Should you take everything to your new home?
Is there anything more stressful than moving? There’s so much to do, and it always seems like you’re on a super-tight schedule. You just can’t think of anything else…
But you also know that ultimately you’ll be settled into your new home pretty quickly. Everything will be in place, clutter-free and perfectly serene… ok maybe you’re fantasizing a bit, but you can think of measures to make the move go as smoothly as possible, hopefully making it all peace and cheer thereafter. SO, in the meantime consider this – do you want to take everything you own with you, even the junk? There’s never been a better time to sort through it all and trim the fat!
Possibly the first thing to ask yourself should be, “will this all fit into the new home?” Do this – grab a pen and paper and start with the master bedroom. You’re going to tour the house and do an intensive inventory. Go into the kitchen, the family room, laundry, den, etc… take a good look at the furniture. Do you even have room for it all now? If not, let the rooms you’re moving into dictate what furniture fits perfectly, and which pieces need to go. Don’t fret too much, those that are too large may either be sold or donated.
Also consider how often you actually use the item(s) in question. If your immediate response to something is, “all the time” then you’re looking at an obvious ‘keeper’. If you find yourself pondering too long over how often you use something else it may be best to leave it behind, and that’s not a bad thing.
Now, continue with the common sense and determine what other items you use every day. Naturally they should come along too, unless you plan to quit drinking coffee or eat solely with your hands (in other words, bring the coffee maker and the dishes!).
Then look at the things you use at least once a week. They’re still in the rotation of your routine, though not ALL the time. A slow cooker for instance might see frequent use while pieces of serving ware come in handy only when you have company. Use your best judgment and consider the space available in the new home.
So what about yearly items like Christmas decorations and outdoor dinnerware? Go through it all and toss out the items that you simply haven’t used in the last few years. Obviously keep the pieces that are special to you. But if you have a cracked Santa or spooky electronic Halloween ghost that no longer goes “Boo!” just toss ‘em.
You can further apply the ‘special meaning’ principle to most of the ancillary items in your current household. Did it belong to a relative? Was it a gift from a special friend? Or is it a piece that could grow in value? Just use your personal discretion, but at this point when in doubt, you should probably part with whatever it is in question. After all, it’s a new start in a new home, you want to begin fresh in a variety of ways, and not be too anchored by an overage of relics of the past.
Naturally there are your favorites – from record albums to yearbooks – that you will never get rid of. Treat them with the care that they deserve. Pack them in special moving boxes and be certain to label each on the outside. Naturally, you don’t want to openly write “Jewelry” or “Gold and silver coins” on the outside of your box (for security reasons) so think of a code word that will help you easily identify what’s within.
Now let’s prevent any potential sentimental pangs. Sure you have kept every birthday and holiday card you’ve ever received but now it’s an unmanageable bulky mess. There’s the basketball you had when you played in a league that is now hopelessly flat. And, inexplicably, there is the incomplete yet still giant action hero playset from your youth. Think about it, if the only time you give these things a second thought is when you bump into them in the garage maybe it won’t be painful to finally sever all ties. They’re just objects after all, and you’re onto a new and exciting life. Do a quick eBay search just to be certain you’re not trashing any valued treasure, then be rid of it!
So, you’ve reached the point that you need to be asking these sorts of questions, and you’ve already evaluated the kitchen. You likely don’t have too heavy of a connection to many of the items there and will be more likely to decide to leave things behind and get a feel for doing just that. If most of your portable appliances are reasonably new and in good working order, by all means take them. But if they’re junky, old or even faulty, do the safe thing and send ‘em to the junk heap. If you have an overabundance of accessories such as tumblers, glassware and plates, narrow it down as much as possible and minimize! Besides, if you have a housewarming party someone may give you much of this stuff anyway.
Once you’ve thinned the herd in the kitchen, proceed to the other rooms one at a time. Soon you’ll have whittled it all down to an amount of items you can comfortably deal with in your new home, while leaving room for the arrival of new stuff – and a fresh start.