As we start to pack our life into tiny boxes for moving, I’m starting to realize how much “stuff” we actually have. And how much of it wasn’t being used much (if at all). Some stuff we have to keep for a prescribed period of time (like old tax returns), other stuff, we just need to get rid of. Moving is as good of an excuse as any. I’m more concerned that I don’t have time to seriously go through the stuff and separate between keep and donate before it needs to end up in a box for moving.
I still have a huge monster suitcase that my parents gave me when I graduated high school – that I’ve used maybe 3 times in the last 20 years – and at least the last time, I wish I hadn’t brought such a large one with me. I haven’t carried anything larger than my medium sized one for the last 8 years – and that was for 3 weeks of work clothes! It’s listed on freecycle, but no bites yet 🙂
I already have a rather large pile of things that are going to donation. The charity does pickups and they’re coming by today to take that away. Then we start a new set of boxes for donation, because I’m sure there will be more!
There is the pile of things that I would like to sell before moving, but it might have to wait until after we’ve moved: like our exercise bike and treadmill. No bites on the bike on craigslist, and the treadmill has stuff sitting on it so it hasn’t even gone up on craigslist yet.
Finally, there is the “trash” pile. As much as I hate throwing things out, there are just some things that aren’t worth donating or even giving away.
The Realtor came by last night to sign the listing paperwork, and we went over what should and shouldn’t get packed. All the stuff we really don’t use that often, like tchotchkes, that would be easy for us to pack up, are the things he wants us to leave unpacked for the stager to use. We’ll just have a *lot* of extra packing to do between going under contract and closing 🙁
Why is it that moving spurs you to get rid of things that haven’t bothered you for the last 5 years?
I feel your pain–this happens to us every time we move. I always think we’re organized and pared down until it comes time to pack and then it’s as though our possessions multiplied in the night. Congrats to you for methodically sifting through everything before you move–nothing worse than moving stuff only to get rid of it (which I was quite guilty of in our last move…). Good luck!
I’m trying to sift through it as I pack (we have two weeks to get the house ready for staging), but I have a feeling we’ll get to the “oh crap” point where everything has to go in boxes and then it’ll all just get moved with us. I’m debating on what to do with the bike and treadmill if they don’t sell – give them away or take them with us and try to sell again in December (when people are looking for them!).
I definitely hit the “oh crap” point in our last move. I was doing so well with the sifting and then I just ran out of time and was wildly flinging stuff into boxes. I did end up moving the stuff and then selling/donating it post-move. Might be worth it to see if you can sell the bike and treadmill post-move–seems like you’d be able to get a decent price on both, especially around new year’s resolution time as you wisely mention!
We might be moving soon too and we definitely need to get rid of a lot of crap. Before we were married, my wife moved pretty much every year so she had very little stuff. But after settling in, she has accumulated a lot of (what I think is crap!). I’m not blameless as I do have stuff too though. Moving forces you to get rid of stuff because I sure don’t want to have to move it!
On the other hand, moving also lets you put things in boxes to open (or not) when you get to where you’re going. I’m pretty sure there are some boxes in our crawl space that haven’t been opened since we moved 5 years ago – those are going to be checked for antiques and things like that, then sent directly on to charity. We obviously don’t need them 🙂
Most of getting rid of stuff during a move is simply not wanting to move any more boxes. I have a dream that the next time I move, I’m selling and getting rid of every single item of clothing I have ever owned besides the items on my back and starting over.
The number of boxes doesn’t seem to affect our moving costs much – it’s the furniture and piano that cost the most to move.
Your title says it all and I think can speak volumes to pretty much everyone. It’s amazing how much junk we accumulate over the years and store in boxes and shelves etc. From books to truly nonsensical items, humans by nature, hoard things. It’s only when we really clean out those closets or move that we realize the amount of items that we possess but have little or no use from anymore. Thanks for sharing.
We’ve been looking at houses that have a lot of closet space – I’m not sure that that’s necessarily a good thing. The less closet space we have, the less stuff we can put in it!