Do some serious decluttering before you move. Sell, donate, or give away as much as you can. Make some fast cash selling your old stuff, save money by not paying to move things you don’t need and rarely if ever use, and maybe even feel a giddy sense of freedom when you realize how much less there is to keep organized in your new home. Win, win, win.
True, we might be arguing ourselves out of some business, but we’ve seen too many people just plain feel better after purging from their lives all the stuff that’s merely gathering dust — they seem lighter, more free, less burdened, and really, really happy about what they’ve done. So tell your adult kids they have two weeks to clear their boxes of old school drawings and sports equipment from the attic. Donate all those books you meant to read but never did. Sell or give away all those clothes that don’t quite fit anymore, those tools you never use, the treadmill you never find the time to run on. We promise you won’t regret it.
Some quick tips for how to get started with your downsizing project:
- Start early, start early, start early. It takes time and energy to recognize the emotions and attachments you have to stuff you’ll probably never use, and then let go. The more time you have, the less stressed you’ll feel and the more progress you’ll make.
- Go room by room, starting with your storage space, if you have one, and then moving on to the rooms you use the least. Chances are, these spaces will contain the largest amount of stuff you’ll feel better off without.
- Start with the largest items in each room and move step-wise down to the nitty gritty of books and files and trinkets. That way you’ll feel like you’re making good progress at the start which will help keep you motivated.
- Have a sorting system, either with sticky notes, labels, or detailed lists. (There are some great home inventory applications available for your smart phone or tablet.)
- Work in scheduled blocks of time, preferably no more than two hours a session.
The rest of our advice on the following pages is about the nuts and bolts of packing up and preparing for the big day. As always, please don’t hesitate to call or email with any questions!