When it comes time to move to a smaller home, these tips will help you keep the memories while minimizing clutter in your new location.
Moving into a new house is often bittersweet. You are happy about the change, but sad to leave a home so full of memories. Decreasing can be even harder – a smaller location means you don’t have room for all of your current assets.
But reducing is also an opportunity to refresh and start all over again. If you remove the cave, you can fill your new place with the things you really love, making it feel like home.
Here are three steps you can take to begin the process of preparation for mediation.
1. Make a plan
Travel to your new location and measure the size of your rooms and warehouses. This will be your guide on how much you can bring with you. It is better to underestimate than to overestimate.
As you decide what to keep and what to remove, make one room at a time. Moving is a big job, and you don’t need to handle everything at once. Plan to do a little bit each day, and leave extra time so you don’t rush.
Decide your furniture first. Going from big to small will give you a better idea of how much space you have left to fill. You don’t want to have to rearrange everything if you can’t bring that bookshelf with you.
2. Order your belongings
Will you use it? It’s easy to convince yourself that you might still be wearing that 10-year-old shirt with the tags still on. iam. But if you haven’t used it in the past year, you’ll probably never do it.
Also remove multiples. Do you have several coffee pots or several porcelain sets? If you can only use one at a time, you don’t need to save both.
As you order, follow a strict yes / no policy – no “maybe” is allowed. Make a “yes” pile and a “no” pile, and force yourself to choose. If you are not convinced that the thing deserves yes, then it is not. “Maybe” piles just means more work for you later.
Decide how to share your “no” pile. You may no longer want or need these items, but they are probably useful to someone else. Special items can be handed out to friends or family. Furniture, household appliances, clothing and other items in good condition could be sold at a garage sale or in places like Craigslist. Or, you can choose to donate reusable items to organizations like Goodwill, which sometimes offer neighborhood or even residential pickups, so your task is much simpler. Any damaged or worn out irreparable must go to the recycling bin or trip to the landfill.
3. Keep memories
Digitize photos to save space and easily share them with family. Photo albums take up a lot of space, and how often do you actually look through them? Choose a digital photo frame and enjoy all your photos in a rotating slideshow or create a slideshow for your TV or computer.
Take photos of articles that bring back good memories, but you no longer have room for. You can look back at the memories without really saving things up.
To make sure those treasured things are in good hands, pass them on to your children, grandchildren or close friends. They will love the gift, and you will enjoy seeing the things used.
Another strategy is to give the souvenirs a new life. If you love to create, items like old movie stumps, letters and photos are perfect for scrapbooking, letting you create a record of your experiences. Or make three-dimensional art with shadow boxes. Collecting your memories in one place will make them easier than ever to enjoy.
Shrinking is an emotional process. You’ll discover items you haven’t seen in years, and you’ll have to decide what to do with them. Give yourself some time to remember, and then decide. Remember your space boundaries. Bring what is really valuable – only you can decide what you can’t do without.
Just imagine: After you finish your move, you will be able to enjoy your new place surrounded by the homely feeling.
Originally published November 2015.