Getting ready to move!

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 PA License - AB067198

I moved house just over a month ago, so this post is coming from my heart. I may very well have deliberately forgotten the stressful parts, but they were there. Did we do it right? As a Realtor I should have had this down pat, right? The answer is no, we did things wrong and could have done it much better.

Firstly remember you are not moving alone, especially if you have a partner, kids or pets. Make a plan. 

I would create a box just for those things you know you are going to need or want immediately and put this in your car so you know where it is. It is amazing how many boxes seem to get mislaid in the move. In this box I would put toilet paper, documents you are going to need, clothes for at least a couple of days, medicines, toiletries etc. I would also make one for the kitchen too. You don't need much, but a kettle, a coup,e of frying pans etc, some every day spices like salt and pepper so you can cook something if you want to rather than running out to a local restaurant or takeout.

Discuss what is going to get packed and what you are going to donate well beforehand. This gives you time to organize and donate or discard slowly over time. If you are working full time, you will need longer as it is hard to find time to do this when you are living your lives and preparing to move. It makes no sense to move things you are going to donate, it just adds to the cost.

This is especially true for clothes, what do you really wear, that closet is full, and maybe spreads to other closets in the house, or the basement. If you haven't worn it in the last eight months, are you really going to wear it again. organize now, not after you have moved.

Make sure you label boxes clearly, not just where, but what is in them too. We were so tired as boxes came off the truck at the end of the day things just got piled up in the garage rather than in the rooms where they needed to go. We also had way too much stuff.

The people you move with may not be on the same page as you, be gentle. They may not want to get rid of everything like you, they may have emotional ties to things you do not value. Be understanding, it is not worth argueing over every little thing. Work on your things. When I got divorced I shed much of my "things" thinking I was moving back to Europe, so I had far fewer items to consider, but when you combine two houselholds, even the things I had were not necessary. 


Consider your pets, they will be stressed from the move, they do not understand all the boxes and the paper. They will be disconcerted not knowing what is happening, try to keep their routines as normal as possible. I think we did well with this and both our dog and cat seem to have adjusted well to the new home.

Kids, I moved with three boys a few times. We generally made it an adventure, and as mentioned above we made sure they had their favourite toys with them, not every toy, just the favourites. It was like Christmas when our stuff arrived from the UK, they had forgotten about most of their toys and genuinely played with old toys as if they were new.

Try to stay calm, and realize this too will pass. I got stressed by the garage being so full, it still is not empty, but the few boxes there I can deal with in my mind, knowing we are getting there, maybe a bit slower than I would like but we will be alright. 

Good purchases for a new home are shelving systems. I think we have bought about eight sets of shelves for the basement and garage. having things on shelves, even if not sorted at least gives one a sense of order. 

I hope this helps you if you are starting to plan a move. If you are looking to buy or sell in the Main Line or Chester County contact me, I would love to help you find or sell your next home. Nick Vandekar, Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., office 610-225-7400, cell or text 610-203-4543,

Posted by


Nick Vandekar
Nick is a Tredyffrin Easttown Residential and Commercial REALTOR selling The Main Line, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties.

Giving you the confidence to make
the right decisions.

92 Lancaster Avenue
Devon , PA 19333
Mobile: (610) 203-4543 [call or text me]
Email Me


My Blog


If you are buying or selling on or around
Tredyffrin Easttown or along the Main Line, 
we can help you, contact us.

Comments (26)

Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Great tips and information for those who need to make a move.  I dread the thought - it's been way too long for me.

Sep 28, 2022 08:24 PM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Moving is definitely one of the things in life that I dislike doing so I am glad that I have not moved very often myself.

Sep 29, 2022 05:14 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Bill Salvatore - East Valley thanks for stopping by, I already follow you.

Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400 very true, i do not think I will forget this one quickly.

Kathy Streib you must be an expert.

Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089 thast means you love where you live, which is good.

Brian England that is a good thing, less pain, more enjoyment.

