Moving cross country is a huge undertaking. There’s so much to do, so much to plan. Then there’s the number one dreaded feat: packing. If you’re already dreading packing, downsizing is a great idea. Downsizing will help you get rid of things you don’t need, create fewer items to pack, fewer items to lug cross country, and fewer items to unpack. But down-scaling is also a huge chore. If you’re not sure where to start, consider these tips:
Allow yourself ample time. The endeavor of de-cluttering and downsizing usually takes longer than you would expect. Make sure you plan ahead by cataloging your existing items, especially the big ones. Then, decide their use. If they’re not useful or necessary, get rid of them. Is that huge sectional really necessary when there are only two of you? Does having ten dining room chairs really serve a purpose?
Think of this as an opportunity to start over. Moving can be an emotional time. Try not to be sad. Instead, try to think of this as a fresh start and an opportunity to create new memories.
Determine your possession’s value. This value doesn’t necessarily mean monetary. Go through your things. If you find things you haven’t seen in a while, it’s probably best to get rid of them. If you didn’t remember they were there in the first place, they’re not that important. Keep heirlooms, anything evoking family/good memories. For more information on general downsizing, check out this article at the New York Times.
Take it step by step. Tackle the enormous undertaking room by room. Try making yourself four different piles or areas. Go through your things one-by-one. Decide which pile they belong in: trash, donate, keep, or sell. Ask yourself, “Do I absolutely love it”? If the answer is no, consider getting rid of it.
You only need so many of the same item. We all like having multiples of things, especially the things we like. Over time, we acquire more and more of the same kinds of things. Do you really need that many? Yes, of course you will need towels at your new house, but do you need 50 of them? Start getting rid of the multiples.
Call in reinforcements. There are actually companies who do this for a living. Consider hiring one to come in and help you sort through your things. If money is an issue, try asking an organized, disciplined friend. Because we all have emotional attachments to our things, sometimes having an outside perspective is helpful in deciding what to keep and what not to keep. Read this article at Huffington Post for more great advice.