As comedian George Carlin so amusingly put it, many people accumulate lots of “stuff” and sometimes even buy a bigger house just to store it all. If you’re getting ready to downsize your home or downsize your apartment, you must be ready to stop the insanity, get rid of what you don’t need and move on with a lighter load. Here are some of our tips for deciding what to toss and what to store.
Decide what you need going forward
Go through your entire home with a critical eye. Decide which items you can definitely part with, and which belongings you definitely will make room for. Additionally, a third category is for those things that are worth putting into a storage unit.
Dig through old storage areas
Out of sight, out of mind can be quite true. You might be surprised to find boxes that were stored away during your last move and never even missed. Obviously, you don’t need this stuff, so don’t hesitate to get rid of it right away. Sell these items or donate them to one of these charity organizations who accept furniture donations; what you’ve been storing might be very useful to someone else.
Plan and organize
Moving time is the perfect time to get organized. Decide on some great new ways to store your essential items and easy ways to store things. Plastic totes are an excellent way to store belongings because they stack and seal out insects and moisture. Use the clear ones for even easier access to your things.
Taking measurements will tell you what will and won’t fit in your new home. Larger pieces of furniture like a China cabinet passed on from your grandmother or an overstuffed sofa might be too large, but still things you’d like to keep. Either store these items or find a relative or close friend to give them a home temporarily.
Move the big stuff in first
Moving day is critical. Be sure the boxes and storage items are loaded onto the truck first. The best moving companies always do it this way, because they know placing the furniture into the proper rooms before any of those boxes is unloaded makes the whole move smoother and less stressful.
Save the decision for later
If, you really cannot decide right away if you need something, give it six months to a year and then re-evaluate. If you haven’t gone to your storage unit and gotten these items or forgotten totally about them…your decision is made for you. Sell them, donate them or toss them; just don’t be a slave to superfluous “stuff.”