You’ve reached that point: the kids have all moved out, and it’s time for a change. You’re looking forward to a smaller space, and all the free time you’ll have now that you won’t have to clean such a large home. But how do you prioritize your belongings? We’ve compiled a few tips to help you as you prepare to eliminate the clutter and move forward with your life.
Start a Donate Pile Before You Begin Packing
How many times have you unpacked after a move to discover you don’t care about half the clothes you brought with you? Instead, try designating a bin or box for unwanted clothing and a corner for furniture and other household goods you don’t want to take with you. Then drop it all off in one trip before your move. You’ll appreciate not having to unpack the extra goods when move-in day arrives.
Use a One-Year Rule for Clothing
Ask yourself with every piece of clothing if it’s something you have worn in the last year. If you haven’t, put it in the donate pile. Unless it’s an expensively-tailored suit or dress, chances are you won’t miss it if you haven’t worn it for over a year. Give it some new life and drop it off to your favorite donation center or charity. Then start your new closet by hanging all your hangers in reverse. This will give you an obvious visual of what you do and don’t wear over the coming months.
Meal Plan to Use Up All Your Frozen Food Items
Worried about how much less freezer space you’ll have in your new home? Start fresh by meal planning out 2-3 weeks before you move. If you plan adequately, you can use up most (if not all) of the frozen fare you’ve been hoarding. It’ll be less waste (and less take-out!) when moving day arrives.
Designate One Box for Emotional Items
We all have personal items that touch a heartstring. Our emotional attachments to objects that relate to specific memories are what make downsizing difficult. One strategy for success is to just accept that there are a few things you won’t be willing to let go. Choose one large box or container and designate it your emotional box. Put aside anything you simply can’t imagine parting with and keep moving. As it fills up, you will automatically start thinking harder about what is and isn’t important to you. Then when your move is complete, go through it again. You might find you are willing to part with a little more a few weeks later, after you’ve had time to adjust.
There’s no sense in packing things that won’t fit. Measure your new house in detail, and then your furniture to make sure what you’re planning to take works in the new space. There’s nothing more stressful than being in the middle of your move and finding out your wardrobe won’t make it through a door frame or up the stairs.
Proper planning and consideration make all the difference when preparing for a move. We hope this list makes your transition into your new home a little smoother.