Out With the Old
The obvious first step, parting with nonessential items, is much easier said than done. If you have been holding on to something that is unusable, badly chipped, or cracked, it makes sense to throw it out. If you haven’t taken the time to repair or clean it up yet then the likelihood of doing so in the future is low. However, some things are less obvious and require personal reflection and honesty.
Don’t let guilt keep you from throwing out items you bought in pursuit of a neglected hobby or pursuit. That includes the treadmill you have been using as a coat rack, the out of tune piano, and the perpetually quiet sewing machine. Similarly, avoid holding onto large furniture items just because you spent money on them. The investment is not worth losing use of your space. Instead, replace them with smaller multipurpose furniture, like seats with hidden storage underneath.
In other cases, you may have items that you are afraid to throw out. Perhaps over the years your first filing cabinet has spawned three more and each is bursting with every receipt and personal document you have acquired over your lifetime. Take advantage of today’s technology by scanning digital copies of the less important papers before shredding and recycling them. Only keep physical copies of the most important ones.
For items with some life left to them consider donating it. We’ve listed a number of Portland area non-profits you can donate to who’d happily help redistribute your goods to someone else who will appreciate them. They’ll take everything from technology items to pet supplies. If you’re planning a move with us we’ll even drop your goods off to them!
Measure Your Items
Your set of bookshelves may look at home in your current place but end up blocking the door in your new living room. To avoid this, it is important to measure all of your furniture and compare it to the dimensions of the rooms you are planning to move them into. Additionally, some apartments have narrow doorways, elevators, and stairways so confirm that your large couch will be able to make it into your new place before you haul it all the way across town.
Break It Up into Small Stages
If you do this all at once then it will quickly become overwhelming. Instead, tackle each room one at a time so you have plenty of time to completely sort through every shelf, box, and drawer. Allow yourself at least a week with each room so you have time to reflect on the actual importance of your items.
Consider renting a small storage unit and placing the items you are still unsure of in there. If you haven’t missed them after a few months in your new place, then it is time to part with them. Paying an extra monthly bill for something you are not using and may never use again will help you realize how unnecessary those items are.
What To Do With Your Items
If money is tight, then throw a garage sale, consign, or sell online. Someone handing over a few crisp bills might be just what you need to feel a little less sentimental about that old futon you bought out of college. There are also a multitude of non-profits around the Portland Metro area in need of gently used items. Remember, something that is just taking up space in your life could mean a lot to someone who has less so resist the urge to simply throw away unwanted items.
A Simpler Life
If you follow these tips, you’ll have much less to pack, move, and unpack, making your transition into your new space much less stressful. You will be surprised how liberating it is when you discover that material goods do not control your life. Breathe easy in your comfortable and streamlined new home.