Moving is the one time in your life when you’re forced to come face-to-face with every single item you own. Whether it’s in a storage shed out back or in your kitchen cabinets, every item must be moved, which makes it the perfect time to minimize your belongings.
The What and Why of Minimizing
We live in a culture of excess where there’s an overriding assumption that more is better. More food, more money, more cars, more square footage – more everything! But if you pause long enough to reflect on this notion, it quickly becomes apparent how misguided it is. In reality, more things generally lead to more feelings of overwhelm.
We rarely take much time to think about the stuff we own. For the most part, we’re pretty good at keeping it filed away in cabinets, closets, garages, storage units, and sheds. But if there’s one situation where we’re forced to confront every one of the hundreds of thousands of possessions we own, it’s the moving process. It is a perfect opportunity to declutter and minimize.
Minimizing is the process of getting rid of things that don’t add value to your life so that you can live more intentionally. The benefits of minimizing include:
- Less work. It takes a lot of work to pack up items, move boxes, load trucks, unpack, etc. Imagine how much easier it would be if you got rid of 50 percent of the stuff you own. It would be a lot less work.
- Less money. Minimizing doesn’t just eliminate work – it also saves you money on moving. Most local moving companies charge by the hour. Saving several hours packing and unloading could put hundreds or thousands of dollars back in your pocket. Plus, it saves you money on storing and maintaining items over the next several years.
- Less stress. Ultimately, having less stuff allows you to root out unnecessary stress and discover peace of mind. It becomes more than just an exercise in getting rid of things. It becomes an exercise in how to live simply and intentionally.
You don’t have to be a “minimalist” to minimize your possessions. It can be as simple as going through your house and purging items that you no longer use. However, be warned: once you start, it can become quite addicting. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself ruthlessly eliminating 50, 60, or even 75 percent of your belongings. This makes moving a breeze.
3 Tips for Minimizing Possessions Before a Move
Not sure where to begin? Here are a few of our favorite tips:
Go Room By Room
Trying to declutter your entire house at once can feel like an impossible challenge. You can make this task a lot more manageable by taking it one room at a time. More specifically, begin with the easiest/smallest rooms (like a closet, guest bedroom, or study) and work your way up to the ones that require more effort (like the kitchen, garage, basement, or attic). Always finish one room before moving to another.
Touch Every Item
When decluttering a room, there’s one important rule: you have to touch every single item. Whether it’s a book, piece of furniture, or paperclip, every single item gets touched. This forces you to deal with everything, opposed to glossing over smaller items (which add up).
When touching an item, assign it to one of three piles: keep, donate/sell, trash. Hopefully, 50 percent or more of your items will be going into one of the latter two piles. This is where minimizing happens.
Use the 90/90 Rule
The 90/90 Rule states that you get rid of anything you haven’t used in the past 90 days and don’t plan to use in the next 90 days. This rule works very well to help eliminate things you’re hanging onto but don’t actually need. And while there are certain exceptions to this rule – like holiday decor or seasonal items like snow skis – it tends to work very well.
Make Moving Easy
Moving doesn’t have to be this painful thorn in your side. It can be a very exciting and rewarding process. The key is to minimize your possessions on the front end so that you only end up keeping the items that serve a distinct purpose.
Author Bio = Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur and a passionate blogger. He is on a mission to help small businesses grow online. He shares his journey, insights, and experiences at SBNewsRoom. If you are an entrepreneur, marketing professional, or simply an info-holic, then this blog is for you.