Author Topic: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?  (Read 2858 times)

jeromedawg

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Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« on: October 08, 2019, 07:16:09 PM »
Hey all,

We are planning on moving (not too far but to a different area bit south of us) in a couple months. The plan is to rent for a year where we are moving then consider buying. We don't have a move-in date (or place) set but we plan for it to be sometime in January 2020 preferably. That said, we have been told that since we are renting we shouldn't start looking for a place to rent until end of Nov and December or 30-45 days before we actually want to move.
Last time I moved was back in 2007 when I moved into the current place. My wife was living at home with her parents and moved in after we were married. We haven't moved ever since so this will be our first move and it will be quite significant - for my wife it's very unsettling not knowing *where* we're going exactly. We know the city/area we're moving to obviously and the neighborhood as well but not the house/condo/apt/etc that we will end up in. So because of this, she feels less motivated and inclined *not* to start packing, which doesn't seem very productive towards making any headway with being move-ready.

We have accumulated a lot of crap over the years (especially the pre-Mustachian ones), so decluttering is going to be a BEAST of a job...a lot of it is mine but my wife has her fair share too (mostly clothing and shoes that she doesn't really wear much). My wife partly blames her lack of motivation on my clutter too, so it just feels like we're just stuck in a rut. It's already busy enough with the two kids around to distract us (4 and 2).
I'll talk about how we should declutter stuff but my wife isn't onboard and is barely motivated - we are moving for schooling for our son and are both onboard about that but she has verbally expressed that she will miss this place and doesn't want to move, which is understandable.
It's frustrating and overwhelming thinking through how to even get started. It feels like it's far away but it really isn't. But it also feels 'nebulous' in that we don't have a place that we've committed to moving into yet (so I get why it's hard for her to want to pack up when we don't even know where we'll end up).
We already packed up a bunch of boxes of books and stuff that was in my office and brought it up to my in-laws' place not long ago (even some of that we should probably give away). There's a lot more though - it seems never-ending and this is another thing my wife has trouble with. But instead of just letting it get to us, we have to get over it somehow and proceed.
Even the thought of the two/three box (keep/donate/trash) strategy is overwhelming because I feel like my wife (and myself to an extent) will say "Oh but I think we'll keep/use that in the future" but maybe we just need to physically get the boxes in front of us and just do it, right?

Anyway, I'm just trying to figure out a good strategy and plan of action to take with getting everyone on board and moving forward with things. Any suggestions/advice/tips? 
« Last Edit: October 08, 2019, 07:20:15 PM by jeromedawg »

peachyb

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2019, 09:01:28 PM »
As far as practical tips on decluttering, maybe check out Gretchen Rubin's new book Outer Order Inner Calm. I haven't read it, but I'm a fan of her book on habit change and her podcast on general life hacks. She has good ideas and a lot of enthusiasm.

It sounds like you guys are blocked at other levels than "practical," though.
1. Your wife (and you too?) are sad to leave the old house.
2. Lack of clear destination saps motivation.
3. Your wife thinks she won't clear her clutter until you clear yours... and vice versa?

1. I hate to be cheesy but... grieve? Maybe you pour some wine and talk about your time here. Maybe you and the kids make up a ceremony. You could ask your wife if there's something that would help.
2. Would it help to get specific about what you *hope* to find and really nail that down in your mind? I hate to be cheesy again but... vision board?
3. What would it look like if you took most of the responsibility for getting the clutter ball rolling? Also, can someone else help you? It's much easier to be objective about other people's clutter. I bet you could even find a volunteer on a time bank, if your town has a time bank... some people just love decluttering.

Maybe if you go at this on all fronts it will move more easily. Good luck.

marble_faun

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2019, 09:23:37 PM »
Yes, I just went through something like this and have some thoughts for you!

First, you don't need to wait until late Nov./December to sign a lease that starts in January.  You can start looking now and negotiate your start date if need be.

In my experience, the winter months are the off-season for rentals, so there will probably be fewer places available.  But those that ARE available might be cheaper or easier to get, because landlords just want someone in. In any case, it would be best to pin down where you are going ASAP rather than waiting until the last minute.

Regarding clutter:  You have the luxury of a couple of months to sort through your possessions and sell/donate/toss anything you don't need or love.   Trust me (as a fellow clutter-er) -- this will be SO worth it.  You will start fresh in your new place, not surrounded by towers of unnecessary junk.

