3 Practical Tips to Declutter Before a Move

Moving can be stressful and expensive as it is, but there are some opportunities to be had that can save you money and maybe a bit of your sanity too – opportunities to clear out the old!

Whether you’re packing yourself or hiring a moving company to pack, an upcoming move is a great reason to declutter and get rid of things you no longer use. Having less things to move will also save you money and time in boxes, bubblewrap, tape, storage and muscle. You can even have a garage sale, gift or donate your things to charity.

Start early, as early as a year in advance, so you don’t feel like you are scrambling last minute. Here are 3 practical tips to get you started!

  1. Be honest with yourself and enlist friends.

You’ve lived with these items for a while, maybe even decades, so letting go can be hard. But are you really going to use that broken ceramic pig-shaped kettle ever? Do you need 5 pairs of sequined bell bottoms? Having a good talking with yourself and enlisting friends who can speak truth are good ways to help make decisions. It might even be fun and freeing. Being honest with yourself also means knowing how much you can realistically handle and scheduling things so that it’s doable for everyone involved.

KEY: Keep it real. Keep it fun.

 Go room by room.

Going room by room, put three bags or boxes, labeled “Toss” “Donate” “Maybe.” You may even want to add another one labeled “Sell,” but if you don’t think you will actually do so, just put those items into “Donate.” When it comes time to “maybe,” move that too elsewhere. Chances are, by the time you get through your home, your “maybe” boxes will feel more like “toss” or “donate” boxes.

KEY: As soon as a box is full, get it out of the house and gone.

  1. Set a short time goal.

Block out time, put on some music, set a timer, get at it. Even if you are a little slower than you used to be, having a set amount of time means that there’s an end point and will help you get things done. Having a set time will also help you make decisions faster and easier. Alternatively you can go through a room over a week or weekend, commit to putting X number of items into the boxes every day, or any variation!

KEY: Do not linger on an item(s). If you find yourself doing so, put it in “Maybe” and walk away.

So there you have it, 3 ways to get you started on decluttering before your next move. Keep it real. Keep it fun. Keep the boxes moving and keep yourself moving onwards! Hope these are helpful. Stay tuned for more moving tips in the future.


A Family Move

Dear Ladd Moving,

My name is Mrs. Drake, and I am writing to express my gratitude for how easy the Ladd Moving Team made my family’s recent move. We were expecting the ease of a moving service, but your team was helpful, hardworking and they had a great attitude!

I initially hired Ladd Moving because my family owns a piano, and we had seen many excellent reviews mentioning moving large instruments. While the piano definitely (literally) weighed on our decision, we also wanted to hire a reliable, trustworthy moving service, and we preferred a local, family-owned business. My husband found Ladd Moving after some intuitive googling, and I am so glad he did! I spoke briefly to someone on the phone, and setting up the appointment was a breeze.

The team arrived on time, and ready to go! Everyone was very nice and accommodating – my small children were running around them while they were trying to help me pack, but everyone was all smiles!  As a family of five, we had quite a bit of furniture and boxes to pack and move. I was worried that our larger items (a large sectional, a piano, and a California king mattress/boxspring) would be difficult to transport, but the moving team made it look simple, and all of our items arrived at our new home in perfect condition. The team was also helpful enough to place our items into the correct rooms at our new house, so that we didn’t have to do much besides rearrange, assemble a few things, and unpack – the easiest move ever!

Thank you to the Ladd Moving Team for making our family’s recent move the smoothest ever, even with three small children! Your patience and hard work did not go unnoticed – We will not hesitate to recommend you to our friends, or to hire you again in the future.

Thank you for having such an awesome team!

The Drake Family


Ladd Moving College Student move

Ladd Moving is a family owned moving company located in Durham, North Carolina. Durham is home to Duke University. The surrounding Chapel Hill and Raleigh Areas are home to the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University. Ladd Moving has been the only moving company hired by the Duke University Music Department to move their large instruments and pianos for a number of years. However, Ladd Moving has also been hired to help college students with their moves as well. Though we are located in Durham and we know the area surrounding Duke University best, we have assisted with student moves at other campuses.

We recently completed a move for the Sawyer family into a house in downtown Durham. The patriarch of the family is a long time customer of Ladd Moving. Jon hired Ladd Moving in 2009 when he was in his senior year at UNC. He needed help moving his piano and other belongings to a house in Raleigh, where he would be attending graduate school at NC State. This is only about 35 miles, but it’s mostly highways, and he was worried his piano would get somehow harmed in the process of loading, unloading, or transport. He explained that the upright piano was a Steinway, and it had been a gift from his grandmother. Ladd Moving sent our most experienced piano movers, and we used our special techniques to meticulously move the instrument and the rest of his belongings.

When Jon was moving again a few years later, he didn’t hesitate to call Ladd Moving to help with his move. In 2013, we moved the same piano to Durham. This time, we incorrectly assumed that this was the last time we would be moving Jon and his awesome piano! Jon recommended us to a number of his friends throughout the triangle area, and he even called us once to help him move the instrument to a different room. When we heard that Jon and his family would need help moving into a larger house in August, we were thrilled to once again help Jon during the stressful process of packing and moving.

