This is podcast 107 and it’s about getting ready to move. I occasionally help people pare down their possessions for a move. In these cases, it’s a corporate move and the company pays for this service. What a great idea! The company saves a bit on moving costs for their employee, and the employee gets to do what almost everyone wants to do before a move, but doesn’t get around to; go through all their stuff and get rid of things.
Has that happened to you? People have the best intentions. They schedule their move three months in advance. They’ve put their house on the market and may even have bought a new house. They’ve scoped out school and shopping in the new neighborhood.
It’s when they ask for moving company quotations that the enormity of moving starts to sink in. Some movers provide an inventory form to fill out. Inventory means a list of all your stuff. Yes, all of it! Unless you want it left behind. So moving is a big reality check on how much stuff you truly have.
You can’t start too early on paring down. It gonna take awhile. As my listeners know, I recommend attacking big projects like this over time, in small increments, so you don’t get overwhelmed and exhausted.
I advise creating a vision of what you want before you start any organizing project. This is how my free email courses starts out. You can find the e-course on my website in the free stuff section. You can do this kind of visioning for a move too.
Think about how you want to live in your new home. Even if the new place is bigger, resist the temptation just to take it all. If clutter is an issue for you, don’t just transplant it. If you don’t want stacks of magazines and newspapers on the living room floor of your new place, first, don’t take the ones you have now and second, don’t transfer those subscriptions. If you want to have a manageable closet full of clothes you love to wear, select those now and get rid of the rest instead of filling up the future guest room closet with them.
You may feel too busy to tackle this now, but chances are excellent that you won’t have any more time to do it after you move. Once you arrive, you’re going to want to unpack and put things away as quickly as possible to resume normal life. Living in a halfway unpacked home is draining and irritating.
Where do you start to find all those things you shouldn’t move? Here are some ideas: boxes you never opened from the previous move, clothes you don’t wear, outdated electronics, toys your kids don’t play with anymore, anything that’s broken and not worth repairing, and anything that will look old or shabby in your new place.
I mentioned before starting way in advance. There are categories of things that you can get packed up long before you actually move, if you’re doing your own packing. This includes books, off season clothes, holiday gear, archive files, memorabilia, photos, off season sports equipment, some craft supplies, and serving ware for entertaining.
Then there’s the category of things you’ve been keeping around because they might come in handy sometime. Ask yourself if they actually have come in handy since you acquired them and, if so, whether it was worth reserving an entire shelf for them. If you come across some of these items that would’ve come in handy if you’d been able to find them when you needed them, well, they have to go. They haven’t been helpful so far and they probably won’t be in the future.
Get yourself some moving boxes and pack those categories, making sure that you need and love all the things you’re packing. Imagine yourself being happy to see them again on the other end of the move. If you don’t, don’t take them. Have some boxes and bags on hand for donations and give aways. Have some trash bags for broken or otherwise undonateable items. And of course if you find some things you can sell, that’s extra money for you. Then go through your home closet by closet, shelf by shelf, at the pace that works for you.
Don’t let this golden opportunity get away! Moving time is the ideal time to review all your possessions and weed out the ones that don’t have a place in your life anymore, particularly in your shiny new home. It’s impractical for most people to do this comprehensive review unless they’re moving. Use this chance to start anew.
What you can do now: start making a mental list of all the things you want to implement in your new home: less clutter, better storage organization, easier to manage housework, more ease with meal prep. As you go through your stuff, judge it with an eye to that new vision.