How to Simplify Your Home During a Move: Questions to Ask Yourself
**This information is also useful for those who just want to go through their home and get a handle on all their "stuff!"**
So the big move is coming up and you are thinking 'how in the world am I going to get everything organized in time and make this move as easy as possible?'....Well, here are some practical, well tested (yeah, like 15+ times in a handful of years) tips that really helped us when we were moving every few months!!
The biggest mistake I see people doing is NOT going through their stuff BEFORE they move, thinking they will do it AFTER, when they are unpacking. No, no, no!! Do NOT do this!! First, it makes for so much more stuff to pack and load and unload...don't create more work for yourself. Also, if you wait til after you move, then you'll end up with a basement, garage, storage, or all of the above, full of boxes filled with stuff you really don't care about, giving you no motivation to go through them. I know people who have moved YEARS ago and they still have unpacked boxes...um, a tiny tip...if you haven't used it, missed it, or looked for it in years, you don't need it! Get it out BEFORE you move! You'll feel so much better...trust me :)
First of all, take it room by room...don't get overwhelmed by looking at the whole house at one time. If you have some time before your move (a luxury I never had as we usually got the call on a Thursday and had to be there by the following Monday), then you can start packing up the things that you know for sure you won't need before you move. Seasonal items and clothing, extra bedding and towels...those are a couple examples of things you can focus on right away. If you don't have a lot of time, then just start in one corner or closet of the room and work your way through.
Moving gives you a chance to actually touch every.single.thing. in your home. (esp if you are like me and had to do most of the packing alone because your hubby was working and your friends and family lived far away!...and then sometimes you get to touch it all a second time because you have 2, 3, 4, or 5 little rascals trying to un-do everything you are working so hard for...but we won't talk about that ;) Moving is great though because it's almost like a forced cleaning and organizing time, so really try to take advantage of this and think of it as a good thing!!
Here are some things you need to consider while you are deciding what to pack and what to get rid of...
1) Is it useful?
2) If the answer to the above question is yes, then ask yourself 'Do I actually use it??'
3) If the answer to the above question is still yes, then ask 'How often'? If it's within the last 2-3 months, then you can consider keeping it, as long as you'll use it again within 2-3 months. If it's been longer than that since you've used it, be honest with yourself, it's probably time to pass it on.
4) Why do I want to keep it? Does it bring back a memory or have a special person attached with it? Why not take a picture of the item and put it in a special album...then you'll have a whole album full of memories to look at, instead of clutter taking up space in your home.
5) Is it beautiful? Does it bring me joy? If your house got blown away tomorrow, would you think of that item and feel sad you'll never see it again...or would you not even remember you had it?
6) Do I own more than one of these? If the answer is yes, chances are you don't need 2.
7) How do others in my household view this item? Do you have something that you're keeping around that your spouse thinks is so ugly, annoying, or causes arguments?...maybe it's time to part with it.
8) If it were someone else's, would you advise them to keep it. Sometimes looking at it from a different perspective helps to see that it's not worth keeping.
9) And last and most important...IF YOU HESITATE...GET IT OUT! (you know what I'm talking about...the little devil on one shoulder and angel on the other....'It really doesn't fit you...but it might!...It's kind of ugly...but so-and-so said I looked good in it!...it has a stain on it...but it's so comfy!'. None of this...if you hesitate and the little angel and devil appear....IT GOES!
Have A Sale...or Not?
If you have time, gather up all the stuff you've decided to part with (yay!) and have a garage sale! To save even more time, group things by tables and make each table a price (ie: 50 cents for all clothes, etc) so you don't have to mark each item. Or you could just make it a "make an offer" sale.
But if you don't have time for a sale, DO NOT make that an excuse to keep your stuff! The few hundred dollars you might make at the sale is not worth all the hassle of packing it, moving it, and storing it. Be a blessing to someone and pass it along. You won't regret it!
Hopefully these questions to ask yourself will be helpful to you during your next purge...or move..or both :)