Moving Tips and Packing Tips for Families

Moving tips and packing tips – basically the thing any of us that are moving are looking for, right?  I am a mom of 4 who recently moved and I am finally ready to share all the tips and tricks on moving, as well as some great advice from my realtor that will help you get ready for your next big move.

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bright white living room

Moving Tips & Packing Tips 

If you are reading this you are probably packing for a move.  Congratulations!  We recently packed up our family of 6 to move – with a little side hold of a rental during a renovation, so I feel like I can share great tips no matter what your move looks like.  

In this blog post I will walk you through my tips and process when it comes to packing – it is a lengthy bit, but I swear it will help.

hallway in house

But before we get to that I am also going to share some great advice on moving from our realtor here in St. Louis.

This is personally my third move.  Last time we moved we had 2 little ones who didn’t have much for opinions on what was coming with us, so this time has been slightly different in that regard. Most of the tips I share will be universal – but there will be some tips that will help you with kids at home specifically. 

Tips on Moving from A Realtor

Last summer when we found the house we are currently in we called Amanda Brandt to help us with our move. I had met Amanda once before, and she was so sweet and PATIENT with us. We really weren’t sure if we wanted to move or not, so I loved that she was just happy to take us to see a house if it felt right.

We talked WAY back then about writing a blog post to help my readers and followers who would also be going down that path, but with 6 kids (and one on the way – FOR HER NOT ME) it took us a minute to get things going.

Be sure to reach out to Amanda if you are moving soon, or just have any questions – she is always happy to help! But enough about Amanda and more about her great advice for you all. We asked my followers some questions and did a Live to cover some of this, but incase you missed it here are some great Q&A’s with Amanda.

What is the Best Time of Year to Move

Peak moving season is typically the spring and summer months. Traditionally, the weather is nicer and kids are out of school, making it an ideal time to move for families. 

I would say the best time of year to move is based on the needs of you and your family. Each family has their own individual needs and motives when it comes to deciding to make a move.

pink daisy wallpaper

The current trend I’ve seen seems to be that most families are spending more time at home and realizing they need more space. Home offices have become crucial as more people are working and schooling from home. The best time to move is when it works best for your family. 

It also depends on what is happening in the market. For example, in this current market, if the home is priced right and photos are professional, it will sell quickly. If you need to sell your house, now is the time. Inventory is at an all-time low, which creates a higher demand for houses, hiking the prices up. 

On the other hand, when you are a buyer in a low inventory market, you will want to have a backup plan. Ideally, you would buy a house and then sell your own, then you only need to move once. This option doesn’t work for most people, so other back up plans can include: selling and then renting short term until you buy your next house, selling and then living with a family member or friend, or trying to sell and buy simultaneously.

Should You Fix Everything Before you Hit The Market?

You should fix what will provide the biggest return before you hit the market! This gives you the best chance of your home selling quickly and for more money. Buyers want a move in ready home. 

They don’t want to come into a house that needs a lot of maintenance work and repairs to be done. If you do not make the fixes before you go on the market, when a buyer looks at your house, they are going to see all the work that needs to be done.

white shiplap wall in kitchen

This will give them the idea that the home has not been taken care of and well maintained, which will lead them to be more hesitant in making an offer. Your goal as the seller is to eliminate as many possible objections a buyer may have to making an offer on your property. 

Your biggest competition as a seller will be new construction. Keep in mind that taking care of all deferred maintenance and doing a thorough cleaning will help your home show at its highest level and sell for the most money. The goal when putting your house on the market is to attract as many buyers as possible, so get your home in tip top shape! You only get one first impression, and it will pay off. 

Tips to Do Before You Reach Out to a Realtor – At What Point Do You Reach Out to a Realtor

Your very first step is to reach out to your Realtor®! Most sellers start thinking about selling six months to a year out. As soon as you start to think about selling or buying, CALL YOUR REALTOR®! I will provide you with the information and data you need to help you make the best decision and put a plan into place, even if you’re not sure you are ready to sell. 

