A Practical Guide for Planning a Move

From Bedlam to Brilliance – Practical Guide for Planning a Move

You’ve finally made the decision to move, but you are looking around at your present surroundings and wondering where to begin.  No matter how long you’ve lived in a place, you most likely have accumulated items, saved things, and have memories.  Your goal is to make decisions on what to take with you, so you don’t have to pay to move things you are never going to use again, don’t need, or don’t want.

Below is a checklist and a timeline that will help you feel less stressed:

One Month in Advance

  • Contact several moving companies to get estimates and then schedule.
  • Stockpile supplies – boxes, bins, trash bags, tape, and sharpies for labeling.  Labeling the boxes should include which room and the contents of the container.  This will help when unpacking.
  • Start with a room that has little sentimental value.
  • Begin to de-clutter and pack.  Pack items right away that you are not using at the time but want to take with you (books, out-of-season clothes, etc.).  Keep clothes in drawers.  Clothes can stay on hangers – either get cardboard wardrobes to hang them in or put trash bags over the hangers to keep them together.
  • Ask yourself these 10 questions to help with making decisions on what to keep or not to keep.
    • Have you used this item in the past year?
    • Do you have a definitive use for the item?
    • If it’s broken or ripped, is it worth fixing?
    • Does this item serve a worthwhile purpose in your life?
    • Do you need to keep the item for legal purposes?
    • Do you love the item?
    • Would it be too hard or expensive to replace the item?
    • Does anyone in your family or any friends want the item?
    • Does the item fit?
    • What’s the worst that can happen if you don’t keep the item?
  • Develop a sorting process, making separate piles to keep like with like.
    • Items to keep and use.
    • Items to give to family members or friends.
    • Items to sell or donate.
    • Items to discard.
    • Items to shred.
    • Items to recycle.

Two Weeks in Advance

  • Take a photo of your electronics and how they are hooked up.
  • Remember to change your address with the post office, family, friends, credit card companies, bank, newspaper, magazines, etc.
  • Transfer school and medical records, if necessary.
  • Inform utility companies (electric, water, gas, cable, phone) of the address change – to shut off utilities at your old place and to turn on utilities at your new place.

Day Of

  • Pack essentials boxes for everyone in the house.  These should include clothes, toiletries, toys, or whatever is needed for the first 24 hours.
  • Remember your furry friend (or fish, turtle, bird) – bowls for food and water, food, litter box for a cat, leash for a dog.

Moving can be very overwhelming and hectic.  But, it is also very exciting.  See if you can have fun.  Having fun might just lessen the stress for you.

Now is your time to Go from Bedlam to Brilliance!

Barbara Berman, Certified Professional Organizer ®




Serving South Jersey (including Camden, Burlington, Gloucester, Salem, Ocean, Atlantic, Cape May, and Mercer counties), North Jersey, and Philadelphia (including its surrounding counties).

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As you prepare to move, be sure to check out some of Lenore’s Specialties & Services.  An experienced designer can ensure your moving experience is a positive one while making sure your new space fits your needs and style.

Do People Still Need Interior Designers? Part 1

Photo Credit: BKHagar *Kim*

Photo Credit: BKHagar *Kim*

Did you know, back in the day, your barber might also be your dentist? He might even be your undertaker! Sounds like the old west. Thank God things have changed…or have they?  Today people are doing a lot of things themselves that they may or may not have the education, training, background, talent, or understanding to do. Are they getting the results they really want? And are they getting the job done without making mistakes, poor choices, wasting their money and time? Do they say to themselves, “Oh, if I had only known! I would have done things differently.”

Photo: Amanda Gates, Designer

The following was written by a fellow designer Amanda Gates.  She has a flair for telling it like it is, so I thought I would share with you what she has to say on the subject.

Many designers are starting to see clients want to take the reins and manage their own projects. Handling their own trades, finding their own products and installing their own jobs all in an effort to save money. So we have shifted our paradigms to work with the needs of our clients to give them what they want… but the sh*t is hitting the fan. Thanks to the internet and TV shows, homeowners have become disillusioned that with a few thousand dollars and a quick thirty minutes an entire house can be swiftly and easily redone. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Rather than discussing how we’ve transformed our clients lives with beautiful homes, more than ever before the leaderboards (professional network groups for professional interior designers) are blowing up on topics of how to best help their clients get out of their messes. You know the one that was saving them money. Most homeowners have absolutely no idea how difficult a home project can be and acting as a guidance counselor we can only offer so much. Whether redecorating or blowing out the master bath designers know exactly how to navigate the waters, aka: the trades, vendors, products and all the moving parts. (Trust you, me…there are SO MANY moving parts) Case in point. I recently had a client hire me as her guidance counselor for a 2500 ft addition. Six months into the project her refrigerator busted and flooded the whole house (because she moved it to another room and didn’t properly hook it up). This lead to flooring, cabinet and furniture damage. Her kitchen floors arrived in the wrong color because she transposed ONE number on the invoice, making this her error not the tile company. And finally, she could not finish the remodel of her bathroom because her tub had been picked up by her plumber…who was arrested for a DUI and in jail. Her three thousand dollar soaker tub had been sold on Craigslist as bail money and the plumber skipped town.  Seriously folks, I can’t make this stuff up.

Interestingly enough, no matter how many people I discuss the pitfalls with, it’s always the same: “Oh it will never happen to me, and I have PLENTY of time to manage it”.


Do you still want to do the work yourself? We are your secret design coach & consultant. Lenore Frances Interiors can guide you on how to create the perfect design for your home so you can take pride in your design decisions. When you work with our firm, we are your professional guide, coach, and collaborator to help you navigate through the complexities of the design process.

Your first step is to contact us and sign up to receive your Design Project Dream Book  to build a proper foundation before starting your project.


Spring Projects: Is it already too late?

I had a conversation with my right-hand-man and contractor, Rufus yesterday. Rufus told me that he is already seeing the signs that he is going to be booked up fast for all of those projects people put off because of this lousy winter.

I have to wonder where that is going to leave me for my own client’s projects? I quickly sent out an email to those who had projects in mind but have not contacted me yet about proceeding or preparing to do so.

We had so much down-time this winter. Did you take advantage of it? If you did, that means you were on- the-ball and prepared to start your home projects when the weather broke.  You considered what projects you want done and know why you want them done now. And you have already contacted and lined up the right people to do the work.

If you have a sunroom or deck you want completed for the late spring and summer season, guess what, so do a lot of other people. It will be first-come, first-serve. Get in touch with your designer, contractor, architect, landscaper ASAP. No matter what kind of project you have in mind, the hardest part may be finding the right team of people who are available to fit you in.

Don’t be unprepared again. Get your free Design Project Dream Book. 


Samaritan Gatsby Gala

It was a great night of giving, mingling, eating and dancing, all to raise money for Samaritan Healthcare and Hospice. Samaritan raises money so that everyone is able to have special care at end of life, regardless of their ability to pay. I know first-hand how valuable hospice is to the families as well as to the person receiving the special care. In appreciation, I offered a Personal Home Design Q & A Session in the silent auction.

And the winner is… Virginia Blaskovich of Moorestown! Congratulations Virginia, I am looking forward to thanking you personally for your winning bid and support of Samaritan.

Click here to learn more about Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice.

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