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I hate moving with a passion. But in the past 2 years we have moved 3 times. First was after we had a fire in our apartment. We had to move into a hotel for over a month while the repairs are made. Once we moved back in we discovered that the management company had taken the insurance money and ran, and the apartment was full of mold. We moved out and into a rental home, where we stayed for almost 2 years. This past October we bought our first home and moved again. Hopefully, for the last time for many, many years.
When we lived in our apartment I had our possessions minimized to the point I felt I was done decluttering. We were really mindful of bringing anything new home, and had a great balance. The fire destroyed most of our possessions so when we moved into our rental house we scrambled to replace furniture and clothing with the insurance money. Many kind people gifted us with various household items to help fill the gap insurance didn’t cover, and slowly but surely we filled that house to the brim with stuff we didn’t use or need. When we moved to our new house, I knew it was a great opportunity to declutter the excess.
How To Minimize While You Are Moving
It sounds easy enough to declutter as you move, but in reality it can be overwhelming to decide what is coming with you and what you want to permanently discard. Moving is expensive, so that last thing you want to do is have to replace a bunch of stuff you decluttered but should have kept! Here are a few things I learned when we moved.It’s expensive to move your cheap crap.
It’s expensive to move cheap crap.
I have hesitancy about decluttering something if I am not 100% sure I won’t use it again. The same with something I really like, even if I don’t actually use it. I held onto things like multiple planners, old house decor, and even some furniture because I wasn’t totally sure I wouldn’t use it in the new house. Not only is it a TON of work to move things that you may eventually get rid of, it’s expensive! You have to rent a larger moving truck, you spend more on gas, and you potentially spend more on labor if you hired help to move. In the end, it just wasn’t worth it to hang onto those things
Trying to find a home for excess stuff is overwhelming.
I can’t STAND living out of boxes. I can’t stand living in any sort of disarray or chaos. That’s probably why minimalism is so attractive to me in the first place. Lots of people commented about how quickly I unpacked everything when we moved. Don’t keep excess stuff, and you won’t have excess stuff to put away.
While our first floor has been pretty minimal since day one, my kids’ stuff really reflects that I did not adequately minimalize before we moved. All of their excess is living in a closet upstairs that I refuse to open for my own mental well-being. Its SO overwhelming to try to sort through and figure out where to put it. If I had just gone through their things as we packed, I could open the closet door without a cardiac incident.
Moving is a chance at a clean slate.
Moving is the best time to sort through what you own, and if you keep the end goal in mind, it will be even easier. A new house is a chance at starting with a clean slate. No more random piles you shuffle from one flat surface to another! If you sort through things with this in mind, you’re a lot more likely to get rid of those items in the “maybe” pile. Just because something brings you joy doesn’t mean you need to own it.
How to get rid of things as you move.
So you’ve sorted and decluttered, but what do you do with the stuff you don’t want to keep? This can be especially frustrating as you move because you don’t want a bunch of stuff underfoot.
Many thrift stores will pick things up. We called the thrift store that benefits our local homeless shelter and they picked up an entire garage-full of stuff for free! You can even get a receipt for tax purposes for the things you donate.
Don’t donate garbage. If someone is truly garbage, throw it away. We rented a pickup from Uhaul for $20 and took one load to the dump. It was out of my hair in one trip!
If you are moving soon I encourage you to take the time to really declutter as you pack. If you need some resources to get you started I highly recommend the Conquer Your Clutter super bundle. This bundle has over $600 of resources to help you declutter, plan, organize, manage your time, and more. I purchased this bundle myself and it is really changing how I manage my household.
Moving is stressful enough. You can reduce your stress along with your clutter is you commit to minimizing while you move.