I just sold my house and now I have to pack and move out in 30 days. I’m really overwhelmed and don’t even know where to begin. What do you suggest?
Dear Moving Out,
For those who may have their home on the market, the best time to start preparing to move is as soon as you decide to sell your home. Why wait? You know you will inevitably be moving, so how about making the process a bit less stressful than it already is. Moving is said to be one of the greatest stressors we endure. Many times moving is a very emotional experience and when you couple that with the physical process of going through every darn thing you own and determining if you want to keep it and then have to pack it properly, it’s daunting.
First and foremost – begin to discard as much as you can. There is no sense in moving junk you no longer use or want, so get rid of everything you can. If you have the luxury of taking your time, then you can sell items on Craigslist, eBay, or have a garage sale.
Go through a cupboard each day. Open it up. Pull everything out onto a table (use a portable one if you need to) and look at all the stuff you have. If you have similar items elsewhere, then go gather them up and review the collection together. Determine what you still want to keep and then get rid of the rest. Notice I said to “determine what you wish to keep” and then “get rid of the rest.” If you just go through with the mindset of what to throw out, you will come up with less items being discarded. If you only concentrate on what you want, then you will rid yourself of more things. Ask yourself, “Would I buy that (fill in the blank) if I were to see it in a store right now?” If you cannot honestly answer “yes” then you probably don’t need it any longer and can safely let it go.
So, moving and packing–where to begin:
Start by going through books and donating those you don’t want to hold onto. Pack the remainder. You can live without your books while preparing to move.
Determine what of your furnishings you want to keep and start selling or giving away the remainder. (Look for next week’s article on how and where to get rid of things). You may be downsizing and that will require you to part with many more items or even replace them with furniture better suited for the new place you will be living in.
Go through cupboards and areas that you haven’t visited in awhile. Chances are there will be only a few items that you will need. Pack up the few items you wish to hold onto. Get rid of the rest.
Fill crates for the holiday/celebration items you have. As a matter of fact, even if you aren’t moving, you should do this. Put all items for a particular holiday in a crate and label it (clear or color coded crates works particularly well). They stack, keep objects dry and safe, and keep them all together. Come Halloween time, grab your crate, and go to town! Pack it back up again Nov. 1, put that crate away, and await Thanksgiving. If you are moving, you will have this organized and it can stay in these crates wherever you go.
Look around and determine what you really don’t need to use or have around between now and the time you are moving into your next place. Pack that up!
Obviously, label all boxes very well and pack so you can move them without winding up hurting our back in the process. If you need help with strategizing a plan to get you from where you are to where you are heading, coaching can help greatly.
Watch next week for what to do with items you no longer need or want.
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