In last week’s "Move Monday," we addressed the necessity of preparing for a fresh start. If you’re ready for a clean slate, it’s time to put the new plan into action.
Step #3: Execute
First, take an honest look at those extraneous items we talked about last week. In deciding what to do with these items, you have two options:
1. Do you really want to pay to pack, load, unload, unpack, organize and maintain these items? If that thought alone seems absurd, then set the items aside to sell or donate. Choose a spacious location, you may be adding more to that pile than you think.
2. If you do need to keep some of these items, will this ‘stuff’ enhance or diminish your home in the eyes of a potential buyer? If it’s not going to help, set it aside to pack now.
Now it’s time for what we call ‘the storm before the calm,’ because getting organized often involves making a mess first. In other words, it's time to start sorting.
There are two ways to begin sorting: with broad categories or by room.
1. Broad categories: In a central location, gather categories from around the home. Vases, décor, pictures frames, and candles are good places to start. Reviewing one category at a time may help you realize that you don’t need eighty-three candles when you only use eight. Also, packing like items together makes decorating easier at the new home where you can ‘shop’ from your existing décor which is already grouped together. Now is the time to let go of the items you no longer need, by donating or consigning.
2. Room by room: Let go of any items you don’t want to take to your new home. This doesn't just include the buried-under-the-bed items, but also everything that’s been sitting out around the house. Do you need to keep all the books on your bookshelves if you’ve already read them? Is there a desk drawer filled with two dozen pens that don’t work? Are the extra sheets from your college bed ever actually going to be used again? If not, let them go.
2.5 When you get to the pantry and medicine cabinets, don’t forget to look at expiration dates. Reviewing and tossing expired items should be routine, but if there were ever a time to clear out stock, it’s now.
Once everything is sorted and edited, keep everything separated by category. Like we mentioned above, packing like items together makes unpacking unbelievably easier. Is it going to be aggravating in the meantime, living with piles lining the rooms before the packing begins? Of course it is. But sorting is an integral part of the organizing process, don’t undo all the work you’ve done so far.
Now’s also the time to begin setting up each space before the packing starts. Assembling boxes, assigning designated packing areas, and creating signs that clearly state how boxes should be labeled are all small steps that go a long way.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. If moves were comfortable, we wouldn’t be writing this in the first place. There is, however, a big difference between being uncomfortable and panicking. And you’re getting organized first, so you don’t fall into the latter category. Go ahead and check ‘panic’ off the list, you're good without it.
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