One of the most beneficial things one can do when planning for a move is to work with a professional organizer — even if one is already an organized person.

Professional organizers can help you get rid of furniture and items you no longer use, as well as help you unpack and settle in your new home so you can quickly get back to business.

Since our team at FlatRate is committed to making your move as streamlined as possible, we partnered with Karin from  The Serene Home  to shed light on the many benefits of hiring a professional organizer during a move.

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Tell us about the work that you do and how you became a Professional Home and Move Organizer?

Every professional organizer takes a different path, but I started my training with Marie Kondo at the KonMari Institute. At this point, I have worked with about 500 client families and am also a member of the National Organization of Professional Organizers (NAPO).

Most organizers have some type of credentialing and training, which is very important when looking for someone to help you and your family. I found that working with moves was a way for me to help families by easing the stress of going at it alone. It’s a very rewarding process for me and I love helping people get settled in their new homes.

You work with a lot of folks who are planning a move. What are some problems people encounter when getting ready to move, whether staying in the same building or moving cross-country?

A move is the best time to consider the amount of things you have accumulated and whether all your clothes, appliances, furniture and the rest, are really necessary. With families, considering your future space beforehand is so important.

Often, families just decide to pack everything up and figure out what to do with it later. When I work with people after a move and they have been living with boxes for a long period of time, it’s often because space planning feels so overwhelming. However, with a little work prior to the move, we can find the perfect spot for things and the family can begin to enjoy their new home.

Often, you have couples that are blending households. That can be a real challenge if both people have accumulated a lot of things. What are some ways people can reduce the amount of duplications?

When it gets down to making choices, the best way to determine what items will make the move is to pile up like items. For example, putting all the pots and pans together and then deciding which ones should be kept is much easier than considering each one individually. Whenever possible, if these decisions can be made beforehand, it saves a lot of time and even money. It’s expensive to move things you don’t need!

However, if the couple has two separate homes, putting like things together is not possible. In those cases, I suggest that the couple consider creating separate photo inventories so they can share and discuss. With movers like FlatRate Moving, they can even create photo inventories on the FlatRate app and manage their items while on the go from their phone!

It’s much less stressful if you know your significant other will need a certain amount of space for their book collection while you cannot imagine life without your collection of vintage art pottery!

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How can a couple reach an agreement on different ideas about what their home should look and feel like when they are getting ready to move in together?

Communication is key. A question that I ask when planning a move is, “What is your vision of your life in your new home?” Depending on the couple, sometimes I find that one person has more attachment to certain things over another. And, one person may value certain home activities over others. Who loves to cook and who is the gardener? Who is more interested in fashion and who has a lot of sporting goods for outdoor activities?

I like to sit down with a couple well before the move so that we can discuss expectations and concerns. The gourmet cook will naturally be more interested in what knives are kept while the shoe fanatic may want to have more closet space.

How soon in advance should someone look for a Professional Organizer to help with the process?

I have never been called too soon! It seems like families discover that they need help when their move is rapidly approaching. Getting an organizer on board early is helpful because your move organizer can give you great advice from experience about the quality of movers you are considering.

You may move once every 5-10 years, but I work with movers every week! Working with a company like FlatRate Moving means that I’m able to communicate the important information to them and ask questions that you may not have considered.

What are some of the things a Professional Organizer can do to help make a move easier?

My initial work is to make sure that you have all the information you need to make informed choices. I will help you make decisions about what to take and what to discard based on your new home’s layout. I work with your movers on moving day to make sure all the important items are marked. I also help unpack and put things away using professional organization techniques.

How do you work with movers before the move and during the move?

If your moving company is also packing your inventory, it’s important that they have as much information as possible about what is going where and what special care might be needed for certain items such as artwork and delicate electronics. I will give the packing crew a good legend for marking boxes. We can create color-coding so that your son’s clothing will end up in the second bedroom down the hall instead of in the pantry!

Working closely with your movers, we can make sure that special requests are addressed. Packing days and moving days are very busy and the team moves fast. Having an experienced professional organizer present — supporting you and communicating with your moving team — will make the day go even smoother.

What are some of your favorite stories about helping people make a move from one home to another?

My favorite is helping families move into a new home that represents a wonderful new phase in their lives. I’ve had several couples moving to make room for a new baby or moving into their dream home after getting married. In the last couple of years, I have welcomed 6 new babies into new homes! On the same note, I have also helped empty nesters move into homes that will allow them to focus on activities that they plan to enjoy in their retirement.

Recently, I worked with a couple had met and fallen in love later in life. They were worried about combining homes as both came from very different backgrounds. By working together, we were able to create a shared home that incorporated the best of each of their homes into one.

How can people get in touch with you?

You can find me at TheSereneHome.com and email me at Karin@theserehome.com. I offer a free phone consult that you can schedule here: The Serene Home Phone Consult