One of the most impactful books I’ve read is ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing‘ which is a best selling book by Marie Kondo. Her philosophy is only keeping what brings you joy and she walks you through steps on how to simplify and declutter your life and living space.
This book was kind of perfect for me because I hate clutter, but usually have little areas around the house that seem constantly cluttered. I love the feeling of de-cluttering and getting rid of things that are broken, I don’t use, don’t wear or that have served their purpose, but at the same time I like keeping things like souvenirs that remind me of my childhood or places we’ve visited. I reread parts of her book when we were preparing to move and we donated at least 20 large bags. I couldn’t believe how much we accumulated in just the 4 years we lived in our previous rental.
Some of her key points that helped us declutter were:
-Only keep the items that bring you joy. Don’t just look at things in a closet, pick them up and see how they make you feel.
-Donate items that have served their purpose, think about how someone may be looking for that item or it may be very useful for someone whereas it’s just been sitting in your house.
We were very motivated to declutter because we didn’t want to have to pack and move things we didn’t really need. When we moved to our current house, it was much easier to unpack and everything had a place, there was no room for a junk drawer, room, closet or bookshelf. It was a lot of work, but well worth it.
With this most recent move to LA area, we have moved 11 times in our 10 years of marriage. You’d think that by now that we’re experts and that our moves are effortless, easy and enjoyable – ha, ha! We do love traveling and exploring new cities and places but if we move again it’ll be too soon 😉 Moving is exciting, stressful and full of possibilities. We have lived in some amazing cities including Washington DC, Edinburgh and Austin.
Here are a few things we have learned through all our moves:
-Buying a brand new home is (obviously) the easiest (and most fun!) This is in regards to loans, financial transactions and the closing process. We bought our home in Austin from the previous owner and the process was more stressful because the closing process took longer since 2 parties were involved. We were in an AirBnB for a few weeks while we were in transition. So if you buy, anticipate it taking about a month for the negotiations, loans, paperwork, inspection, etc to process until the time you actually get the key.
–Discard of things you don’t use! Don’t pack up something you haven’t used in years to your next home because you ‘might use it sometime’! If an object or article of clothing has served it’s purpose, doesn’t fit, is never use, etc someone else may benefit – we made numerous trips to Goodwill in preparing for each of our moves and we haven’t missed any of those items we donated. Moving is also a great time to make a few extra dollars selling items you don’t use. We had a few duplicate kitchen items we received as wedding presents that we stored, moved and for some reason kept for NINE years! Selling and discarding such items is refreshing and one less thing to pack. We’ve had pretty good success using Facebook Marketplace.
–Get moving boxes from Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Moving boxes from a place like Uhaul, a storage place or Home Depot can add up in cost and usually you can find people with spare boxes in good condition. We only had 2 weeks from when we moved from Utah to Texas and no one had free boxes so we had to buy them but luckily that was the only time.
And my #1 moving tip:
–Declutter ASAP! You have more stuff than you think (especially once you have kids) and the sooner you start, the less you’ll have to pack. Your garbage can will fill up so fast and the last thing you want to be doing is hauling trash to a local or city dumpster. The day you know you’re moving, start de-cluttering! Pack conscientiously and try not to haul around stuff you won’t use in your new home.