Sep 29, 2022 07:54 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 - this quote, "Keep Calm and Carry On" is the right attitude. Keep a stiff upper lip. It's funny to think when moving, you can never be too prepared. Just when you think, you got it all covered, you arrive and discover you have the pots but what about the colandar, or you remembered the wine but forgot the cork screw, or you remembered shampoo and conditioner, but forgot the shaver and wash cloths. Lots of things can be replaced, found eventually, but don't forget to breathe, laugh a little or a lot, and enjoy the journey. 

Sep 29, 2022 08:53 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP after five weeks we are still wondering where certain things are. We did find our wedding invitation list, but not till we had recreated it as we had to get those invites out.

Sep 29, 2022 11:15 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Nick, for sharing your personal experience and your advice.

Sep 30, 2022 05:37 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Oct 01, 2022 07:54 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Dick -I have moved a few time and it was stressful.  One time I bought all new Christmas decorations thinking I had lost them only to find the boxes later in the closet of my daughter's room.

Oct 02, 2022 04:56 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Nick. Our last move was a disaster! No amount of planning could anticipate what our movers did. Never use All My Sons. They hire deadbeats who have hon clue about moving things. Strong backs and no minds! That said we had taken some essentials with us that saved the day. Good advice. Enjoy your day.

Oct 02, 2022 05:14 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Nick:

This is such good advice. Moving can be quite the learning experience, whether doing it all yourself or using movers. And it seems that no matter how prepared you think you might be things can go awry. Labeling what's in boxes is so important, and having a box to unpack first with some essentials is key (and not having that box end up in the moving truck!!).


Oct 02, 2022 01:39 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Moving can definitely be stressful, so having a plan in place to make it less so is a great idea. I numbered my boxes and kept a separate list on what was in each one. It did make unpacking a lot easier.

Enjoy your day!

Oct 03, 2022 04:59 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Roy Kelley thanks for stopping by, I hope you had a good weekend.

Kathy Streib thank you, thank you so much, always appreciate the boost.

Grant Schneider we seem to have discovered Christmas Decorations we did not know we had.

Wayne Martin that sounds horrible. 

Jeff Dowler, CRS keeping track of the boxes when everyone is trying to be helpful is hard. We are still looking for some that seem to have been put somewhere where they shouldn't have.


Oct 03, 2022 05:47 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Kat Palmiotti that sounds very organized. My brother does that for his antique shows, but things still end up in dofferent boxes and he cannot find them when he needs them.

Oct 03, 2022 05:48 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Moving can be very stressful and anyone thinking of selling should get theirs started well in advance as a cleaner home also shows better and sells quicker

Oct 03, 2022 10:26 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 Moving is so stressful and really makes us more sympathetic to our client's level of stress when they are moving. No matter how well we are prepared we are not.  I moved last year.

Oct 03, 2022 11:10 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Ed Silva I have had clients comment to me when showing homes that a clean home indicates the seller looks after the house properly. 

Hannah Williams I do not want o move for a long time and then I want to get rid of nearly everything before we move.

Oct 03, 2022 12:56 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

After reading your post, I am even more confident that I never move!

Oct 05, 2022 06:34 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

These are all great tips about making moves, Nick.  I haven't moved in 40 years.  I have almost forgot how to do it.

Oct 09, 2022 04:05 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Hi Nick,

I'm so glad that Kathy Streib Featured your post in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week and Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 just referenced your post in her Post. Its wonderful to share experiences especially ones about moving! She helps us all!

Oct 09, 2022 04:10 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 I wish I was not going to be moving again, but know it is in the cards most likely in the next 10 years.

Myrl Jeffcoat I have very little, but my fiance has a lot of stuff that we need to shed before we move again.

Dorie Dillard Austin TX every day it is about getting something in place or unpacked. When people work, they have little time to devote to unpacking and placing things. 

Oct 10, 2022 10:31 AM