RISMEDIA, June 16, 2009-(MCT)-How hard is it to move all your worldly possessions from one home to the next? So hard that even Clive Pearse of HGTV can get it wrong.
“I’m a bit of a hoarder, and-spectacularly-when I moved from England in 1997, I packed up an entire house of rubbish and brought it with me across the Atlantic,” says Pearse, who hosts “Designed To Sell.”
“I should have got rid of it and saved money.”
Also in the bad news column: “The average American will move 12 times in a lifetime. A lot of people feel like they’ve moved 12 times after doing it once.”
But enough with the doom and gloom! Our favorite trans-Atlantic trash-hauler is here with five ways to lighten your load, both literally and figuratively. Or, as he puts it, “A man gives tips after he’s learned the hard way, huh?” Hey, whatever works.
1. Don’t move it if you don’t want it. “People pay a lot of money to move all the clutter they don’t want or need,” Pearse says. Instead, identify the unwanted items and get rid of them in a garage sale. If that’s too much work, consider donating the discards to a charity.
2. Packing material at your disposal. Save money and environmental resources by using free and recyclable packing materials. Many large supermarkets will give away boxes for free. If you have time, start hoarding newspapers and junk mail. Use the newspapers to wrap fragile items. Shred the junk mail to make a great green replacement for bubble wrap.
3. Surf for techno help. Let someone else figure out which cable, telephone and Internet service to get at your new home. “As someone who is terrified of technology, this is my favorite tip,” says Pearse, who recommends a site created by cable companies, Cable Movers Hotline (cablemover.com.) Also available is Movearoo (movearoo.com), a site offered, in part, by telephone companies.
4. Moving advice for your possessions. If you use a professional mover, pick a reputable company by means of a referral rather than an advertisement. And avoid stress by setting aside your precious knickknacks and important paperwork and moving them yourself.
5. Start with a list. Don’t know where to start? “Take a long, hard look at each room very quietly and make a list of what has to go, what has to stay,” what has sentimental value and what doesn’t, Pearse says. Go room by room, item by item. “Once you get going, it’s very easy.”
©2009, Chicago Tribune.
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