Moving chaos has become an annual summer lifestyle for me. And after packing up and moving nine times now in the past nine years, I’ve figured out a system to make it easy, simple, and even fun. The key? LESS STUFF. Less stuff equals less headache, less time, less space. And all that less leaves room for more fun and more life.
1. Downsize. Before packing anything up, I like to go room by room, drawer by drawer, and get rid of things that are no longer in use. Try to be very tough during this process. If it hasn’t been used in the last year and has no possibility of being used in the next week, out it goes. Someone else might love it? Add it to the donate pile. It’s broken, old, not worth anyone using again, ever? Toss it. Either way, let it go. Since we’ve moved pretty much every year for the past nine years, this is pretty easy for me to do. So many things don’t get the proper home when we move in and most of it we don’t realize is hiding until we go to move again. If you didn’t miss it, you probably don’t need it. And by doing this BEFORE you pack, you don’t accidentally pack and move things that you don’t really need, allowing more space for the things that do matter. And it makes for a lighter load as well.
2. Leave space. Not every wall needs to be covered, every drawer filled, every space used. Leave a little room for breathing and fill a space with the things that are needed and the things that are loved and let the rest be. It’s amazing how freeing having an empty kitchen cabinet feels.
3. Outsource. Yes, less stuff means less things to move, but doing it yourself isn’t always the best use of time and stress. Decide what is worth doing yourself and what is worth getting help with. We hate moving furniture up and down stairs so we hire someone to help with the big items. Small boxes I can pack, move, and unpack myself in a day. Cleaning is always more fun with friends, especially if you pay them with food (or wine!) And painting can turn into a fun adventure with a little help. Moving does not have to be a big headache. Recognize your limits and turn an otherwise stressful time into an opportunity for focusing on what matters most.