Tag Archives: Unpacking
Most of us have clutter lying around the house: trinkets we don’t remember how we obtained, broken or worn items we’re never going to use again, things we were gifted but never wanted, the list goes on.
Moving is a great catalyst for getting rid of things you don’t want or need. A new home is a blank slate. You can start anew with only items that benefit your life. Below are some tips for using moving as a catalyst for downsizing your possessions.
Decide What’s Important to You
The first step to downsizing is to analyze your viewpoint on possessions. What sort of items do you want in your life? Obviously, items you use on a daily basis will stay. These items make your life easier and contribute to your happiness and well-being. When it comes to décor and other items, think about whether you notice them often and if they make you smile. We all want a positive vibe in our living space, but too many trinkets can actually add stress to your life instead of bringing joy.
You’ll also want to think about what you want your new home to look and feel like. This means getting rid of items that are broken, damaged, or just don’t contribute to your space. As you pack, you’ll want to think about every item. Does it add functionality or positivity to your life? If not, strongly consider leaving it behind.
Purge Your Belongings
After you’ve decided your standards for keeping and getting rid of items, it’s time to start the purge. Here is a great article with tips for purging your belongings before a move.
As the article states, you’ll want to be very intentional in your organization. Designate piles and boxes for items you’re keeping, items you’re donating, and garbage. I suggest creating these groups in piles first, then packing your “keep” pile a few days later. This will give you a second chance to analyze whether each item truly positively contributes to your life.
You should get rid of:
Items you haven’t used in over 6 months
Items you’re only keeping to make someone else happy (gifts you never wanted)
Anything that is broken (if you haven’t fixed it yet, you probably never will
Clothes you haven’t worn in 6 months (with the exception of seasonal wear)
Keep the Momentum Going
Once you’ve moved, you have a chance to keep the momentum from your purge. You can do this in several ways. The first is to resist the urge to fill your new space with clutter. Keep your home organized and only buy things that you actually need.
The second trick is to pay attention to what items you’re using. My favorite trick for keeping the closet organized is to turn the hangers backwards when hanging all your clothes. Then, after you wear them, re-hang the item the opposite direction. In 3 months, you’ll be able to quickly see which clothes you haven’t worn. If they aren’t seasonal, there’s a strong case for donating them.
Sometimes it’s easy to get in a funk with clothing. You wear the same clothes over and over again because you like them. But then maybe a certain shirt gets really worn. You keep wearing it because you used to love it, but you no longer feel confident in it. Learn to purge clothes as soon as they don’t make you feel good. This includes shirts with un-removable stains, clothing with (un-fashionable) rips and tears, and jeans that no longer fit properly, resulting in the zipper constantly sliding down. Removing these items from your closet will result in a functional wardrobe full of clothes you truly enjoy wearing.
These are just a few ways that moving can help you be more intentional in how you view your belongings. Do you have any downsizing tips? Share in the comments!* Contributor Jeriann Watkins blogs at dairyairhead.com. As a crafter, she knows the challenge of wanting to keep items for their potential. You can see her organization tips and downsizing successes on her blog.
I recently received a question from an addSpace follower. I am certain that many of you also have a similar concern so I wanted to go into detail and provide practical steps to help you declutter your life. This is what she asked:
What questions can I ask myself as I sort through boxes of “stuff” in order to get rid of most of it?
For starters, if these boxes have been packed and loaded for a long period of time (over 3 months), before you open them you need to ask yourself – “what exactly is in there?”
If you don’t have a (more…)
by Maria Connor
The reason people go on vacation is to escape the demands and drudgery of everyday life. They scrimp and save all year in order to afford a tropical cruise, take the kids to visit Mickey Mouse at Disney World or travel to a foreign country they’ve dreamed about visiting.
People work hard for their break from reality. They go into work sick so their vacation time isn’t docked. They forego new clothes or dining out. With all that effort, it’s a shame that coming home can take the bloom off that vacation rose.
Have you been there? It’s close to midnight and the flight was late/delayed/overbooked. You have to be in to work by eight the next morning, the kids have school and there isn’t so much as a shriveled apple in the fridge. In the frantic rush to get back to your routine, the suitcases remain parked in the front hall for a week, and the kids begin recycling their socks. And you’re already behind on saving for the next vacation because you’ve spent $75 on carry-out this week.
Planning for your homecoming should be given as much consideration as your tour of Yosemite. With a bit of forethought and a little organization, you can remain relaxed, refreshed and reinvigorated.
Just one more day. Allow at least one day to transition from vacation mode to work mode, recommends Sharon Hayward, owner of The Organized Advantage in La Mesa. Come home a day early or tack an extra day onto your vacation. This provides time to go through the mail, restock the kitchen, catch up on laundry and read your email.
Thanks, neighbor! Leave a house key with a trusted neighbor. Ask them to pick up bread and milk the day before you return home so there’s something edible in the house until you can go grocery shopping.
Easy unpacking. Organizational expert Kathi Burns of AddSpace to Your Life! in Leucadia suggests packing a few plastic grocery bags. When preparing to head home, put the dirty laundry in the plastic sacks so it can be sorted right into the laundry room when you get back. Burns says it also helps to empty your luggage immediately. Things are more likely to get put away if they aren’t hidden out of sight in the Samsonite.
Leave it like you want to find it. Preparing for vacation requires a lot of energy and effort, but allow time to make sure your house is in order before you leave Empty the refrigerator of any foods that might spoil. Take out the trash. Change the bed linens. Run the vacuum. Leaving your house neat and tidy is critical, Burns says. Coming home can be a letdown after the glamor and regular maid service of most hotels, so make your welcome as comfortable and welcoming as possible.
Odds and ends. Here are a few random tips to consider.
*Freeze a couple of casseroles before you start your vacation. Dinner will be a cinch until you’re back in the groove.
*Consider traveling Wednesday to Tuesday or returning midweek. Coming home to a three-day work week is infinitely easier than facing five long days.
*Leave an outfit or two in the closet so you’ll have something clean to wear. Same goes for underwear, socks and linens.
*Avoid catastrophes. We live in an area vulnerable to earthquakes, Hayward says, so take a few minutes to shut off the water main and unplug appliances and computers.
Maria Connor is a freelance writer and mother of four in San Diego. She says there’s no such thing as a vacation for mothers; it’s just doing the same thing is a more exotic location.