Minimalist Moving: Decluttering for a Lighter Load and New Home
This blog post was contributed by Courtni Wisenbaker-Scheel
Between reading through contracts and learning inspection results, moving into a new home can be a harrowing time in anyone’s life, regardless of whether it’s your first time or your twelfth. Without fail, it always feels like your things seem to quadruple in the weeks leading up to the big day—especially once you start the tumultuous task of packing up all your belongings into cardboard boxes. Instead of tensing, start tossing and declutter your way into a smooth, effortless move!
In the past few years, the minimalist lifestyle has become a worldwide phenomenon in home improvement, with throngs of people eagerly hopping onto the bandwagon. Whether you want to drastically scale down your possessions or simply make your new home as clutter-free as possible, these tips will help you eliminate the excess and move into your new home with a much lighter load.
Time, Time, Time
The process of buying a home didn’t happen overnight, and neither will decluttering. Ideally, you should start this process at least three months out from your goal moving day, but don’t fret if you don’t have that kind of time. Make a schedule of what you hope to accomplish each day—whether it’s focusing on each room individually or on a specific grouping of things like clothes or knickknacks—and stick with it. Be realistic with your time allocation. It’s easy to get pulled into
spending hours sorting through nostalgic items, so make sure that you provide for that in your timetable.
Since you were already in planning gear, keep it going and start devising your new home’s layout. Use graph paper to create a floorplan for each room, as well as each piece of furniture you wish to include. Once you have a good idea of exactly how much storage space you’ll actually have in each area, use painter’s tape to mark the dimensions of each piece. Then, when you’re going through the things you wish to include, you’ll know exactly what will fit and how much you will need to eliminate.
Monitor Your Emotions
It’s easy to get sentimental once you start handling certain items. However, if you haven’t worn a pair of shoes in five years, it’s okay to get rid of them—even if they walked you through your first date with your partner. On the other hand, there are going to be items that simply strike a chord with you, even if you don’t use them regularly. Be willing to listen to both your heart and your head, giving each equal weight while decluttering.
Don’t forget the kids in this process, too. Give each of them a box to fill with those goodies that mean the most to them. Whether it’s a rock collection or artwork they made at camp, it’s likely
that they are going to utilize every millimeter of box space they are given, so choose their box size thoughtfully.
Make Some Cash
Thanks to the internet, it’s incredibly easy to get just about anything sold quickly nowadays. If you have an item that you know will be more difficult to find a buyer for, or if you are hoping to cull more expensive items like jewelry or certain electronics, bear in mind that it can take longer to get those items sold. Focus on sorting through those items first so that you can give each listing the time it needs.
A good, old-fashioned garage sale is always a great way to offload a lot of smaller items that would be challenging to sell online in a relatively short period of time. Most likely not everything will find a new home, but a large chunk probably will—and your wallet will be a little fuller come moving day.
Packing and Moving
Without spending too much time on it, be willing to give each thing a quick second thought before you box it up. It never fails that once the actual packing starts, some of the things you thought you couldn’t live without will manage to make it into the donation pile. Do your best to have all donatable items already out of the house by moving day so that nothing accidentally ends up on the moving truck.
Decluttering can be a tough task to start for some. But once you get going, most people find that getting rid of those extra things becomes cathartic and even additive, especially during the craze of a big move. Help lighten your load on moving day and start minimizing your things today!
About the Writer
Courtni Wisenbaker-Scheel is a mother of two, and lover of all things Danish modern. She enjoys writing professionally for Modernize, with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big home projects with confidence.