Moving is not something that most people look forward to. You may get excited at the thought of leaving your old place or venturing somewhere new but the actual process of boxing up things, moving them and then unboxing them is no fun. Today I'm going to share my tips to help you have an easier, more minimalist move.
1. Start decluttering early
It's human nature to accumulate stuff and it likes to hide in all sorts of nooks and crannies. I'm a huge fan of the Konmari method but make a decluttering plan and get started. I started two months out and even that wasn't enough time to get through everything in my small place. If you've got a larger home or you've been living there a long time, you'll need more time. Just think, anything you get rid of now is on less thing to pack and unpack later.
2. Have a plan for selling things
One of the stumbling blocks of decluttering is the desire to sell things and recoup some of your investment. Be realistic about what you want to sell. Have a plan of where you are going to sell it and how. There are so many options-yard sale, Craigslist, Facebook swap and sell groups, ebay-so you need to have a plan.
You will also need an exit plan. What will you do if you don't sell it? Give yourself a hard date and schedule a trip to the thrift store to drop off everything that doesn't sell.
3. Rethink the traditional packing rules
Packing tends to start months before the move. People tell you to pack up the things you won't use for the next few months first. While there are things that you need to keep that you won't need right away-off season clothes come to mind-but take a good hard look at those things you won't be using in the next few months. Do you really need them?
These are usually the things that we keep for our fantasy selves or just incase. When was the last time you threw a dinner party that needed fine china for 12? Is there exercise equipment gathering dust in the corner? Piles of half finished craft projects tucked away in closets? Maybe now is the time to let go.
4. Never pass up the opportunity to let go
Don't let an opportunity pass you by to let something go. It's easy to just get so focused on packing that you stop looking at what you are packing and just throw things in boxes. Open folders, look in bins, empty drawers and really look at what's in there. You may not have time to ponder the difficult things but let go of the easy things. They are there and don't need to come with you to your new place.
5. When it gets down to the wire, minimize stress
Starting early and having a plan are all well and good... until the day you wake up and realize that your move date is fast approaching and you start feeling like you don't have enough time to get everything finished. Don't panic! Instead give yourself permission to let go of perfectionism.
If you don't finish decluttering, it's ok. Focus on all of the progress that you did make. The donation boxes can always come back out while you unpack. If you need to cancel last minute to social events, it's ok. People will understand. If you need help, ask for it. If you need a break, get out of the house and away from the boxes and take it. It's amazing what even a 15 minute walk in the park can do for your stress level.
6. Still need to declutter post-move? Try your own version of the Minimalist's packing party.
Ryan Nicodemus of the Minimalists decided to fake a move to start his minimalist journey. He (and some friends) packed up all of his belongings and then he only unpacked what he needed over the next three weeks. At the end of those weeks, most of his belongings were still boxed up and he couldn't even remember what was in most of the boxes. So out the door they went.
Bonus for you, your stuff is already packed! Try unpacking just the things you need and see what's left in a few weeks. You may find that, like Ryan, you don't need or remember most of what you packed in the first place!