If you're having trouble getting started, check out Mari Kondo's book (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up). Her strategies helped me kick the hoarding habit and really did change my life for the better.  Once you get started with her method of clearing stuff out, it becomes addictive.  You can see progress as you make space for new adventures in your life. (AND you won't have to move all that useless stuff you've accumulated.)

(The "maybe we'll need this in the future" thing is the worst trap!  If you haven't used it in 3-5 years, let it go. You can always get another one if you seriously need it.)

Finally, since you are already planning a second move, you can box up things you don't think you'll need in the short-term and leave them packed.  I'm in a similar situation, so about 30% of our possessions (mainly books and decorative/sentimental items) are sitting in boxes in the basement. We love these things but don't need to have them out right now, and it will make the next move much easier not to have to pack them up again.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2019, 01:00:47 AM »
You and your wife have the same plan we we have; renting for a year from early 2020 and decide from there what to do the year after. The difference is that you have kids, a not so motivated wife and a rental. We have no kids, are both motivated enough and have a house for sale, which might in worst case sell slowly.

As we don't know when the house will be sold and when the buyer wants us to move out, we are not renting anything yet. I do feel a little anxious about not knowing where we will go and when, especially because I have some close by events this winter, which also are on an unknown date. DH only suggested to move somewhere within reasonable driving distance, to make the moving easy, and try to make sure we have some weeks overlap. We both are agreeing on that it will be temporary and doesn't need to be perfect.

We are currently focusing heavily on our home sale and for that, a house needs to be decluttered to look good. I have borrowed the trailer from work and made numerous trips to the garbage place with house stuff and garden stuff. DH and I have both sold a number of things and got some good cash for it. I started selling last winter. My DH started much later in the year, but has sold a couple of his/our things now.

Last time, when we moved to our current house and wanted to declutter the amount of books that we had, we both filled a box (or several) with the books that we personally wanted to keep. And then we gave/threw away the rest. It is difficult to decide for someone else what can be thrown away and what can't. But it is easier to decide what you personally want to keep. In this round of decluttering, we have been putting a lot of stuff just out of sight in the basement, but we haven't been critical enough to through away much. This because of a lack of available time. I hope we will find that time before we make the actual move, because I want to use this chance to declutter properly.

I think you should start with packing your own personal things and sort them critically. Is there anything you are attached to and want to keep? Pack it in a proper box and mark the content. Do you have any items that are worth selling? Put them in an open crate and put them out for sale on GL or donate. Is there old stuff that you don't need anymore and that is obviously yours? Put it in an open crate and throw it away the same week. So far you have been packing stuff that you don't use often at your inlaws, without checking whether it should have be thrown away.

I suggest you start packing your boxes and crates in each room:
- Worth keeping (in your opinion)
- Obvious trash, don't need to discuss with wife
- Probably trash, but need to discuss
- Probably selling/donate
Maybe involve the children into sorting their own toys and maybe even clothes into trash and donate.
What is left in the rooms after that, is your wife's stuff or anything you are in doubt about, which is in crates. Your wife can then review your boxes with probably trash and probably selling. Respect it when she wants to keep some stuff and pack it. Then you start doing the job of selling, donating and getting rid of the trash.

I don't think you should suggest anything about her clothes, even though that might be a lot of clothes. That is her personal stuff and she needs to decide. It is also relatively easy to pack at last minute.

Lmoot

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2019, 04:18:15 AM »
I would get some differently sized cheap plastic storage bins with lids, and label them, alotting only a bin or 2 per subject (depending on the size of the items or the bins). I personally have bins from when I moved out of my house into a bedroom in someone elses house. I made the keep/trash/donate pile, and put things into the bins based on how much I wanted to keep it, and whatever was left out, went out. Some bins I made up:

- Electronics and cords
- Decor items
- Memorabilia
- Office supplies
- Arts and crafts (I'm not crafty, but included things like markers, glue gun, ribbon, sketch paper, glues, specialty tapes)
- kitchen (several bins dedicated to specifics)
- Holiday
- Gifts (wrapping paper, bows, gift bags, cards and envelopes)
- tools
- cleaning supplies (gloves, any tools that will fit, empty spray bottles, brushes)
- misc (things that don't have a home, but you want to keep and don't want to take time to figure out which category they do or will fit in, bc you have more important things to do right now and this activity is supposed to be quick, free-thinking activity)


I managed to fit the entire contents of my house, into 1 1/2 closets. It's nice to have bins vs cardboard when possible. They are stackable and storable. They're great for storage after you're settled, and extra bins can be loaned or given out. I've even seem them used for container gardens (growing produce), or storing potting soil and fertilizer. I'm not a huge proponent of plastic, but living in a humid part of the country with lots of house bugs, I do not want any cardboard in my house for any period of time. The right plastics can be reused, and long-lasting.

