Last month, I helped my friends, The E family, move. In the last month, I also helped my daughters’ school pack for a move. The Es have lived in their house 13 years; the school has been in this location 10 years.
Let me tell you, I have seen a lot of junk, stuff, things, good stuff that’s no longer needed, beautiful useful items, heirlooms, and lost & found in the past month. A lot.
Moving really forces you to focus in on what’s essential. This is especially true for the school, which is being torn down and rebuilt. For the first half of the next school year, The Girls’ School of Austin will operate nine grades (K-8) in a church that used to rent its extra space to a preschool. A preschool. To say that the girls will be cramped and the teachers will need to be flexible is probably an understatement.
The Es were in the fortunate position of moving across town and into a a home that is both lovelier and larger than their previous home.
But whether it’s a school or a family, moving involves the same essential processes and the same opportunities to declutter and downsize your possessions.
You know the move is coming. Maybe next week, maybe next year, but it’s never too early to start. (For those of us who aren’t moving, just keep decluttering. Every now and then, you hear of someone who had to / got to move totally unexpectedly, and if this is you, you’ll be glad you already reigned in your stuff.)
I think it can be hard to get going in this stage; the move is still so far away. Well life is going to keep on happening, and moving day will arrive before you know it, so start small and keep going.
In the US, “staging” your house has become the new normal. That’s where you pretty the whole house up to look really nice, but it doesn’t necessarily look much like your house any more. Personal pictures are removed, new towels are hung, things that you’ve lived with happily mismatched for a decade suddenly need to be matched. This is staging. (And if you think staging – or at least cleaning – isn’t important, check out these photos. This site always makes me laugh and cringe.)
This is also another chance to declutter. Since you’re removing all these items, think about whether they still serve you. Whether you need / want / and enjoy them anymore. Now that you own the new matched towels, shouldn’t you use them and donate the old towels to the animal shelter?
It’s the main event folks! The time when you will touch every single thing you own. Every single thing. Let’s let that sink in for a moment. (And if you’re Colleen, you will not only touch every single thing you own, you will have to write it on a list – literally. That’s what the Australian Air Force requires when it moves its personnel.) Leave yourself enough time to actually think about what you’re packing, rather than just cramming it all in a box as fast as possible. Either you or your employer is paying for each and every item, each and every box. Even if you’re moving yourself you’re paying – in exhaustion, favors owed, beer, etc. Think about what you are packing and make sure you have enough time to dispose of the unwanted items in an appropriate manner.
The second half of the main event. Probably the last time you will touch every single thing you own, until the next move. (Dan swears that he’s not moving until he is in a box.) Not everything will fit or work in your new location. As you’re unpacking, this is the time to make the second pass of deciding if you really need four glass pitchers and 20 framed photos of your children ages 1 – 2.
Your first unpacking and arranging shouldn’t be your last. After you live in your new location for a time, you’ll realize that the silverware, towels, books, dish towels – something – really isn’t stored in its best location. Don’t be afraid to move and fine tune your home. A more efficient arrangement can also mean more decluttering and less chance of cluttering later when you can’t find what you want, even though you know it’s here, somewhere.
Good luck E family and good luck GSA. Good luck to any readers who are moving. My love to you all!
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter some money related items. Old money boxes, wallets, bill clips, change purses, coin sorters, coin wrappers or bags… . You could also drop foreign coins off to the bank for donation to charity or gather up all the coins that you have accumulated and cash it in at the bank by either depositing it into your account or getting bills in exchange.
Eco Tip For The Day
Here is an eco tip that is good for your waistline, your wallet and food waste. When going out for morning tea or lunch with a friend why not share that slice of cake, piece of pie or lunch dish. I do this all the time with my friends because usually the servings are large enough for two to share. We just ask for an extra plate and cutlery and split it between us before hoeing in.
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow