It’s always amazing how much STUFF we collect in the course of even a few years. The best thing you can do before a home or office move is to PURGE all the excess stuff. On Saturday, we discussed how to determine what to toss before an office move, while today’s focus is squarely on eliminate all nonessentials from your home before a big move. This may sound overwhelming for some of you, but your Professional NYC Organizer has great decluttering, space-enhancing, moving-cost reducing tips that will get you through with flying colors.
Most movers estimate cost by distance and by weight, so the more boxes the higher the cost. It’s silly to pay to move unneeded items from one place to another. Your general cleanup began the culling out process, now it’s time to go into high gear. Your NYC Professional Organizer points out to make sure that everyone in your household is on board. In addition to setting a mutually agreed upon schedule for this next round of decluttering of your space, set ground rules like no phone calls or texting until the allotted time has elapsed.
Start with the most disorganized zones in your home, which I call The Combat Zones. Once tackled, everything else will seem like a breeze by comparison. If they are too daunting to approach all at once, use the Divide and Conquer. Break up the job into smaller tasks — a cabinet here, a couple of drawers there. Schedule short decluttering dates. Take 15 to 30 minutes to do a small area. You’ll be amazed how those short bursts of cleaning out add up.
As you dig in, sort the items into 3 categories: Maybe, Giveaway/Sell, and Trash. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used an item in 1 year, it should go. There are so many respectful ways to rid yourself of unnecessary items. Sell them online, give them to friends/family who need the item or donate them to charity. Many charities have pick up services and will come to take your items for free.
Now it’s time to pack. Color code each box according to where it will go in your new home, using colored tape, labels or a Sharpie. As you pack, keep a Master Inventory List of each box including its color, contents, and number which relates to its location in your new space. Numbering boxes by room and color will make it easier to see if something is missing after the movers unload. Don’t rely on the movers’ inventory, which can be vague and inaccurate. The movers will not know what is in the boxes that you have packed, so again, this needs to be on your Master Inventory List in case of a box goes astray, and for insurance purposes should something get lost.
Keep an active list of the tasks involved with moving, adding things as you think of them, and checking off accomplished tasks. This will keep your organized and up-to-date, and help you let go of the anxiety of keeping too many details in your head. Write it down, and check it off! Keep your mind clear and uncluttered, as well as your home and office.