Moving is the perfect time to pare down your belongings, but we need to resist the urge to dump everything in boxes and deal with it later. Initially, this “dump and deal” process may seem quick and easy but decluttering beforehand will result in fewer things to move and unpack. When you simplify in advance, your new home will be organized and tidy.
Most of us are open to change during a move, enabling us to more willingly let go of items we have been holding onto but have no reason to keep. During a move, you HAVE to go through every closet, drawer and cabinet in your home. Marie Kondo, author of the #1 New York Times best–selling, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, offers some revolutionary decluttering guidelines that can be applied successfully during a move (as well as anytime you find those closet doors and cabinet drawers overflowing). So, roll up your sleeves, put on your ‘sorting hat’ and get set to simplify.
Categorize VS Room-by-Room
It’s safe to say most of us employ the room-by-room method when we need to pack up or pare down our things. A better approach is to think of your things in terms of categories. For example, if you’re going through linens, gather ALL of your sheets, towels and the like in one place rather than dealing with this ‘category’ multiple times as you go through each of your bathrooms and closets.
After gathering all of a ‘category’ of items in one place, make a point to touch each and every item. Hold it up and make a conscious decision on whether or not you want to pack and unpack it. Do you NEED it or do you have other, similar items that you’ve already chosen to keep? For things that are not necessities, such as knickknacks, books, artwork and clothing, ask yourself, “Does this make me happy?” “Have I used this in the past year?” “Do I truly appreciate this?”
As you go through this process, focus on what you are keeping rather than what you’re discarding. For items you’ve chosen to keep, pack them immediately in a properly labelled box (i.e. kitchen, bathroom, etc.) to allow for easier unpacking. For items you are discarding, have both a trash pile and a donation pile at hand. Remember, donations can be used as a tax write off. You can also make some quick cash by selling furniture, gardening items, sports equipment and the like on craigslist.
Marathon VS A Sprint
By dedicating a significant block of time to thoughtfully going through your things, considering what to keep and what to discard, you are much more inclined to maintain this simplification mind-set. Mini bouts of cleaning and tidying never really get to the root of the accumulation issue while a marathon clearing out session makes great strides toward decluttering. It also helps instill an on-going mindfulness about what to keep versus ‘let go’, as we will always have the opportunity to accumulate more things. And, it sure makes unpacking a breeze, allowing us to move into our new, simplified space more easily knowing that each item we’ve chosen to keep is necessary or brings us joy.