When planning a move, getting rid of unnecessary items before packing is essential. Gathering enough moving boxes and moving supplies will be easier if you pare down your possessions.
Many people struggle with clutter in their households. There are some, however, who struggle with something even worse: hoarding.
Clutter consists of items you haven’t gotten around to getting rid of yet. There’s no particular sentimental value attached to them. Hoarding is when you feel you can’t get rid of an item, for a personal or sentimental reason.
1) First, don’t think of it as throwing away. Donate useful items to charity. Give sentimental items to friends and family. Items that are brand new or in great shape can be sold at a yard sale for some extra money. This way, you don’t have to worry about “throwing thing away”. You’re just giving them a new home.
2) Get rid of doubles. Two sets of 12-piece cookware just takes up space.
3) Don’t keep it just because you can think of a use for it. The question isn’t can you use it, the question is will you use it?
4) If you haven’t used an item in a year, get rid of it. If you haven’t used it in the previous 365 days, chances are you won’t ever use it.
4a) If that’s too scary, put those items in a box and hide them away in a closet. Decide on a time frame. If you haven’t pulled out that box and used an item in that time frame, it has to go.
5) Go with your gut. If your first instinct is to get rid of it, then get rid of it! Don’t over think things. Your first instinct is usually correct.
6) Don’t put off making decisions. Give yourself a short time frame – say 5 seconds or 10 seconds. By the end of those seconds, you should make a decision. Don’t put it in the “deal with it later” pile. You shouldn’t even have a deal with it later pile.
7) Keep it up. The next time you feel the urge to buy something or accept an item as a gift, think about how often you’ll use it, and whether or not you already own something that fulfills that purpose.
8) Congratulate yourself! Overcoming compulsive hoarding and collecting is very hard. By taking these first steps towards sorting out your possessions, you are one step closer to being in control of your life again. Acknowledge the hard work it took, physically and mentally, to get yourself to that place and celebrate it.
photo credit: spykster via flickr