Hello again. I wouldn’t dream of thinking of leaving you with all those philosophical thoughts on things, and not tell you some tips on what to do with them. It is important when you are considering a move to take the time to reflect on the things that you have tucked. It really can tell you so much about what’s going on with you as a person if you observe and listen, which is really hard to do when you are sooooo busy.
I am going to assume that you have done that and now we will move to the organization phase. We organize before it even goes into the big moving boxes because that will reduce your stress when you arrive at your final destination. See title. If haven’t come across the show The Home Edit you may now excuse yourself to go get a snack and a cool beverage of your choice and sit and watch a few episodes. Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin are obsessive compulsive organizers who appreciate beauty, color blocking, and containers. If the show doesn’t send you peeling out of your parking lot or space or hopping a train to the Container Store – purveyors of all things organization, then shoot me a note and I’ll mail you five dollars. It will be like the birthday card that you received from your grandmother or a favorite Aunt. Really, I’m not joking. I’ll do it.
The Container Store is pricey, and I for one don’t want to make what is already an expensive undertaking into an even more costly one for you, so consider Home Goods as an alternative. They have much of what’s available at The Container Store for less, but there are certain items like wrapping paper containers that I haven’t seen on sale anywhere else and these are wonderful! I use them not only for holiday and birthday wrapping which seems to take a beating, particularly when I move, but to store roman blinds that I paid an arm and a leg for and plan to reuse later. They would work well for field hockey sticks, bad mitten or tennis rackets, all those random balls that have collected on the bottom of the closet. Trust me, after watching the show, you’ll have more ideas about how to contain your life than time to contain it.
Now for the junk drawer. My intent isn’t to overwhelm you or change you into someone that you are not. Take that drawer and dump it into a box, tape it up, and label it junk drawer. Done. Not every aspect of this process demands you address it in this moment, but I will ask you to consider dumping the junk drawer into the trash. It’s called junk for a reason. Starting fresh has its own rewards.
Ok, so you’ve sorted, donated, dumped, and contained. You’ve put your containers neatly inside boxes, that on average weighed no more than 30 lbs. Wait – did you not do that. I told you there were loads of experts with hacks that would make your moving life so much easier. If you couldn’t squeeze in the time to watch them, let me also tell you that you should get the enormous plastic vacuum seal bags from Bed Bath and Beyond or the Home Depot and fill them with all your winter sweaters, ski clothing, blankets, the bulky stuff. You’ll be amazed at how small they get once you have sucked the air out of them. It’s like a five course meal, Apollo 9 style. You should take all your framed photographs and wrap them in paper and stack them vertically, side-by-side in the box to avoid breakage. If you can shake it and things move around inside, it’s not ready to be taped up. Add a tea towel or a blanket to the top before closing it up. One last tip for the kitchen – use paper plates between your dishes, stuff glasses with socks or dish rags, and treat larger items- think pots and pans – like Russian Dolls, hide away more delicate items inside their protective shells.
We are working to limit the number of trips, the size of the truck, and the number of people required to do the move. This is real money, and you’ll want to reserve some of that to organize your new space. I go so far as to use gym clothes for packing materials. It’s free, sustainable, and on hand. I encourage you to do the same.
I promised I would provide resources for donation so here are a few. If you are not in the Boston area, you can conduct a google search or make a call to a few non-profit organizations. You’d be surprised at the randomness of the items they are willing to take. Shoot me a note if you have suggestions for our readers that I didn’t capture, and we’ll share it.
The Salvation Army: locations nationwide. Donation Type – appliances, cars, furniture, clothing and household goods.
Rosie’s Place: food, toiletries, socks, sneakers, boots (seasonally only due to storage), and books.
The Ronald McDonald House: toys and books for kids undergoing cancer treatment.