Moving Tips




Simple Tips to Make Your Move Easier


Posted in Buying by Tara Sharp

Is 2014 the “Year of the Big Move”? Some experts are predicting so.  According to Real Estate Expert Charlie Young, certain real estate factors are in place that may compel more people to consider relocating to a different area of the country. Here are a few:

  1. Increase in mortgage rates

  2. Pay not keeping pace with home prices

  3. Long-term toll of the recession

  4. Increased home prices have helped homeowners move from underwater to positive equity

  5. US census data is showing an increase in migration

On average, Americans move every five to seven years, so it is likely at some point in your future you will experience another moving day. While moving can be challenging, there are resources to make it easier. If you are remaining in the area, your real estate agent can continue to be a valuable resource on communities, schools, utilities, transportation, recreational opportunities, and more.

If you are moving out of the area, your agent can help you with a referral to another reputable agent in your new community. Our agents are a part of a broader  network that connects them with agents all over the world. Many agents also have relationships with real estate-related service companies in their area whom they can call upon for information regarding title, escrow, mortgages, temporary housing, and moving services. They can also help guide you in your Internet search as you learn more about new communities and relocation services.

You’ve decided to move. Now what?

Once you have reached your decision, it’s time to gather information, start making decisions and get organized. Begin by creating a “move” file to keep track of your estimates, receipts, and other information. If you’re moving for a job, some expenses may be deductible, so you’ll want the paperwork when tax time comes.

If you are moving out of the area, start researching your new community and ask your agent for help in finding a referral agent in your new area. You’ll also want to determine whether you want to rent first or buy immediately. Your new agent should be able to help you with your decision. Once you know where you’re going, you’re also ready to get estimates from moving companies.

Reason’s people move:


Closing one door, opening another

After you have chosen a moving date and either hired a moving company or reserved a rental truck, it’s time to wrap things up in your old neighborhood and start establishing relationships where your new home is located. This is particularly important if you are moving to a new town/city. You may want to ask your current doctors, dentists, etc. if they have any referrals on care providers in your new location. Be sure to check their recommendations on your insurance company’s online provider search list. Once you arrive, you may also want to ask new coworkers, friends or the school nurse for their recommendations.

Contact your children’s school and/or day care and arrange for their records to be sent to their new school district or day care. Call your insurance agent about coverage en route to your new home and also arrange for insurance in your new home. Remember to contact utility companies to disconnect, transfer or end service in your current home and turn on service in your new home.

You’ll want to file a change of address form with the U.S. Postal Service, either online or at your local office. If you don’t know your new address, have them hold your mail at the post office in your new locale. Don’t forget to cancel or transfer magazine and newspaper subscriptions as well.

If you belong to a health club or other association, contact them about ending or transferring your membership. Some clubs require written notice before cancellation. Finally, contact your bank or credit union to transfer or close accounts; if you have a safe-deposit box, don’t forget to clean it out before you leave.

Starting the countdown

With moving day in sight, it’s time to get organized. Here are a few items to check off your list before you start packing:

Tie up loose ends. Be sure to send out an email or change of address cards with your new contact information to family, friends, and associates. Return library books and any other borrowed items you may still have.

Triage your possessions. Determine what you are taking with you; what you are giving away to friends, family, or a favorite charity; and what is going to the dump or recycling center.  If you have time, you can hold a garage sale or post items on or

Clean up. Drain all gas and oil from your mower, other machinery, gas grills, kerosene stoves and lamps, etc., before loading them onto a moving truck. Empty, defrost, and clean your refrigerator at least 24 hours before your move, and prepare other appliances for moving as well.

Have your car serviced. This is especially important if you are driving to your new home.

Packing strategies

If you are doing your own packing, start collecting boxes and/or buy them from your movers. It may take a few days to do your packing, so be sure to pack non-essential items first and label them carefully. If you have any valuables, it’s recommended that you take them with you as opposed to packing them. You risk the chance of losing those items if they’re packed away in boxes. It’s also smart to take along a box of essentials, including items such as toilet paper, paper towels, tape, soap, scissors, pens, paper, and your toiletries. That way you won’t have to track these items down once you’ve arrived in your new home.







Posted on February 27, 2014 at 10:15 pm
Candace Kramer | Posted in Aging in Place, downsizing, Organize Me |

Coffee Chat with Good Daughters

It is raining, as usual, so it’s the perfect time for me to clean and organize my home –  it being on the market and having weekly showings doesn’t hurt to keep me motivated either! Plus, my recent coffee chat at Chuck’s Coffee with Jan Harju from Good Daughters was truly inspiring!

Good Daughters is a group of moving experts specializing in transitioning seniors into their new homes. Their slogan is: “It’s your move – We Make it Happen!” Reassuring to say the least! 

Moving and downsizing, as we all know, can be overwhelming and downright stressful. Fear not! Downsizing is something Good Daughters does best! Not only does Jan and her team help you decide what to do your four fondue sets, three popcorn poppers and endless paper stacks – she knows how to transport household goods overseas or just down the street into your new home.

