Even though many thought we’d see some sort of easing, the 2022 real estate market is seemingly poised to track, or possibly, out-pace last year’s, according to stats published by Realtor.com. Houses are moving, on average, 10 days faster than they did last year. Median price is up, too.

What I find so stunning about the 2022 Spring market is the amount of cross country moving that continues. The lifestyle re-assessments that began during COVID seem to be continuing. Looking at our current clients we have folks moving from NJ to Chicago, from Montclair to Westchester, a family that moved from Tennessee last year and is going from Maplewood to NYC, two families are coming from California to Maplewood, one family is going from Maplewood back to California, families from South Orange are going to Virginia, Pittsburgh and Florida. At the heart of many of these moves is a desire to be closer to family. Yes, we still see the traditional moves for a downsize, divorce or need for more space locally but I believe families are still readjusting and rethinking what is important to them in the new normal.

So with all of this moving around and re-evaluation of what’s important, The New York Times reported that after two years of being largely indoors, companies that help people clean and declutter are seeing their inboxes flood with requests for assistance. People are looking to dump the excess and live more meaningful, experience-driven lifestyles, an idea that also helps explain the overall state of our real estate market. 

Thus, it seems we might be making a lot more recommendations this year to clients for movers, house cleaners and personal organizers. Moving is always easier when you have fewer items for the movers to box up and transport, and we’ve heard from countless clients just how emotional that process can be, so maybe the following tips will help make your next move a little less stressful. 


More stuff, more to move

Our advice is to get rid of what you don’t need before you move rather than to move it and then pay to get rid of it. Pam Carlson of New Veron’s Ready-Set-Organize says that the more things you accumulate, the more responsibility you have. “Stuff takes time to use and put away again when you’re finished using it. And ultimately, when you don’t want your stuff any more, it takes time to get rid of it-whether you donate it, sell it or simply pitch it in the recycle bin,” she said.

There will always be items of actual value you’ll take with you and likely remind the movers to be careful handling. However, you’ll be very surprised at how much of what you own can easily be replaced, financially and emotionally. 

New homes are often inspirations for other new things, such as decor choices, room themes, and the general flow around the house. Taking so much of the old with us ends up forcing us to try putting square pegs in round holes, keeping us attached to what contributed to us wanting to find something new. 


Peace of mind starts with clearing the clutter

Decluttering doesn’t necessarily mean getting rid of more items. It can be about finding new places for our stuff. However, it can make moving to your new home a little easier.

Empty Your Nest is all about “clearing the clutter,” and helping families prepare a home for its sale, and eventually, moving. Unfortunately, as the company states, “You don’t realize how much stuff has accumulated until you have a lifestyle change or have to move.” This is why we often work with them and other home staging professionals to ensure a smooth transition from being lived-in to being market-ready.

Along the road to decluttering, you’ll no doubt be making more of those all-important detachment decisions, but the good news is that you can always find a nice storage bench, a few square feet in a closet, or an above-eyeline shelf as a new home for something.    


Even your stuff can use a new home

Finding a new home often means finding new homes for the things not packed into boxes. And that means selling, donating, or trashing it as a last resort. 

Empty Your Nest assists clients with selling items that may not be making it into the moving truck, as do a number of popular websites and apps, such as Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, OfferUp and Mercari, among others. 

Keep in mind that selling stuff can be a pain, especially when people want to negotiate. Your best move is  to take the first reasonable offer, unless you know for sure something is worth it. Or, let others do it for you. 

When it comes to donating, don’t assume your local non-profit thrift is simply a place for junk. Most of them want actually usable, clean, and maintained items. There are also a number of local consignment shops you can use, too, such as Fitting Room Gala and Home Again Design

Anything you’re not donating can end up in the landfill or an appropriate recycling center. 

We’d love to hear about your goals for the year and how we can help. As always, if you have questions about the market, buying or selling please contact us. We’d be happy to consult with you confidentially. You can email Allison at [email protected] to arrange a time to talk.


The Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group is a top producing real estate team based at Compass in Short Hills, NJ. We are local market experts, specializing in real estate and homes in Maplewood, South Orange, Millburn/Short Hills, Montclair, West Orange, NJ and the surrounding towns. We are driven by earning great testimonials and referral business from happy clients. You can read our testimonials here.