When it comes to moving, most of us think of the daunting task of packing up everything we own and lugging it to another place. But have you considered moving as an opportunity to better organize your home?
When you’re packing, the last thing on your mind may be de-cluttering, but streamlining your possessions before you move can save a lot of time when you arrive at your new home. The less you have, the less you have to move, and the less you’ll have to unpack!
To get organized as you pack, follow these 5 simple tips:
Take stock of what you have – Are you buried under a pile of Tupperware containers each time you open your kitchen cupboard? Is there a VHS player gathering dust in your storage closet? Before you pack up, take time to go through each room in your home and weed out anything that you’re not using anymore. A good general rule is to get rid of anything you haven’t used in the past year (as long as the item doesn’t hold sentimental value).
Sell what you can – You can help off-set some of your moving costs by selling any items you don’t plan to use in your new home. If you have decided to purchase new electronics, furniture, or appliances, consider selling the ones you have now on sites like Kijiji, by placing an ad in the local newspaper, or by hosting a yard sale. Every little bit adds up, and before you know it Aunt Betsy’s old toaster will be helping to pay for the moving truck.
Pass on what can’t sell – You can feel good about letting go of items that you no longer use by passing them on to family and friends who are just starting out, or giving them to charity. Donate clothes, books, toys and other reusable items to non-profit organizations such as your local thrift store, church or favourite local charity.
Label, label, label – When you’re ready to start packing, make sure you have lots of labels and markers available. Most people find it easiest to organize boxes by room, adding labels like “Kitchen,” “Master bedroom,” and “Basement.” Adding a few notes to the label that describe the contents of each box can be helpful too. Also consider labeling boxes by how soon you’ll need them (e.g. “Immediate Use,” “Mid-Range,” and “No Rush”). This may seem like overkill, but you’ll be thankful for your foresight when you’re looking for the coffee pot on the first morning in your new home. There are some great sites that offer free printable labels for your move.
Choose your containers wisely – For items you’re going to store long-term (but can’t bear to part with) consider large, plastic containers with lids – they’re stackable and keep out moisture and vermin much better than cardboard boxes do. Be sure to label these well, especially if you plan on stacking them, so you will be able to find the things you’re looking for quickly when they’re needed.