Jan and her husband, Arnie are Oregonians that have had long careers in logistics, transportation, and human resources.  They now blend these skills and assist families, large and small, to tackle the arduous tasks involved with downsizing. Jan is reassuring and non judgmental – the perfect neutral party to step into the family dynamics.  By developing a personalized moving plan and time-line, Jan makes your move HAPPEN!

Some of her favorite resources and supporters:

The best secret I discovered is that Jan takes whatever does not sell to charitable organizations – her favorite is Willamette Valley Humane Society, there are two stores in Salem and 100% of the proceeds go to an animal shelter.

Jan, you really do know how to take care of it all in a compassionate and efficient way!

Give Jan a call at 503-522-6637 or email

She inspired me to go back and start recycling and donating the items I really do not need! Very good rainy day projects.

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 4:06 pm
Candace Kramer | Posted in downsizing, interviews, Lifestyle, Organize Me, Resources | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Coffee chat with Organizers Northwest

I had the pleasure of chatting with Missy Gerber at Chucks coffee shop. It was very informative (no wonder) with her 10 years of experience. I wanted to share some her valuable tips with you!

With a keen sense of organization and a passion to make a difference in people lives, Missy founded Organizers Northwest. Her and her seasoned team tackle clutter and combat mess, creating peace and improving the lifestyles of their clients.

Missy prides herself on establishing authentic connections with her clients, be they homeowners or business owners, providing dedicated service and expertise. She also conducts popular seminars at Storables, where she breaks down her technique into 5 easy steps. I gotta check one of these out!

Here philosophy brings the relative concepts of the here and now to the forefront.  Be mindful of the present and ask yourself  the 5 whys to discover the true answer to the question, “Do I really need this?”

In this day and age, we don’t really need to hoard magazines, cookbooks, movies and music – all of this is available online. My mom had a huge collection of cookbooks and I inherited this too! After my conversation with Missy, I went straight home and purged my stash of cooking mags!

Missy helps many with that annoying office clutter – you know the stacks and stacks of paper that seem to accumulate effortlessly on our desks, tables and counter-tops?  Clutter is really just postponing decisions and Missy is excellent at making you examine the emotional attachments we have to  our STUFF.

Here are some before and after pictures of her work:

Quite a difference right!?

Best of all, many of her resources, including recycling are local to Lake Oswego. Here are just a few:

  • Do you have a collection of vintage cell phones, and an old microwave lurking in your garage? Far West Fibers recycles electronics and more!

Downsizing and re-organizing your life can feel overwhelming and exhausting. Often, Missy’s clients call her feeling panicked, stuck and suffocated by their clutter but when she is done, they have renewed energy and more time to spend time with family and friends! They enjoy a new lifestyle – CLUTTER-FREE! Or in Missy’s words:

Less mess, less stress, better life. Period.

Missy you are a true expert in space & time! Be sure to contact Missy at 503-245-3564 or

Where could you de-clutter in your home?

I’m off to go get rid of some more of MY stuff!

Before & After images via Organizers Nortwest

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 9:56 am
Candace Kramer | Posted in downsizing, interviews, Lifestyle, Organize Me, Resources | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

AMAZING space saving furniture

Don’t think downsizing is a trend? Well…it looks like the design world is responding to it in a BIG way! This amazing line of  space saving furniture is not only beautiful but incredibly efficient for small and multi-functional rooms. Designs like these are making the shift towards downsizing even easier. Get ready to be wowed by these innovative creations by Resource Furniture.

All of a sudden having a dinner party or an overnight guest in your new two-bedroom condo doesn’t seem so impossible…right? Takes Murphy beds to a whole new level!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Video via

Posted on December 10, 2010 at 3:33 pm
Candace Kramer | Posted in Community, downsizing, environmental design, interior design, Lifestyle, Organize Me, Small Space Design, stories, technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Small Kitchen Design by Julie DeJardin

Today, I wanted to feature one of my favorite people – Julie DeJardin.  I met Julie when I was working as a designer for Neil Kelly and she was the president for the National Kitchen and Bath Association. She’s an amazing designer, a dear friend and she really knows how to downsize in style!

Julie recently moved into Portland’s beautiful high-rise – The Metropolitan.  She loves her new space, the view and the ease of living in the Pearl District but the kitchen, well that had to change. Renown for her amazing culinary skills and love of entertaining, Julie quickly realized that her kitchen – the heart of her new home – simply wasn’t up to par. With the ease of an artist with a brush, she pulled out her measuring tape, a pad of paper and began re-designing the space.

Check out the before shots…dull and dark.

And after…modern, clean and fresh!

It would have been near impossible to match the wood tone of the current cabinetry, so Julie ingeniously added these stunning high-pressure Italian laminate cabinets in a stormy gray, to provide even more storage.

Julie gets kitchens. I mean she really gets them. And when it came to her own kitchen she knew exactly what to do to meet her needs both functionally and aesthetically.  Check out some of the details…

By being creative with her space she gained a whopping 11.5 linear feet of  base cabinet storage. Now everything is easy to find and easy to reach!

The sparkling back-splash is a combo of polished and brushed metals, interlaced with crystal clear glass. Sourced locally at Pental Granite & Marble.  Gorgeous isn’t it? The snowy white Caesarstone Quartz counter tops provide the perfect contrast to the dark cabinetry.