Unfortunately, it seems that realtors have a bad rap of only listing a house and doing the bare minimum, but a good Realtor® will do so much more than that!

Think of your realtor as a home selling and buying consultant. They know the process inside and out and will walk you through every step of the way. It is my job to take out all of the guess work, so you are confident in what you need to do to achieve your goals. 

empty large living room

We will discuss your goals and help you figure out the best plan of action and timeline. I will then provide you with a starter pack containing everything you need to get started.

After that, we meet to view your home and wrap up the final steps to get it ready to list. This includes putting together a staging plan, scheduling a professional photographer and creating all marketing materials. 

What Major Costs Should I know About?

Every Realtor® is different when it comes to fees and commission. My commission covers the cost of staging, photography and all marketing costs. I believe that these areas are KEY to selling a home when the majority of buyers are looking at pictures online, so I take these costs on as part of my job to market your home.

Currently the way the real estate system works, as a seller, you are paying the commission for your agent and the buyer’s agent. This comes back around to you, when you go to purchase a home, because you will not be paying your buyer’s agent, that seller will be. 

Here are costs to be prepared for when selling your home: 

  • Title company fees/closing costs
  • County inspections
  • Repairs
  • Realtor® commission

If you are purchasing a home, here are costs to be aware of:

  • Inspections
  • Earnest money
  • Down payment
  • Appraisal
  • Homeowner’s Insurance

Please be aware that this is not comprehensive. This is a very high level of how to get started. That is why it is so important to call your Realtor® first. Every state, county and city has differing laws when it comes to real estate, and your Realtor® will know what steps need to take place in your specific location to get your home ready to sell. 

If you would like more information on how to get started with selling or buying a home, please email me [email protected] or call or text 636-248-5646 or find me on Instagram @amandabrandtrealtor. If you are located outside of Missouri, give me a call and I can set you up with a trusted Realtor® local to you!

Packing your House to Move!

Alright before we get to some of my moving and packing tips – here are my major rules:

box with baby in it

Big Rules To Follow with Packing

Do not move items you don’t LOVE

Do not pack bins without going through them – this is a pain.  It might be kids clothes you are saving for another kid, holiday decorations, keepsakes – you name it.  Moving is the best time to purge what you don’t need.  I went through all those bins and if I wasn’t 100% sure it would have a place in our lives in the next house it got sold or donated.  This will take extra time – but it’s also a great step you can take earlier on – maybe before you even list your home.

Do not move anything dirty – Moving is a great time to get bedding and curtains dry cleaned, hose off any outdoor toys, strollers, and such.  Clean it all.  Do the work on this end so while you are settling in on the other end it can be more enjoyable. 

Don’t Move Loose Items – Obviously some things don’t belong in bins and boxes (huge fake plants, picture frames) – but if it is small it needs to go in a box or bin. 

empty linen closet shelves

Moving Tip #1 – Purge to donate or sell

When it comes to purging most of the time I try to sell about 50% of the items I am getting rid of first.  I can normally make $5k ish just by getting rid of things we don’t need or that will be replaced on the other end. 

Here is a rule on that – if it goes to the sell bin and doesn’t sell – donate it.  You didn’t love it enough to keep it so don’t move it. 

I do this in every area of my house.  If it is something that you will need to replace on the other end keep a list so you remember you won’t have – say cutting boards – on the other end of your move!  I tend to replace some things like that or inexpensive Tupperware when I move because it is a good time to start fresh on that. 

family photo family of 6

Get your kids involved! When it comes to kids toys – we have our kids help.  This is a good time to talk to them about how fortunate they are and how they can bless another family.   I will say – tread lightly and don’t push too hard.  Moving is A BIG CHANGE for kids, so you don’t want them to feel like they are losing their home and their belongings.

How we do this with our kids is we sit down with them and have them help – we talk to them about how we want to get them a few new toys at the new house, so we need to make room.  We talk to them about passing along toys they no longer love or need to help other families.  After they have helped – kick them out and you do the last purge of those items. 

