Moving into a smaller home makes you realize just how much stuff you have! And when trying to declutter, it can feel like everything has some sentimental value, making it difficult to get rid of excess items. To help make this process a little easier for you, we suggest you adhere to these 3 rules of decluttering to help you decide on what items you no longer need and what items are really worth keeping with you once you move.
Use Technology to Save
While clearing out your drawers you may find a lot of items like papers, files, CDs, or pictures. While some of these might be of great importance to you, there’s a good chance that you might not need physical copies of everything you find. If you still want to keep these belongings, we suggest that you store them digitally. If you have a good printer, you can scan papers, or you can always use a digital camera or cell phone to save them (and transfer them to the computer from there). CDs can be saved too by ripping each of them into mp3 files so that you can listen to them anywhere you’d like. With the comfort of knowing you can access the information at anytime on the web, you can recycle the majority of your old papers and pictures and do something special with the ones you decide to hold on to.
The problem with overstocking becomes apparent when you move into your smaller space. You will realize that while you were able to get everything from your previous home packed and moved with you, your belongings are taking up more room than before, and that you’ll still need to downsize. To avoid this problem, try buying only a few boxes and packing materials at a time. This way, you can allow yourself to focus on packing only essential belongings into the boxes, leaving less important items to be thrown out or recycled later on. This technique is also a great way to avoid overbuying moving boxes and containers.
Know What’s Most Important
Every object you own can seem like it has a noticeable personal connection to you, even if you don’t use it that often. If you’re unable to decide on the importance of an item, consider one of these two questions:
- How Often Do I Use It? One way you can determine an item’s value is by how frequently you find yourself needing it for something. Chances are things like body care products, silverware, glasses, your television, your mattress, your car, your refrigerator, and your undershirt are things you’ll want to keep because you find yourself using them on a daily basis around your home. However, if you find an object that you use maybe once or twice a year, like an old football or a box of cocktail umbrellas, then you can deem those objects as unnecessary. The same process can be used for articles of clothing. If you find yourself wearing a certain pair of pants once or twice a week (or on special occasions), then you can assume they’re more valuable than the ones you wear on a few, random days during the year.
- Does It Make Me Happy? If something in your house isn’t a necessity that you use often, then it should be something that holds some sort of sentimental value. This could be anything from a piece of artwork or a photo of a loved one. The most important thing to think about when considering the importance of this object is if it brings about positive thoughts that inspire you or make you happy. If you find something that doesn’t bring to mind any kind of good feeling, then you might not really need to take it with you when you move. By decluttering your life of things that don’t bring about happiness, then you’ll be able to completely surround yourself with positivity by only keeping the things that you truly value.
While a lot of work can come with downsizing your house or apartment, the benefits you reap from taking a proper inventory of your most prized possessions can make for a very rejuvenating experience. For more helpful moving tips, see our moving checklist.