We’ve moved around a lot in our lives together, not because we’ve had to, but because we love it. We love the feeling of exploring a new city on foot, meeting new people, finding new favorite hikes, and discovering what makes each place special. Yesterday, after a new friend discovered how often we had relocated, he asked us for our number one piece of moving advice. The answer came to us immediately – pare down your belongings. However, we recognize that what feels wonderful to us, can feel very overwhelming to others. So we have compiled a list of 5 ways you can pare down before a big move.
1. Take Inventory and confront your stuff
Start by taking a good hard look at everything you own. Most of us underestimate just how much stuff is in our house and there is nothing like packing to help you discover it. If you wait until the last minute that discovery can add loads of stress to what can already be a challenging situation. Those heaping junk drawers, lower kitchen cabinets stuffed with outdated gadgets, and catch-all clothing drawers hold more items than you think – like boxes and boxes of stuff you’ll have to pack. Unless that is, you pare down.
A few months before your move, go through your entire house and clean out every closet, drawer, and storage bin. Do this one room at a time, and make a realistic goal of completing each room within a designated time frame. Pull everything out so you can truly see how much you own. We challenge you to see how overwhelming it can feel to have to deal with all that stuff. Then, instead of getting upset or frustrated, take a few minutes to sit in gratitude. Remember how you felt when you first acquired these items, think back to the use or joy you’ve received from them, then thank each item so you can move on to the next step.
2. Go through each item one by one
Create a designated keep pile and a designated release pile. Go through each item one by one and touch it, hold it in your hands, and decide if the item is truly necessary for your life. Here are a few questions to consider. Do you use it consistently? Do you cherish it? Does it make you feel good when you wear it? Is it in good condition? Do you want to bring it into your new home? If you can’t answer yes to one of these questions then it’s time to release it. If the item is still in good condition this could be a great opportunity to give it to someone that could use it and cherish it or donate the items to an organization that could raise money for a good cause by selling your items. You can also consider selling quality items to cover some of your moving expenses.
3. Clean up
Now that you’ve removed everything from your drawers, cabinets, and closets, clean everything so that your cherished “for keeps” items have a clean space to call home. Kitchen cabinets and bathroom drawers are notorious for attracting dirt and spills and will need to be scrubbed down before you put anything back. It’s a huge bonus that when you move out of your house, you will be way ahead of schedule on your thorough cleaning before your departure. And if you happen to be selling your home, your new found lack of clutter and organization will go a long way in how well the house shows to prospective buyers.
Tip: A great way to organize drawers is to use small boxes to keep things separated and in order. If there are any items in your keep pile that you will not need before your move, go ahead and pack and label them in a moving box.
Take some time to enjoy how great it feels to have a clean well-organized home. How great does it feel knowing that you can account for each item in your home and that you only own what you cherish? Notice how it frees up time in your day and headspace now that you aren’t stressing over your cluttered and hard to live in space.
5. Stay the course
Just like losing weight or changing your diet, when it comes to paring down, maintenance is everything! Start by taking an honest look at the habits that encouraged you to have an excess of items in the first place. Do you tend to purchase items you don’t need because of sales or impulse buys? Does purchasing things give you a sense of instant gratification or a feel-good jolt on a bad day? Next time you go to purchase an item remember what it felt like to look at those heaping piles of items you pulled out of each drawer and cabinet. Did it feel good to own all those items, or stressful and a bit gluttonous? Do you really need what you are about to purchase? Are you willing to get rid of something you already own so there is a home for this new item in your newly organized space? If you are only going to use the item once consider if it’s possible to rent it or borrow it from a friend.
When you make your exciting move you will have the peace of mind knowing that you are only bringing into the new space items you that you love and use. Setting you and your family up for success, happiness, and more time together.
Shane and Denise Faddis
Please let me know if I can answer any questions, or assist you with buying or selling property here in Central Oregon.
Shane Faddis - Real Estate Broker licensed in the State of Oregon
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate
Cell: 541-848-0182 (call or text)