Ladd Moving strives to provide reliable, trustworthy moving services to all of our customers throughout the Triangle area. We understand that moving can be stressful, especially for a student or family transitioning into their first home. With over 100 years of experience with projects of all types, Ladd Moving can help you with your move. Call us today at (919) 596-2469.


A little history of Ladd Moving

Since the early 1880s, our family has owned and operated ‘J.E. Ladd & Son Transfer’. During this time, five generations of the Ladd family have ran the daily business operations, and the business has been passed down from one generation to the next. Our reputation as an excellent moving service proceeds us, though we want you to understand that we didn’t gain this reputation overnight – we built our family business over many years and many projects, and we pride ourselves on the hard work that got us where we are today. We previously wrote about our specialization of moving pianos and large instruments, though ’J.E. Ladd & Son Transfer’ brings a high level of experience to help with any move.

‘J. E. Ladd & Son Transfer’ is known as one of the longest continuously operated family businesses in the Triangle Area. As a primarily family owned and operated business, there has been no noticeable change in our standard of providing excellent moving services since opening our doors. Our founder, J. E. Ladd, set this high standard when he started picking up new residents at the train station with a horse and wagon in 1882. Our family has worked to adapt our founder’s high standard of providing quality professional moving services to today’s world. As a continuously operating family business passed down amongst generations, the older generations have also been able to share their knowledge with the younger generations. Moving is truly a family business for us.

‘J. E. Ladd & Son Transfer’ is the professional moving service for any project. We have a history for moving generations of Triangle Area residents. A previous blog post mentions pianos, because they are a difficult to move object for a number of reasons. Though we are frequently hired to move these items because they are large, this also speaks to our ability to handle delicate items, and antiques. Over the years, our family has moved countless fragile items, family heirlooms, and antiques. We handle these projects with special care. J. E. Ladd & Son Transfer’ cares about providing excellent professional moving services, so call us at (919) 596-2469 for help with any move.


A long overdue post about Ladd Moving and our love for pianos.

At Ladd Moving, we consider ourselves to be piano and large instrument moving experts. We know how to keep your instrument safe during a move, whether it’s to a new room in your house or to a new city. Because we have been in the moving business for years, we know that any move with a piano or other large instrument can be both a cumbersome and delicate project.

Most pianos can produce large range of sound, and because of all of the internal moving complexities, any minor bump can cause a change in these sounds. Most instruments have to be tuned following a move – while we cannot guarantee that your piano won’t have to be tuned, we can guarantee that we will minimize the stress your instrument will endure during this process. Ladd Moving utilizes special equipment and strategies to minimize the disruption a piano may endure during a typical move. Of course, our special moving process can still prove to be very difficult – especially considering the weight of a typical piano or other large instrument.

Luckily, the size of these projects doesn’t phase us, as we have generations of experience moving instruments of all sizes – including upright, concert, and concert grand pianos! In fact, we have been Duke University’s chosen piano and musical instrument movers for generations! While Ladd Moving is qualified for any moving projects, we consider ourselves to be especially qualified for piano and large instrument moving.


Our Senior Employee on Our New Truck

Edna Earle (Ladd) Burrage was raised by the founder of our company and her grandfather, J.E. Ladd Sr.  In the photo, the top two quilts on the stack of furniture pads to her left were handmade by her grandmother Fannie Ladd.  When Edna Earle was just a young girl she would play under the large quilting frame while up to ten friends and neighbors stitched away at the “quilting party” as she described it.  Tonight she pointed to patches in the quilts “I remember having a dress made out of that material.”  At 88 years, Edna Earle (and the quilts) are still going strong!  In fact, we are considering bringing Edna Earle out of retirement to move furniture for us.  I told her to report to work in the morning at 9am.  “I’ll be there…with muscles!”




Tales of Great Granddaddy Ladd

Customers still tell me about watching my great grandfather strap a refrigerator onto his back and carry it up a flight of stairs.  One day I might give it a try. For now, three 27 gallon totes are enough for me!




Moving a Rare Treasure

According to the customer, this antique etched glass table is only one of two in the world.  The other one was owned by Wallis Simpson, Dutchess of Windsor, the American Socialite who King Edward VIII (Prince Edward) abdicated his throne in order to marry in  1916.  The glass itself was beautiful, like looking into a golden cloud.




Ladd Transfer Rolls Out The Vote!

As we have for generations, Ladd is in the process of moving the voting booths out to the precincts for the Durham County Board of Elections.  Rodney and Tony are shown ushering the equipment into St. Stephens Episcopal Churh in the Hope Valley neighborhood.  You can reward them for their efforts by taking the time to go out and vote on May 6th!



Ms. Paley and the History of the Mason & Hamlin Grand Piano

Here is a delightful story from one of our customers whose piano we moved. There are also pictures of 3 very handsome movers and a beautiful Mason & Hamlin grand piano!