Organizing your home to be "move ready" is the best investment you can make, financially, and in
your sanity. There's nothing like packing up items that you no longer need and literally paying to pack and move them, when they should have been donated. Worse, beginning the unpacking process and getting stuck in overwhelm by all of the boxes of items that could have been donated in the first place.
We often find ourselves, myself included, accumulating things whether as an impulse buy, a hand-me-down, paper that never gets reviewed, or gifts from friends and family. Regardless of how you got them, if you are moving in the near future, it is time to get your home "move ready". I have some clients that call for this exact purpose, they've lived in their home for years and can't begin to move a limb because they are paralyzed by their stuff. While others are needing to process their items because they are downsizing. Yes, I've downsized a 3000 SF to 500 SF home.
So here's your systematic approach,
because face it, we do better with a plan. What's the expression, Not having a plan is planning to fail. I just love it, and it is SO true for the majority of folks. So whether you want to move, need to downsize, are feeling stuck, or fill in the blank, here's your plan:
1. Start with the easy wins and let the brain wires fire together to build this skill-set. Start with the easy wins, like a small space, for items that are do not have emotional attachment to. For some this might be the gift wrapping "zone", perhaps the coat rack, or even the junk drawer. As you go through, one item at a time, think how you would pack it. If you aren't willing to pack it right, that probably means you can toss it. For the junk drawer example, put those items with like items (tape with tape, clothes pins with sewing, paperclips with office supplies, etc.) and all of the other items that you don't want to deal with means that you don't need them. Donate, trash, or recycle as needed.
2. Go room by room and check them off! Start with rooms that you could pack up first, as in things you aren't going to need prior to the room. Set a timer and get to work. After each timed block (15 minutes, 30, or even 60), give yourself a break, a high-five, and then get back to work. If you're struggling with motivation, put on some music, grab some friends or family, or hire out.
3. Know how much space you will have at your new place. Yep, if you are choosing to get "move ready" but don't know where you're moving, start to envision what your basic needs are. So if you are moving from a three bedroom to a one bedroom, make a plan for where those extra beds, frames, and bedding are going to. Similarly, if you know where you're moving and you have a 10-person couch currently, it
's time to make a plan for your old couch that will not fit in your new home. You can do this with seasons as well, if you are moving from New York to Hawaii, you can go ahead and downsizing your heavy winter coats. Choose your favorites and box them up, you can hold onto a box or two for when you do visit cold climates, but for the most part, you'll need to address your closet and wardrobe for your new environment.
Moves can be very stressful which is why it is imperative to get started bit by bit as soon as you can. In my client's moves, this means going through room by room until everything has been reviewed. Then planning out when things will be packed up and by whom. For my clients that love a good plan, we plan out the new home layout and make sure what we have will fit. In personal moves, this means setting aside the time to prioritize a smooth move and doing steps one through three above. Reviewing and packing up items ahead of time is a game changer because it ensures that you aren't overwhelmed later when everything is in boxes. Make sure to leave your every day use items plus a suitcase for each individual for the move week and day. Most of all, give yourself grace throughout the process. You got this! And if you don't, you know who to call ;)