5 Ways to Pare Down Possessions Prior to Moving

When planning to move, the process usually begins with a lot of organized expectation. It starts out with carefully packing and labeling, but sooner or later, devolves into stuffing things into boxes, just to get it done. This behavior is rationalized, you tell yourself that you’ll unpack and organize it all later, but those same boxes find their way to dark recesses, only to be forgotten and collect dust. At some point in the future, you’ll rediscover them and be faced with a choice — go through them, or, continue to ignore them.

Since neither of these are exciting choices, you can forgo the frustration by being proactive. After all, you’ll have a list of chores to complete when you move into your new home. Adding to those tasks isn’t something you want to burden yourself with unnecessarily.

5 Ways to Pare Down Possessions Prior to Moving

One bit of advice you’ll see again and again about moving is to be prepared. What that means, specifically, is being ready and willing to pare down on your possessions. You know that you ought to go through everything anyway. Plus, there are two good reasons to lighten your load: you’ll have less to move, which will lessen time, effort, and cost, and, you’ll start your life off in a new, decluttered environment.

Before moving, it’s a good idea to sort through your things so you don’t end up moving stuff that you don’t need and have never really used. Not only will it save you time in packing and unpacking, but it will also save you money; the more stuff you have to move, the more expensive it will be. —Moving, About.com

The problem most people face with moving is the fact that it can be a very stressful, even an overwhelming experience. Indeed, there is a lot to do, which includes packing and labeling, disassembling, scheduling utilities, changing addresses, updating information for insurance and more, and the list goes on and on. Because time is finite and there’s always something that pops-up unexpectedly, it’s little wonder why people just want the whole process over with as quickly as possible. Taking shortcuts does have serious drawbacks, so, here are five ways to pare down possessions prior to moving:

  1. Instead of taking the room-by-room approach, categorize items. When you go room-by-room, you are relegating everything inside to a space, not a need. That’s a huge mistake because it lumps unimportant items in with important possessions. You likely have the same types of items in different places in your home — for instance, clothing. There’s clothing in the master closet, in the coat closet, tucked away in a chest-of-drawers, and so on. When you categorize, you are more discerning about what’s important and what can go.
  2. Use the touch method. Touch is one of the most powerful senses, and, it can help you decide what stays and what goes. Let’s go with the clothing example once again: if you physically touch each piece, you’ll quickly know which are worth keeping and which you can donate or give away.
  3. Be discerning about what’s necessary. Getting away from the sentimental side of things, when you are trying to decide whether something stays or goes, look at it for what it is. A good example are countertop appliances: if you use them regularly, then take them along. However, if it’s something that is shoved into a corner or into the back of a cabinet, you don’t need it.
  4. Don’t drag the process out. Another piece of advice that’s common in regard to moving is to start the process weeks before the actual day. While this certainly gives you ample time, it might also be an open invitation to procrastinate. Shorten the time frame and you’ll be more willing to part with things that truly aren’t worth bringing along.
  5. Bring-in an arbitrator. We all have tendencies to assign some connection to our possessions. These feelings are precisely why it makes deciding what to keep and what to give away can be so difficult. Ask a friend to be an arbitrator, helping to sort through your things.