Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


Move: It's A Four-Letter Word

 It's been 25 years since my last move.  And I can't even imagine what it would be like to whip my house into showing condition, live like a total compulsive neat freak for however long it would take to get the place sold, then have my home invaded by a bunch of hunky moving men to take many decades worth of stuff, albeit pared down, to a new place.

Now, while I constantly fantasize about moving, I don't plan to go anywhere soon.  My house has appreciated to the point that I’d need a marriage of convenience to avoid a bunch of capital gains taxes. 

Looking back, I should have moved at least once every five years to, first, minimize capital gains and, second, to make me more empathetic to my clients who are going through the process.

I think it may not be possible, without moving out of my house, to do a totally thorough de-clutter and get rid of all kinds of “stuff” that someone who shops at the Salvation Army needs a whole lot more than I do. 

Spring is around the corner, and sometime in April, we’ll probably have a joint front porch sale that everyone on my block can participate in.  Of course, last time I sold some of my unwanted junk, then turned around and bought some more from my neighbors!

A few weeks ago, Value Village, a thrift shop that supports disabled veterans, called and I left a bunch of stuff for them.  I’m resisting the urge to drop by to see if there are any cobalt blue dishes or glasses on their shelves!

And it may be time to hire a professional, and I’m not sure whether it should be a de-clutterer or a therapist!  I mean, as a little kid, my father made us clean our rooms before we could watch Saturday cartoons, and all of the Kennedy children are slobs. 

Or maybe it’s something astrological, and as soon as the Moon enters Tidy, it will all come together and I will discover the Zen minimalist trapped inside of my clutterer’s body.

Comment balloon 13 commentsPatricia Kennedy • January 24 2008 05:28PM


Patricia - I hope the moon enters Tidy very, very soon! Either that or I'm going to have to find my "round to it" button!
Posted by Linda Scanlan (A Fan of AR) over 12 years ago

Patricia, we made two cross country moves and I still remember them well.  So well that we have stayed in the same house for the last 11 years.  We really don't need this big of a house now that our birds have left the nest but the thought of moving just makes my back crawl.  

I do have to say moving cross country REALLY makes you look at "do I need this".  I'm amazed at how much I have accumulated in the last 11 years.  I'm to the point where nothing comes in to my house unless it has a home.

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) over 12 years ago
Have  a big garage sale you will feel better for it. Maybe not right away but you will. We did!
Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros ( over 12 years ago
Hi Patricia, I would have to move out of my house also before I could put it on the market.
Posted by Kay Perry (Kay Perry, Broker) over 12 years ago
I stayed in my last house for 13 years. I will never do that again for some of the resaons you mentioned. I agree that about 5 years is a good goal - long enough to enjoy the home, but short enough to get the maximum benefits. It you love your neighborhood you can always buy right down the street from where you are living currently.
Posted by Connie Ragen Green, Online Marketing Strategist (Small Business UnMarketing) over 12 years ago
Isn't that the truth?  I often buy more than I sell at something like this.
Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 12 years ago

I hate moving and the last 2 moves were the worst.... One move we hired help and they were awful and the last time we waited too long to start PACKING.

Best of luck your next time around.

Posted by Mohamed Mekhimar - Accredited Buyers Rep , E-Pro - Richmond Virginia Real Estate (RE/MAX Commonwealth) over 12 years ago
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS?!?  I haven't lived anywhere more than FOUR!  I tell my clients that moving is like childbirth.  It seems like a good idea until you're too far along to turn back.  ;-P
Posted by Gregory Maley, REALTOR, GRI, CBR, SHS, e-PRO, ABR (Sold Buy the Sea Realty & R.E.N.T.) over 12 years ago
Patricia, moving certainly is an excellent way to get rid of some of the stuff that clutters our lives and our homes.  The problem is that I've always moved from a smaller place to a bigger place and eventually collect more stuff.  I've had friends and clients who've downsized, and they just rented a dumpster.  
Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) over 12 years ago

Isn't that Zen Minimalist on your bucket list???

After doing a huge cross-country move across the country - then moving into my (small) condo in the city, from my much larger home in the BURBS - I was able to get rid of so much junk!

But; it doesn't take long before we get new junk to replace the old junk.  I have now successfully been able to 1/2 fill a storage bin that I pay $30 a month for.  Why?  Because I gotta have more junk!

Now if I could just remember WHAT the heck is IN that storage unit down the street....

Posted by James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORSĀ®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes, When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move (Real Living | At Home) over 12 years ago

Linda, right now my moon is in pigpen!

Marchel, I've been trying to get to the stage of going through stuff and asking, "If I were moving to Houston tomorrow, would I take this?"  And if the answer is no, giving it away.  But somehow, it doesn't seem to work unless there really is an impending move!

Charles, it has to be a porch sale, because my garage is packed with a former neighbor's stuff.  Maybe I need to add "empty the garage and get the door fixed" to my bucket list!

Kay, that's pretty good advice to anyone.  

Connie, maybe I can get a neighbor to trade houses with me!  But it's slowly getting to the point that it's a fun house to live in!

Margaret, ah!  A kindred spirit!

And Mohamed, I've had so many clients do the same thing!  This afternoon's settlement is the first time in a while that both parties seemed totally organized about their moves.  It's inspiring!


Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 12 years ago

Gregory, now how do you know about childbirth?

Brian, I'm trying for eight trash bags a week figuring at least that way I'm getting rid of more than I'm accumulating.  I probably need to up that number to more like twelve!

James, where can you find a storage bin for $30 a month?  What a deal!


Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 12 years ago
Patricia - decluttering is always a good thing to do!!! in the last 3 years I have downsized and decluttered beyond belief! when I went through my last divorce and was moving south I took carload after carload of everything imaginable to Hospice for their thrift store! some things I missed for a while, but I knew I did not want to deal with moving all of those things! I have moved 7 times since I did that 3 years ago - guess it was a good thing I downsized!!!!
Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 12 years ago