I wrote this last week while I was still packing to move and before the sale of our house fell through. But it’s all still relevant.
As much as moving is a pain in the butt, it’s an excellent opportunity to go through your stuff and clean out.
Do I sound like one of those reality TV shows that force you to go through crap? Probably. They teach a valuable lesson. See, human beings are, for the most part, just giant pack rats. The longer we live in a place, the more junk we acquire. Stuff goes in the closets, under beds, into drawers and otherwise out of sight where we forget about it.
We’ve all got our justifications for keeping stuff.
- I might use it.
- So-and-so gave it to me as a gift and I don’t want to hurt feelings.
- I like it.
- That was my trophy from Little League in 1988.
- I don’t want to deal with it right now.
- If XYZ happens, I’m gonna need that.
People, you’re deluding yourself. It’s time to be brutal. So as you’re going through, room by room, packing your belongings, I challenge you to have three other bins in addition to the boxes you’re packing: Toss, Donate, Sell.
Now here are the questions you need to ask of every single thing before you choose whether it’s going into a bin or a box:
- Do I like it?
- Have I used it in the last year?
- Did I even remember I owned it?
- Is it truly useful? (for example, a toilet snake…I haven’t had cause to use one in the last year but it’s a handy tool, so worth keeping)
- Do I really want to warehouse it for the next x number of years at the new place?
- Would I pay money to keep this (as in storage fees, if it came to that)?
If the answer to more than one of these questions is NO, then you need to put that item in a bin. It’s up to you whether you want to permanently chuck it, donate it for a tax write off or freecycle it, or try to actually sell it if you’ve got the time and inclination for a garage sale or craigslist. But the point is, if you can’t come up with a YES to more than the first question, it doesn’t need to go to your new house because it’s just cluttering up your life.