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Real Estate: The Sane Person’s Guide To Moving

moving truck333Moving is not the world’s worst experience but it certainly is in contention. I know this to be true because for the past several months my family and I have been packing a home occupied for almost 30 years, a property which now resembles an archaeological dig and contains more boxes than a shopping mall.

Naturally, questions have arisen regarding how you too can move with the stealth and agility of a leopard. The answer is that you can’t. Instead you have to think about more practical issues.

How much in advance should I begin packing?

This depends on your age and medical history. Figure one month of packing for each decade over age 20 — thus if you are 35 you will need a month, 45 will require two months, etc. If you’re a moderate-to-severe hoarder with a complete collection of hamburger wrappers going back 20 years multiply the required packing periods by four.

I have been told that I should be “ruthless” in throwing out things. What does that mean?

It means no one named “Ruth” should be involved in the moving process.

Is there a way to organize things to be moved?

Yes. The things to be moved are different from the things not to be moved. The things not to be moved can be divided into; one, stuff that gets thrown out; two, things that get donated; three, goodies that can be sold; and fourth, items which can be left on the street and converted into obtainium — stuff that people can pick-up and take. Anything not in the four basic leave-behind groups is safe to be moved.

Can our local government pick-up bulk trash?

Possibly. In some areas this is very easy to arrange, in others not so much. Call a few months ahead for a practice pick-up and see what happens.


Our local government is concerned that if we put out trash early that it might be taken during the night. Is this a problem?

No. If someone is cruising the streets at night looking for obtainium to use or sell who cares? They’re not robbing a bank, they’re doing civilization a favor by recycling, showing an entrepreneurial spirit, and engaging in what has historically been known as gleaning.

Should we tip the movers?

Sure. You tip the person who delivers dinner so why not tip the people who will pack and deliver your heavy and dusty stuff? It’s not easy to be a mover so treat them well, I suspect they’ll be appreciative.

Should our children help us pack and move?

If they want to remain in the will, yes….

If we move from five bedrooms to three bedrooms, how much stuff should we expect to throw out?

Approximately 12 metric tons.

We’re selling our house so what is the standard for removal?

Generally a property should be broom clean, but this is a broad term. In many cases replacement owners will be elated if you leave behind certain things. Ask your real estate broker or, if possible, the new folks if you can help them. Of course, the more you help the less there is to move….

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