Moving, Moving

Did you know that one out of every six Utahns moved last year?  Although were about to embark on a new 2020 national census we still get drips and drabs of information from the U.S. Census Bureau of current data that is rather surprising. The good news is that more people are moving into Utah than leaving the state. If folks were running away from here property values would drop and inventory would increase.

Most people moving here are coming from California. Why? Easy answers…California has high housing prices, has one of the nations highest state income tax rate for citizens living there, and traffic is horrific. Relocating adults are then coming from Idaho, Washington state, Texas, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, and New York. Several of those states also have bad traffic, taxes or income taxes as well.  What those states don’t have is our snow and ski resorts, our ‘Big Six’ national parks and a very healthy but conservative state economy.

According to, the average cost of hiring a professional moving company to get someone from San Francisco to Utah is $2848 and if you rent a 10’ truck from U-Haul to get your stuff from Salt Lake to San Francisco you’d pay $469 for four days of use and 871 miles. By the way, I don’t recommend that website-because once I put in my basic info (required) I received 10 phone calls and 10 emails within 10 minutes of movers trying to sell me their services.  That is IF you can find a parking place in the Bay Area to unload your treasures!  Hell, I have a friend who rents a one bedroom there just outside of the Castro District for $3500 per month in an old home. He has a handicapped plate and no off street parking. There are somedays he has to drive around for an hour in his neighborhood just to find parking. And then, if he doesn’t move the car on certain days or hours, he gets towed. And he gets towed at least once a month because he forgot about the restriction or didn’t get to the car in time.

Whether you’ve moving in or out of state there are some basic hacks from that will help you get off on the right foot:  call utility companies to start or stop service; set your budget for a mover or truck and get bids; get packing supplies; leave your clothes on hangers and get a clothing box for them with a hanging bar; wrap up breakables in your linens and towels; fill up your pots and pans with small items from your kitchen (like spices and food) but also put plastic wrap over those pots in case things spill; same with your suitcases-use them!  Also, if you have to hire movers be aware that you’re going to be charged by weight. Is your old washer/dryer or refrigerator worth paying for to get across country or would it be better to purchase new ones that would fit in your new place?


Sorting Through

The New York Times had an article recently about staging a co-op (like a condo) for sale. This particular unit was crammed full of antiques, expensive collections and goo ga’s and in order to get the best sales price, the owners had to massively declutter, pack up stuff and move things out of the home. Buyers want to see pared down interiors that are simply staged in light colors.  I agree with the article, as the more crap you have inside, no matter how valuable, the least likely it will be that a buyer is going to be able to see through it and envision themselves in your home.

My friend Linda Hilton is an expert at helping hoarders and assisting folks in downsizing and is a professional organizer. As a borderline hoarder myself and working to improve my ways I was eager to fill a seat at a recent lecture and take notes home and put her words into actions. The first rule was something I’ve been trying to do in the past year: if you buy something/bring something home, you play the trading game with yourself. If I buy a pair of pants, I give a pair to a charity. Nowadays, I always have a bag in the garage that I’m slowly filling with donations and when it’s full to the brim, it’s donated. Another rule was if you think you haven’t used items in a while, put them in a box and date the box for a year in advance. This could be dishes, clothes, tchotchkes-whatever. If, in a year you haven’t opened the box, then donate it.

I had a client a few years back who was addicted to shopping. She had a huge beautiful home at the base of the Cottonwoods with an unfinished basement. When I walked the home tour with her, I was shocked to see that the lower floor was full, literally packed to the gills with clothing racks-like the kind you see in movies being rolled down the street on a back lot. Not one piece had ever been worn, and every item still had a price tag on it. She didn’t take items back to stores, she just collected clothes as a security blanket of sorts. In order to sell her home, I had to connect her with Linda who subsequently spent 100+ hours helping her pack up and donate those possessions. This work can be super emotional for the client and takes massive patience and understanding from Linda.

She shared another idea about clothes I liked: When you wash a shirt or pair of pants, hang them back up in your closet inside out.  If, at the end of a year you still have inside out things hanging on your clothes rack, donate them.  To help people downsize, Linda is offering a free ‘One thing a day purge lesson for 30 days’ starting in January.  It’s easy…Day one, get a box.  Check out her site: .  And then recycle this paper!