But the problem is, your house looks like it needs two 18 wheeler trucks to move you out! What do you do?
If you just sold your house, and you are downsizing, or moving to another city or state, and need to pare down your "stuff" so that you can use small movers instead of a parade of trucks, then use this system.
I call it the "five second rule"
Try and do this the minute the sold sign goes up, or the minute you give your landlord notice. Figure out how many rooms you have in this house, and include the basement and the garage and even the shed in the back, when working out this total number or rooms.
Now allow yourself some time, you are going to need at least a day for each room, or more depending on how big it is. Maybe you will even need three days if the garage is stuffed to the ceiling! It would be good if you had some help with this, but either way, it is time to attack all this "stuff" that has been clinging to you since you started moving.
Today is the first day you are going to start getting rid of that clutter, and as tired as you are now, thinking about the move and all the things on your checklist you have to do, I promise you, that you will feel rejuvenated when this is done.
To plan for this, you need to source many boxes. Go to the liquor store, the box store, the grocery store, anywhere you can find boxes. Also it wouldn't hurt to invest in those large plastic storage tubs, these will be reserved for those "absolutely must have" things that will go with you.
Allowing a good few weeks for this is perfect. Do not leave organizing your stuff until the last week. This is the perfect first job to do, no matter how far in the future your move is.
Pick a room. Put it on the calendar, and then start that morning. Put on a pot of coffee, open up two boxes to start. and label them. One will be for donations, and one will be for garbage. You can also have a small area or one of those plastic tubs ready for the things you have to keep.
Just picture the small movers, and their little van, when you are looking at your stuff. Pick something up and look at it for "FIVE SECONDS" Then pick a box. If you have not used or looked at this item in the last six months or a year, then it has to go.
I find the FIVE SECOND rule works quite well. You will know right away if you want to keep it. Plus if you are really stuck on an item, then look at it and think in dollar value. Is it worth what you are going to have to pay to upgrade to a large mover, and a storage unit? That will usually help you decide. Otherwise all you are really doing is babysitting your stuff. If it ends up in a storage unit, you will most likely never get it out and use it again, and now you will be paying rent to keep it there, since your new place is much smaller.
Sometimes a move is a good time to de-clutter your life. It forces you to really look at all this stuff you are carting around. Remember when you first went out on your own? You probably could fit all your "stuff" in the back of your car. You got along just fine right?
Stuff can cause stress. You need houses big enough to keep it in. You are scared to throw anything out, just in case you might need it someday. But then the years slip by and this pile gets bigger. You may, every so often, get tired of looking at it, and package it up into boxes and stuff it into the garage. Now the car has to stay outside.
It is amazing the stuff we will accumulate. That we need houses with double garages just to put out "stuff" that we don't use. That is a lot of expensive real estate being taken up by clutter.
So, you have decided that this must stop. That you are not paying thousands of dollars to large movers, when you can get away with small movers. You don't want to end up putting all of this in storage because your next place is much smaller.
Have you ever noticed just how many storage unit places are popping up? People are paying rent to store their stuff that they don't know what to do with? It is one thing to store seasonal things, such as Christmas and Bikes, but many of these storage units are just filled with boxes of clutter, that had to move, but no one wanted to deal with, so they just write a check every month to the storage units.
Once you have filled up your donation boxes and your garbage boxes. Now you must deal with them. If you need to rent a van to move these, then do it. You don't want to be staring at these boxes, after you made your decision. Now clean this room, and take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back. You should feel rejuvenated at how clean and uncluttered it is. Now you can see any larger furniture items that need to go. You can call up donation companies to come and get those. See now you are on a roll!
Now take a deep breath, get a good nights sleep, because tomorrow you will tackle another room! Before you know it, moving day will be here, and those small movers will be in your driveway, and your move will be the smoothest one ever!