Think that island is just an island? Think again! Julie added casters to the unit, so it can be moved into different configurations to suit her entertaining needs. It’s a dining table, buffet, bar and workspace! How’s that for multifunctional design?

By removing an existing wall, this elegant bar elongates the kitchen and adds sparkle and flair! Every girl needs a lovely place to whip up her favorite cocktail!

Nothing but the best for Julie’s appliances – a Viking fridge, Miele oven, Wolf cook-top and a Blanco micro-edge sink, all make this kitchen perform like a pro’s. Not to mention that whipping up delicious meals with this view is simply inspiring.

Julie’s artfully designed kitchen shows us, that when executed well, small spaces can truly meet all our needs!

Want more inspiration? Check out some beautiful compact kitchen designs here.  Does your kitchen meet the needs of your lifestyle? What would you change?

Have a fabulous day!

Posted on October 27, 2010 at 2:48 pm
Candace Kramer | Posted in downsizing, interior design, Lifestyle, Organize Me, Small Space Design, stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Apartment Therapy in a Book

I’m sure many of you love following the extremely successful and inspirational blog : Apartment Therapy.  Never heard of it?  You must go take a look. It is chock full of fantastic ideas and home tours of some really incredible spaces.

For all those considering downsizing, it is an absolute necessary stop on your internet search. However, not everyone likes to get their information online so….why not check out this new, gorgeous book by Apartment Therapy founder, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan.

Full to the brim with imaginative solutions for small spaces, storage and organization, it may have you looking at your home in a whole new way! Maxwell believes that small spaces or size constraints actually opens up your creativity, forcing you to think outside the box. Since downsizing really involves a re-invention of your lifestyle, I really appreciate his fresh approach and I think you will too.

Want to add it to your library? Click here to buy.

Is there a small space in your own home that is begging for a makeover? Could it be more functional or even multi-functional if you looked at it with a new perspective? Look around you might just get inspired!

Have a fantastic day!

All images via Apartment Therapy

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 9:39 am
Candace Kramer | Posted in downsizing, interior design, Organize Me, Small Space Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

What’s under the stairs?

In my last post, I discussed maximizing your space and today I wanted to share some really innovative solutions for that space under your flight of stairs!

Why waste this perfectly good spot?

Have you considered this commonly overlooked space as…

Or a…OR (and I love this one)…

Just some fun ideas! More here. Do you have any creative solutions for the wasted space in your home?

Happy Friday!

All images via

Posted on September 17, 2010 at 3:24 pm
Candace Kramer | Posted in bathroom design, downsizing, Lifestyle, Organize Me, Small Space Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Maximize your space

Smaller spaces demand organization. Less square footage means multi-functional rooms and typically, minimal storage. What to do? We are so used to our big attics, garages and basements (which typically get jammed full of stuff we don’t actually need) that we often resist giving them up. When we do downsize we have to change the way we look at our space, minimize clutter and well, think a little outside of the box!

But with a little ingenuity every nook and cranny can have a purpose. Check out these fantastic ideas from good ole’ Martha Stewart

By storing platters and cutting boards vertically you can save valuable shelf space in your pantry. These dividers are simply tension curtain rods! Brilliant!

Giving up the wine cellar can be tough but use square cubbyholes like this to house your favorites. Here’s the how to.

Counter space a little lean? Consider putting things up on a pretty pedestal to maximize space below.

No linen closet in the bathroom? No problem! Stacking towel bars vertically allows for ample hanging space.

Pedestal sink got you wondering where to store toiletry supplies? Look up. Above the door is a perfect place to install a shelf. Put your products in some pretty containers or coral them in baskets and voila – instant storage!

Sometimes a home office is not part of the floor plan in a smaller home but utilizing a quiet corner and a petite secretary might just give you and your laptop a place to work.

Double duty dining room! Why not incorporate some storage for your home office into the dining room?  Now that table will finally get the use it deserves!

Those ugly black file cabinets are so over and they take up far too much valuable space. Convert a bedroom chest into a portable work center. How to here.

Don’t overlook a window sill. By adding an extension you can create an additional work, dining or display space.  Project info here.

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking! Do you have any fabulous organization or space-saving ideas to share?

Have a great Wednesday!

All images via

Posted on September 15, 2010 at 10:35 am
Candace Kramer | Posted in downsizing, Lifestyle, Organize Me, Small Space Design | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Super {small} stylish living in NY

Good things come in small packages right? Well this teeny tiny NY apartment delivers on that.

Beautifully designed and precisely appointed, it clearly illustrates that less really can be more.

Images via Home Design

A smaller space can offer a more peaceful, clutter free lifestyle.

We all have too much stuff! Reducing the unnecessary in our homes often clears the path for more focus, concise decision making and increased productivity.

So you know that crazy drawer that is screaming to be organized? Listen to it.

Have a fantastic rest of your week!

Posted on August 25, 2010 at 9:00 am
Candace Kramer | Posted in downsizing, Lifestyle, Organize Me, Small Space Design | Tagged , , , , , ,