So you are moving...that means you have to pack. One of the worst 4 letter words of the English language if you ask me! Don't get me wrong, putting stuff neatly into boxes isn't that hard of a task at all. In fact, I like to organize things in general. The thing that makes packing so distasteful to me is the sorting of the "stuff".
Now, there have been moves where I lived in a place for barely a year. In those types of moves you don't accumulate too much. The one with the most "stuff" was the BIG move. The one from the only home in my life I lived for 17 years. Accumulation was paramount. Here are a few tips that helped me to sort through all that STUFF:
Where Do I Start? - That is a big question. Sometimes we tend to do a little here or there, but for me, what worked the best was to go ROOM TO ROOM. It helped keep me focused on the task at hand and not to focus on how big the entirety of the task was. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! So as you begin to sort through your life...keep it one room at a time.
Do I Need Help? - Yes you do! When you are talking about a move after years in one place, you are super attached. You don't see things objectively. You have saved this or that for a "rainy day" and even though it's been sunny for the last 10 years, you may struggle with parting with that thing! This is a great time to have a friend or family member come over and help. My daughters were such a blessing for this. They told me when to let go of stuff and what to keep. Usually I listened, but when I really fought for something, that showed me what was really important to me. When I got overwhelmed and just felt like crying, they kept me going. When I wanted to quit, they said, "One more thing, Mom, then you can quit". It actually made an extremely difficult task kind of fun. We laughed and remembered things together...cried together. I will forever remember those days and how much they helped.
Now What Do I Do? - Okay. So you have sorted. You have packed the things that are going with you (except for last minute essentials) and you have (possibly) piles of stuff to deal with that is not making the move. What do you do with all that? Well, the first thing I did was see if any family or friends might want some of it. (This was mostly a resounding NO...). After that, then whatever was in really good shape was donated. Then, the most wonderful thing of all was for the rest. A dumpster. I can't tell you how liberating that piece of equipment was for me. It did cost a bit more to have a large dumpster for a few days, but my oh my it was worth it! At first, the thought of pitching some things was upsetting. But, then it was amazing! So many things that I had just kept because it was a pain to haul off. OR other things that I thought "someone might want someday" only to find out they didn't. Once the ball was rolling (into the dumpster) the momentum kept going! My girls emptied a huge garage of junk in about 2 and a half hours. After that, it felt like anything was possible! I got rid of so much junk and never looked back! At that moment I decided I wouldn't wait 17 years to get rid of stuff again. This huge cloud over me was lifted! It felt WONDERFUL! So, i highly recommend this for your BIG move too.
So those are my helpful tips on sorting through the stuff. They aren't any big impact ideas; just what helped me during the hardest move I have had to make--so far anyway!
Next week I'll have some more nuggets about moving to share I am sure!
--Jen Lush, Realtor Assistant and Mother of a Realtor