How many times have you moved from one location to another? Was it once? Was it a dozen times? In my years as a Professional Organizer, I’ve found that each successive move tends to become more organized. Does this mean that people who move more often are more organized than those who don’t? Absolutely not! But I think the reason that some of them tend to be more organized is that people learn from their past mistakes. They remember the frustration of not being able to find things before/during/after the move. So what’s my #1 tip for having a successful move? Declutter before you move! Make it part of the packing process.
Let me share a few of the major benefits of decluttering your possessions before you move.
When you declutter before you move, you make decisions regarding what to do with your stuff. Do you love it and/or use it? Do you REALLY want to keep it? When you ask yourself these questions, you may realize that you don’t want/need to move everything which means you’ll pack fewer items to move. When you move fewer items that means you have fewer items to pack and ultimately, fewer items to unpack. As a result, you’ll save time.
There are a variety of options to pack your belongings in for the move… a hired moving truck, a do-it-yourself moving truck, a storage pod, car, etc. Costs are typically calculated based on the size and/or weight of the vehicle/unit. The less you move, the cheaper your moving expenses should be.
I suggest starting the decluttering/packing process well in advance to give yourself plenty of time to make those difficult decisions, to figure out what to do with the stuff you no longer want and what to pack. When you do this, people typically are less stressed.
I once helped a 80ish-year-old couple downsize to prepare for an out-of-state move. They had lived in the same home for 60 years and had never downsized. The husband now had dementia so his wife (whom I’ll call Bea) was tasked with the terrible job of deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. Lucky for her, their out-of-state children hired me to help her with this process. The decision-making process can be difficult no matter how old you are. But in this case, because they had been married so long and had accumulated so many things over the years, it made the process that much worse. The decisions were very difficult for Bea at the beginning. But I promised her that the more she decisions made, the easier they would become and they did. Not only were the decisions easier, but she made them faster. As they say, practice makes perfect.
ORGANIZE As You Pack
When I help clients downsize for a move, we also start the packing process for items they want to bring with them but know they won’t need before they move. By doing this in an organized fashion, we’re able to group similar things together in the same box/container and in turn, label the boxes accordingly by room and category. For example, one box may be labeled “master bedroom closet: winter coats”. The result is that once you move, you’re able to put the boxes to be unpacked in the correct room for ease of location/unpacking.
So the next time you think about moving, put together a plan to make this overwhelming task as easy as possible. you’ll be thrilled that you took control of the process rather than it controlling you!
Brenda Tringali, CPO® (Certified Professional Organizer)
Organizing | Productivity | Speaker
At Your Fingertips Organizing
Serving Greater Myrtle Beach, SC or “virtually” anywhere via video
Brenda Tringali is the owner of At Your Fingertips Organizing. She provides Speaking, Organizing & Productivity services to Workplace/Residential clients both in person in the greater Myrtle Beach, SC area & “virtually” anywhere else via video, phone, etc. Brenda is an active member of NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing professionals) and the former Chair of NAPOCares, NAPO’s Social Responsibility Committee.