however, recruit one amazing family member or friend who is your kindest, sternest, Martha Stewart-type person in your life. Have this moving angel come to your home the very next day (thank you again, Sheila!) and assign her and two other people to unpack and organize your kitchen. YES, organize your kitchen the minute you unpack--and that means WITH cute new organization stuff from Target. You will never regret it, and it is absolutely life-changing.

6) Set "Car in the Garage" and cardboard pick-up goals. Most of us use our garage to keep unpacked boxes in. As you unpack them, break down the boxes and call your trash/recycling company for a "Special pick-up" ASAP. Most trash companies will give you a few "Extra large" trash and recycling pick-ups for free. I talked ours into giving us a double extra large one since we moved at the end of the year, and they actually came the Monday after our weekend move. After that, we were able to get a car in the garage within week one of living in our new home. Woo-hoo!

I know I have MANY other topics to write about for the Modern Coastal Canyon house; but with the advent of the new year, being organized is always on the top of our minds. Now, back to the topics of designing kitchens and picking paint colors :).

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