Living the San Francisco Dream


Moving on a Budget

Many thanks to our friend, Peggy Hughes, a professional moving organizer with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, for sharing good information in a concise, well-organized manner.

Her suggestions make a lot of sense for people planning to move.

Moving on a Budget


The time has come to make a move and you don’t have the luxury of hiring a Professional Moving Organizer to help you sort, purge and donate.  Nor do you have the funds to hire a national moving company who can just pack it up and take it away to your newer, smaller home. Yet, you have a home full of "stuff". Regardless of how our “stuff” came to us, you are now at the point that you need to deal with it.

moving a boxThe question then becomes, “How do I tackle this overwhelming moving project on a budget?”

Step 1:  You are going to need help if you don’t have family members near by, enlist your friends and neighbors.  Start in the garage and work your way inside. Or, start in the basement and work your way up. Or, start in the attic and work your way down.  Wherever you start, throw out obvious trash first… like empty boxes (be sure to recycle!), anything ripped, torn or missing pieces.

Step 2: Have three empty moving boxes that are medium sized (do NOT put books in this size box – the box will be too heavy to lift) and mark them as follows:  Donate; Keep, Give back to original owner

Now, methodically go through the room from left to right and make a decision on each item. The goal is to have 3x or 4x as many boxes to Donate as you have to keep.  If you have furniture, get some different colored post-its, decide on a color for donations and mark them appropriately.

Do this for each room in your home. If you have books, pack them in small book boxes. For items you are keeping, pack them as you go from room to room. Be sure to keep heavy things on the bottom of a box, lighter and more delicate items on the top of a box.

And, don't forget to use plenty of cushioning material (couch pillows, sheets, blankets, towels, unprinted newspaper etc.) to minimize breakage.

Step 3: Call your local waste management company to haul away all the trash.  If they don’t provide this service in your community, do a search on the internet for a local hauler, or call 1-800-gotjunk.

Step 4: Call the Charity of your choice and have them come by and pick up your donations.  You may have to call two or three different charities to finish this step.

Step 5: Call 2-3 local moving companies to get a quote to move what you have left. TIP – don’t call the moving companies until you have removed the trash & donations as you won’t get the best price. Movers know that most people say they are going to get rid of more than they actually do, so the mover will add 20-30% more to their price.  However, if you have already removed the donations and trash, the mover will have a more accurate picture of what needs to be moved.

Of course, if you do have the luxury of hiring a Professional Moving Organizer, PHA would be glad to be of help!

A special thanks to Carol Ann Palmieri of Al and Cal Realty Group for suggesting this topic to me!!





All content & photos (unless otherwise noted) are the property of PHA/Peggy Hughes Associates


If you or someone you know wants to be MOVED the Right Way, Don't forget to call PHA!


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Lottie Kendall, Realtor®


CA DRE#10215160; 650-465-4547

Peninsula Living Business Page



Comment balloon 6 commentsLottie Kendall • July 21 2012 08:30PM


Lottie... thanks so much for the re-blog!  I really appreciate it.

Posted by Peggy Hughes/pha logistix, inc., SF NYC LA (pha logistix inc) over 7 years ago

Make decisions as to what really has to be moved and what should be sold, given away or trashed. Moving stuff that you will never use is a waste of money.

Posted by Erv Fleishman, Luxury Prop Specialist Realty Associates (Realty Associates) over 7 years ago

Peggy, you gave us some great information here - thank you.

Erv, you're 100% correct.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 7 years ago

Lottie - Great information for anyone who will be facing a move in the near future.  Peggy did an excellent job on getting us organized!

Posted by Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale, Tahoe Real Estate Agent Helping Buyers and Sellers (Coldwell Banker, Tahoe City, CA (530) 414-1260) over 7 years ago

Laura, this might seem simple, but sometimes it's just exactly what our clients need to read to realize there's hope, that they CAN figure out a plan when faced with a move.


Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 7 years ago

Lottie, great choice of re-post.  Moving across town or across country.  Moving is stressful this is a great list to help relive some of the anxiety and work that comes with any move.

Posted by John McCormack, CRS, Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me! (Albuquerque Homes Realty) over 7 years ago