The madness of moving can unearth clutter you forgot about years ago, including clothes that have somehow come back in style again (neon legwarmers, anyone?)
However, a move is also a great time to part with unnecessary things and get in touch with your minimalist side. That way, you can arrive at your new home with a more organized and harmonious set of belongings.
Ready to move like a minimalist? Let’s get started!
Create a Plan for Your Minimalist Move Before You Pack
Don’t just break out the moving boxes and start throwing things in: first, figure out the problem areas in your home. What closets have you been avoiding? Do you have an extensive vinyl collection that’s been collecting dust? That’s probably worth a lot of money now thanks to hipster millennials, so you might want to sell those.
By taking stock of the larger categories of things you have, you can start to create some rules for yourself before the moving process begins. That way, you’ll have a lighter move across states since you’ll have decided what’s not coming with you.
Sort Between Trash, Donations, and Recyclable Items
We’re not at the packing stage quite yet! Being a true minimalist starts with appraising the functionality and value of each item — or as Marie Kondo would put it, what “sparks joy” for you — and then categorizing it from there.
If you love a sweater but haven’t worn it in three years, maybe donating it can help you share such a great piece of clothing with someone else. Do you have family members who would want any of the items you’re giving away or selling? Create an inventory and share photos with family and friends if you need some help getting things off your hands.
If you’re not bringing larger furniture items with you, try listing them on an online marketplace like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. That way, you can get someone to pick up the item — and maybe you can get some extra cash for it, too.
Sort your trash and recyclable items and plan for a bulk trash pickup day or a trip to your local recycling center. Some items also may be “upcycled” — that is, reused in a way that’s different than the item was initially intended. For example, if you have a lot of jars lying around the house, see if you can store things like dry pasta or beans in them. Alternatively, you could turn them into interesting lights if you’re handy and don’t mind some DIY projects.
Be sure to start the minimalist moving process early enough so you have time to get rid of items before it’s time to pack up the moving truck. The last thing you want to do is abandon things on the side of the road when they could find good homes.
Pack Like a Minimalist
When you’re packing, keep an eye out on the quantities of various items. You may not realize you have fourteen binders of baseball cards or twenty pairs of black leggings, but now is a good time to ask yourself if you really need all of these items.
This is also a good time to either fix broken items or throw them away. There’s no reason to drag a broken espresso machine across several states only to keep it in your cupboard for a few years until you give up on fixing it and eventually you throw it away. Try and strive to have only functional and beautiful items in your new home, and find new homes for everything else.
It can be tough to apply the concepts of minimalist moving when it comes to collectable items or photographs. In some cases, finding adequate space-saving storage in your new home for these family knickknacks may be important.
However, when it comes to things like photographs, consider scanning them and saving them digitally if you have a large collection that you don’t look at very often. That way, you can display the best photos around your house, keep a few of the best ones, and save all of them digitally so you can cut down on clutter while still preserving memorabilia.
Minimalist moving is meant to give you a fresh start, wherever you call home. To make sure you’re all set for your new, organized home, use SmartMove’s tools to make sure you’re getting the best special offers for Internet, cable, and smart home products. That way, you can continue your minimalist journey the moment you settle in, and turn on Marie Kondo’s new show.
Here’s to hoping every part of your new home sparks joy for you!