The best advice anyone can get before a move – and the best packing tip – is to simply move less. You can do that by taking a good, honest inventory of your belongings to simply making sure that what you're moving is what you will actually use. But you can also take it a step farther by looking at ways to declutter your whole lifestyle.
Downsizing is a new watchword that simply means taking the emphasis off accumulating more and more stuff and paring it down to what you really need and use on a regular basis. Whether you are moving across town or across the world, it's a chance to start fresh. Why not take the opportunity to lose some baggage in the process?
Remember: what you don't want may still be useful to someone else. Take any usable items to your favourite charity for resale. Alternatively, Kijiji, Ebay and other sites can let you make some cash for your unused items. Maybe a yard sale is the best idea if you have larger items to sell.
Here are some tips on how to downsize and declutter.
1.A good rule of thumb for evaluating whether you should keep something or not is to ask yourself: if everything was lost in a fire, what would I actually replace?
2.Start with "Must Haves” - those items that you really can't function without. The rest you can divide into "Good to Have” - items that make your life easier but aren't essential – and "Nice to Have” - meaning you could live perfectly well without them.
3.First on the list should come any duplicate or spare items you may have – that spare mattress for guests that you never actually have, the spare couch that's sitting under plastic in the garage, you get the idea – along with any items you already have in storage.
4.If you are moving to a smaller place, consider replacing some existing furniture with items that will do double duty as storage space, like ottomans that open up or tables with drawers. Resist the urge, however, simply to use that storage space for more items that you'll put in the drawers and forget about.
5.Sentimental value does count for something, but you can get carried away with the idea too. Be ruthless when you consider what really means something to you and what you are keeping just because you think you should.
6.The "One-Year Rule” is another way of evaluating your mountain of stuff. Have you used/worn it in the last year? If not, then it should go in the "toss” pile.
7.Technology is your friend. You can digitize pictures, videos, CDs, DVDs, old cassettes and paper documents. They can be stored on a cloud, in a Dropbox or computer hard drive. There's little need to keep a lot of paper files nowadays.
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