I’ve moved many times in my life and concluded that moving out stinks. It’s emotionally painful (how can I avoid saying goodbye?), messy (what’s that strange thing behind the couch?), and full of chores (oops, forgot to phone the electric company).
But, moving in? Now that’s different! I love opening the door to my new house and seeing it so clean, uncluttered, and full of possibility. I love exploring new neighborhoods, finding new restaurants and parks. I love opening up the empty cupboards and closets and filling them with my belongings. The pain of leaving the old life is replaced with the joy of starting something new.
Of course, the new situation has not always been quite that idyllic! There was the time we moved back into a house we had rented out, only to discover soggy, stinking carpets and grease smeared over the kitchen walls. Then there was the time when we moved in, but our “stuff” didn’t move with us until 2-3 months later. Three young children … empty house … fun times! I’m sure you could add your own crazy move story.
One common move scenario that I get to work with is “downsizing”. You know, moving from a 3000-square-foot home to a 1000-square-foot apartment. You get the picture! Boxes everywhere. Clothes on any flat surface. Kitchen counters stacked high with dishes you just can’t force into those 2 small cabinets. The saddest sight? Exhausted people too tired to cope any more.
So, what’s the solution? It’s all in the planning. As soon as you know you’re moving, begin purging. If you’re not going to use something, or you don’t love it, find someone who will. Many of our things bring back good memories. So, find a way to keep the memory without having to keep all the “stuff”. If you only take the things you use or love, you will have less to pack on moving day and, even better, less to unpack.
As you unpack, try using these home organization techniques. Place kitchen boxes in the kitchen, bedroom boxes in the bedroom, etc. As you unpack each box, put likes with likes. Place items near where you plan to use them. The house will stay neater that way. Get rid of each box as you empty it to clear up space. Set up at least one room that first day. And, if it looks as though the space is disappearing faster than the boxes, remember to use all that vertical space. Thinking creatively can make your new house feel like a home, not just a container.
If this all sounds overwhelming, don’t be afraid to get some help. As a professional organizer, I can help you with both the planning before you downsize and with maximizing your space once you move in. I know from experience that downsizing can be a rewarding experience. With less space and less stuff, you may find you have more time to really live.