Minimalism is one of the most popular lifestyle trends of the 2010s, with shows like Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things popping up on Netflix’s roster of popular TV Shows and Documentaries. Whether you’re into the idea of living with less or simply hoping to downsize a bit before a move, there’s no denying that streamlining your belongings and getting rid of unwanted items is a mostly positive experience.
In this article, our long-distance movers at Westheimer Transfer & Storage will share some of our most helpful tips for lightening up your load before relocation. If you’re currently planning a move and don’t know where to start getting rid of your useless belongings, these tips will help you get started.
1) Start Early
If you plan on getting rid of things before moving, it’s worth it to start the process as early as possible. Give yourself at least a couple of weeks before you plan to start packing, or a month or two before your moving date for the best results. If you have a lot of stuff, or if you’re moving long-distance, you may want to start even earlier. In any case, it’s important to get started as soon as possible to avoid rushing at the last minute.
2) Sort Through Your Belongings By Category
Revising your belongings can quickly become overwhelming without a strategic approach. Instead of going room by room, go through your things based on categories. For example, plan to go through all of your clothing on the first day, then all the dishware and kitchen utensils on the second, your miscellaneous and junk drawers on the third, and so forth.
Put on music to make the process more fun. Dedicate a few hours each day to tackling each category until its finished, and stop if you start to feel frustrated.
3) Use the One-Year Rule
For some people, letting go of old, unused, or useless items is easy. For others, it’s a lot harder. Whether you’re sentimental and like to hang on to things, or enjoy the process of getting rid of what you don’t need or want, it’s useful to use the one-year rule when deciding whether to keep an item.
According to the one-year rule, you should get rid of things you haven’t used for a year and that you don’t plan on using it in the year ahead. While there are some exceptions to this rule, you can use it to help you evaluate the majority of your belongings and make the process easier.
4) What to Do With Your Unwanted Items
When evaluating your belongings, you’ll want to put whatever you don’t want to keep into the following categories:
- Sell: Use Facebook marketplace, LetGo, OfferUp, PoshMark, Craigslist, or eBay to sell your unwanted items of value. You can also hold a garage sale if you have time for one.
- Donate: Box up clean items in good condition that you’d like to give away to friends, neighbors, family, or charity organizations.
- Toss: Throw away junk, useless trash, and things that no longer have value.
- Recycle: Make sure to recycle plastic, electronics, old books, or anything else that can be recycled or repurposed for another use.
- Storage: If you’re having trouble selling an item and want to get it out of the way while you concentrate on moving, put it in storage. You can also use temporary storage services to help you make up your mind about items that you’re not sure whether to keep or let go.