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How to Downsize When Moving


One positive side of moving is sorting through and eliminating those items you don’t want to take with you. It might be what your Great Aunt Sally passed on to you years ago or it might be a good excuse to share with local non-profits things you really didn’t want anyway. Although, some things are worth moving, in actuality it costs more to move more, and as it has been said lately, less is more.

Where to Start

How do we get started on these, at times, momentous projects of sorting and downsizing, especially when you have a timeline, like a moving date. You could “hire” my daughter who sorted through her husband’s clothes before they were even married. She just waltzed right into his apartment one day and within an hour or so waltzed right back out with a number of black plastic bags for donation. And, yes, he still married her. She’s still quite the minimalist, but unfortunately, she’s not for hire. There are those who subscribe to Marie Kondo, the quiet Japanese woman who teaches us to follow many basic organizing and sorting tips but adds that we should keep only those things which bring us joy.

This brings me to the reason for today’s blog, how keeping life simpler, especially when you want to make a change as significant as moving, can give us more peace of mind.

I have moved many, many times from America and back overseas. If I forgot something for a shipment or if the bags were too heavy for our flight it would be too late and very stressful. I learned what the power of decluttering before a move can be. I didn’t always get it right but I never missed a flight and everything we wanted in our shipment or container made it in.

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Hopefully, you are not moving overseas but possibly to a beautiful island in Washington state, namely Camano Island. Living on an island should be relaxing and calm, and so should the move, well, as relaxing and calm as a move can be. As you start on this journey of uncluttering know what is important to you and your family. Also, know what will work or not work where you are moving. We took our children’s special smaller quilts made by Great-grandma and other “grandmas” of our community but we did not need thick quilts for our beds on our overseas moves. Are you moving from Southern California to a colder climate? Dig out those jackets that are deep in your closets, but maybe ditch the extra swimwear. Will your future home be larger or smaller? Do you need that extra bedroom set you to keep moving from home to home? These are questions you want to ask yourself as you start sorting.

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Some people have a system that if they purchase one shirt then they get rid of one they already own. That takes discipline and that might work for you. We know about spring cleaning, but there can also be fall cleaning, post-Christmas cleaning, etc. But the bottom line is when you are getting ready to move you do not want all those shirts that you didn’t give away staring at you and causing more stress. There are already a zillion decisions to make, so keep life, and moving, simple and less stressful by sorting early and often so when the movers come you will have more peace of mind.

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