After dumping a drawer full of toys onto the floor, she organizes them into piles and then places them into smaller containers with labels. A month later, right before the family is ready to move, she repeats the process, dumps every toy onto the floor, and once again, she organizes and sorts, but this time there are magically more toys! And so it goes, month after month, organizing the same things throughout the house. Finally, one day as she hunches over her current pile of stuff, she sighs, sits back, and stares at a bare, undecorated wall. “Will I ever be done organizing so I can focus on packing and getting ready for a long distance move?
If this story sounds even vaguely familiar, you are probably stuck in an organizing rut as you prepare for your long-distance move, organizing the same items repeatedly, wondering when it will ever end.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” — Albert Einstein
So, how do you get out of the rut? How do you stop organizing the same things over and over?
The answer is quite simple — you get rid of the stuff!
Calm down; we don’t mean you have to throw every little thing you own into the trash. Decluttering simply means you get rid of the clutter; you get rid of the things that do not have a purpose or a home.
Get rid of things that do not make you happy, and that way, you are only left with things that inspire you, things that are useful, and things that have specific spots in your home. The best thing about decluttering before a big move? Fewer things to take up space in your mind and the truck!
Here are five simple tips for decluttering that will help make your long-distance move much easier, and only move with the things that genuinely make you happy!
1. Declutter First — Organize Later
When someone begins decluttering, they often start thinking about storage much too early. They dump everything on the floor, and before throwing anything away — they start imagining how to store it, where to put it, what kind of containers to use, etc. This is a big mistake, especially when getting ready for a move, because the whole point is to get rid of things, then determine where to put what you are keeping. So, remember this first and essential rule — declutter first and organize later.
2. Declutter by Category
Instead of decluttering room by room — do it by category. This advice comes from the very popular author and decluttering expert Marie Kondo. If you declutter by room, you end up decluttering similar things repeatedly. If you declutter by category — clothes, books, toys, etc., then you focus on one type of thing at a time, and you don’t have to do them over and over again.
3. Unsure? Put it in a Box
As you begin decluttering, you may come across difficult items; maybe it is not useful but holds a special place in your heart, perhaps it is attached to a fond memory, and you are not sure you are ready to get rid of them. Either way, instead of making a quick decision and regretting it later, put it in a box and place it somewhere, like the garage. Set a date in your calendar (before you move), and if you haven’t gone to get it at that time — or you don’t remember what was inside, you can get rid of it without any worries or regrets.
4. Take Pictures
If you want the memory but don’t want the thing that takes up space, take a picture!
Take a picture so you can always look back at those items with fondness, then throw them away.
5. Remember, Your Home is a Container
Your current home and the home you are moving to have limited space. You cannot continue to accumulate things without ever getting rid of stuff, or your container will, at some point, overflow, and you will live in a mess of clutter. Think of your home as a container; what sort of things do you want to store in there?