Your kids will hold onto things that you KNOW they won’t miss.  They won’t even notice it is gone.  So once they are off doing their own thing do more.  Also get rid of anything that is not in good shape.  For us we got rid of 10 bags of toys and stuffed animals from our playroom – That is A LOT of stuff that now won’t be in our new house!

Follow this rule of thumb for EVERYTHING YOU OWN.  Purging is a huge part of moving. 

Organize on the Front End

On the note of thinking ahead and purging – if you know where you are moving already and have some idea of how you might want to store certain items, organize things on this end.  What do I mean by that?

If you know you will be storing bows in a bathroom instead of closets – maybe find the organization solution on this end. 

Or if you know you will be storing your kids craft supplies in a closet pack them in a way that you can unpack them and put them right on the shelf.  Sometimes this isn’t the most space saving way to move – but I can tell you it is really helpful when you are exhausted on the other end!

sketch of new house

Boxes and Bins 

If it won’t get unpacked (holiday decor and such) choose bins.  Pack them up – label them well and when you get to the new house you can just leave them closed.  

I also tend to opt for a plastic bin for my items that I really don’t want broken. (That said this move I didn’t have anything break in a box or a bin!)

When you are filling boxes try hard not to have to combine rooms – you will thank me on the other end. If there is empty room at the top throw in blankets or towels/ throw pillows. Things that will pad the box, keep it light, and won’t be a pain to haul to it’s actual room in the new house.

pink vanity bathroom

With my kids rooms – I have 4 kids.  I started boxes for decor and bedding from each room.  They all filled a box – some filled 2 boxes. Then when I needed to combine I combined the girls. Then if there was some left I did one last box that was labeled ” kids rooms”.

 So 90% of the items I know pretty specifically belong in one room or one space – the rest of the items all go to a very similar area.  (I wouldn’t necessarily use this exact model if your kids rooms won’t be in a similar area.  So if you have kids on different floors of your home you may want to do this slightly differently!).

The main goal is to safely get items to the room or as close to the room they will end up in so you aren’t carrying half empty boxes all over the place. 


Everyone has a different opinion on how to label.  I think 1000% if you have movers coming to help you move you should use a color code system.  Have a color for each room and put a large label or piece of tape on the box AS WELL AS A WRITTEN DIRECTIVE. 

photo of living room

When you get to the house for move in have a couple cheat sheets for them to know where things go, but also go to the room indicated and place that color on the door frame so the movers can easily find it.

** Basically this is helping movers because they have no idea what ‘jacks room’ means.  They don’t know ‘Jack’.  Kitchen, basement – things like that don’t need as much help from them.  

If you are moving on your own with no help from others you probably don’t have to do this system, BUT make sure that every box is still WELL labeled. 

Tips on a 2 Step Move

The last thing I want to touch on is a 2 step move. This past move for us was the first time we did this. We moved out of our house, and into a condo with our stuff in storage for a few months, and boy did I learn A LOT.

blue bathroom cabinets
  1. Place furniture and decor at the back of your storage unit. Think things you KNOW you won’t need even if the move takes longer than you anticipated.
  2. Only take with you what you need for the middle stop, but also make sure you bring enough to keep yourself comfortable. It is a weird transition not being in your home so take care of your mental health.
  3. Be mindful of season changes. We moved out of our house and to the condo in August, and were supposed to move into our new house in October. That turned into November, and we had an early cold this year. That meant I didn’t have coats unpacked and so on. If I were to do it again I would have kept all things kid related at the front of our storage units because there were several times where I realized I forgot things.
  4. Be patient with yourself and give yourself grace. I was so angry with myself for needing to buy new on a few items that I knew we had but I couldn’t find. That is just a reality in that stage of life.
  5. Keep in mind that being displaced may mean more take out and delivery, and less structure in your lives. Prep yourself mentally before this kind of move, because it is a lot to handle, but the end outcome was very worth it!
bright white master bedroom

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Hopefully you found this post helpful and feel ready to tackle your next move, with some great moving tips and packing tips! Be sure to pin the Photo below for later, and follow me on Instagram (@arinsolange) for more fun and inspiration.

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