Start With the Non-Essentials
First, determine those items to which you will not need access until after you move. Making a list will help, and it should include books, collectibles, seasonal decorations, outdoor furniture, hobby supplies, household decor, toys, games, and any other nonessential items.
Sort Your Stuff
For this step, set up two boxes and a big trash can. Write “packing” on the first box, and “donate” on the other.
Take a look at the things in front of you; then determine which of these things you absolutely cannot live without in your new home. Choose things that hold significance for you, that you love, and use almost daily.
This part will be difficult. We tend to store things to which we’ve attached a sentimental value, but this is a notion that should be challenged. Ask yourself this: If the item were truly something you loved, why wouldn’t it have been on display and/or in use in your current home every day? It is not a betrayal to remove clutter from your life, even if some of that clutter is an unused gift from a loved one. The person has probably forgotten about it if they haven’t seen it in ten years. And how often do you really dig through your attic to flip through your middle school yearbook?
Once you’ve separated your must-haves, take a look at the rest. Determine what is the best place for these – donations or trash – and put them in the corresponding container.
Organize as you Pack
Write the name of each room in large letters with a Sharpie, then circle it before you begin to fill each box. This will make it much simpler for the moving service to determine what goes where when you arrive at your destination. On one side of the box, make a general list of what’s inside (i.e., Kitchen, baking supplies, serving spoons).
Set aside a large space to stack boxes that are filled, and, once each box is completed, seal it and add it to the stack. This will keep your work space free of clutter.
Skip the Yard Sale
Skip the yard sale and the garage sale… Just donate your clutter and be done with it! Yard/garage sales are rarely worth the time and energy they take, and only cause more clutter as you continue to hold on to the things you already decided, in the first step, to toss. Craigslist electronics or other large items as “cash only, priced to sell” but, other than that, immediately donate the items with which you’ve decided you can part.
Include Your Child
If you have a child over the age of two, include them in the packing and minimizing. No, we’re not telling you to pack your child inside of a box (we are good citizens)! However, ask your children to choose ten toys (or whatever will fit inside a shoe box) to play with until you move, then pack the rest away. Once you get where you’re going, you will probably be surprised at how little your child is content to have in the way of toys. Making it a game will add to their enthusiasm.
Don’t Forget the Closets
Pack enough clothing for a two-week vacation. Then, as you go through the rest of your wardrobe, take a hard look at what’s left and be fearless about paring down. If you haven’t worn it or thought about wearing it in six months, then donate it.
Following these moving tips will set you on the path to a more clutter-free life, not to mention an easier move. And you will still be surrounded by the things that truly hold a place in your heart.
At Mid-Atlantic Moving & Storage we understand that every move is different. Whether you need a full-service Richmond moving company or just a helping hand, Mid-Atlantic Moving & Storage makes moving simple and stress free at a surprisingly affordable rate.