Another thing I like about this method, is it makes the items you put in the tubs, feel more precious. They "make the box" (make the cut). They are the vips. So give your kids a tub and tell them everything they fit in there, is theirs to keep, and they might have fun choosing what gets to be on the inside, and what has to stay outside. It's a lesson on perspective.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 04:25:09 AM by Lmoot »

Linea_Norway

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2019, 05:05:37 AM »
Talking about storage...

One tactic is to put the stuff that you want to throw out, but your is in doubt about in paid storage for a year. That has a certain cost. But if you after a year still haven't missed it, it can probably be tossed anyway. For one of my colleagues it worked like that when he used storage when selling/staging his home.

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2019, 07:32:45 AM »
I just moved and my wife and I discovered we had a bunch of stuff we just don't use often. So we put them back in boxes, stored them in the basement. We agreed if they stay down there without being used that we would donate them within 6 months.

Padonak

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2019, 07:33:16 AM »
Ptf

Lady SA

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2019, 09:30:36 AM »
It kind of sounds in your post like there is a good bit of frustration with your wife for not getting her behind in gear. Perhaps in this instance you need to lead by example. Start decluttering and boxing up your own things (you admit you have your fair share of stuff to deal with), and she will likely follow.

Whenever I have moved, I go by rooms. Start with the least used room (storage, closets, libraries, bedrooms) and end with the most used (usually kitchen). I do three passes for each room - the first pass is a basic decluttering pass where we comb through and obvious things in each room are tossed or donated. As yourself "is this item worth the hassle of moving it?" -- if not, get rid of it. I've had success with a "maybe" pile, if I'm unsure, and then DH and I go through the maybe pile together to figure out what to keep and what to get rid of. But my DH has never had overly-sentimental attachment to many things so this activity doesn't cause stress or tension.
The second pass is packing up or getting rid of things that I don't expect or really need to use between now and moving, and leave only the bare essentials for living. I do this close enough to the move where you can live without most of your stuff, I've done this usually 1-2 months out. I should feel pretty limited/deprived during those months, but we should still be able to function and do most/all things we need to do with a bit of creativity.
The last pass is right before moving where I pack up those bare essentials. I usually do this during the week leading up to the move, with most things happening the night before

For example, when packing my kitchen, for my first pass I'll start a goodwill pile. Then my second pass I grab a few boxes, and I'm also willing to make another goodwill pile. I label each first-pass box with the room and contents. So like "Kitchen - Dishes/Utensils/serving" or "Kitchen - food storage containers and cookware". That way when you go to the new place, the boxes are put in the correct room for unpacking. Then I go through my cupboards and decide if this is a bare essential to tide me over for a month, give to goodwill, or keep but not necessary for the next few weeks. I will keep like 2 sets of dishes, 2 sets of utensils, a chefs knife, a cutting board, a stir spoon, my blender, and a big pan and a medium pot as my essentials for the next month, literally everything else either gets boxed up or donated. Like I said, deprivation is the name of the game, but you can still make 90% of our normal meals with these limited tools.

Then for my last pass, this is like the night before moving, I have a box (or two) for each room to pack up those few essential items. Those get labelled specially, since I want those to also be the first to be unpacked because we will be able to function immediately with just those items, the rest of the boxes are not essential. I put "Kitchen - ESSENTIALS" and tape it with bright colored duct tape for visibility. In goes the few dishes, the pan, the knife, etc that I had kept. Another example would be "BEDROOM - ESSENTIALS" - pillows/blankets/sleep masks that you need for sleeping right up until the last moment and will need right away again.

Clothes I do a little differently, I put aside a few basic staples that I can mix and match for a month (2 jeans, 6 tops, undies, etc) and pack/donate the rest. Then the week leading up to the move, I have another box in the closet where I place those staple garments once they are "done", until the night before the move where I quickly wash/dry them and re-pack that box. I leave out 1 set of comfy, stretchy clothes to lift/bend in to help with the move. This box is labelled "LADY SA CLOTHES - ESSENTIAL" and I'll unpack those clothes first.

I also keep a night before/morning of checklist and add to it when I think of things that need to happen in that stressful short period of time. Basic things like "pack up kitchen essentials" and "pack up bedroom essentials" and "wash/dry essential clothes".

Blue Skies

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2019, 10:39:32 AM »
The last time we moved we had to stage the house for sale.  So, we went through each room and got rid of things we didn't need and then boxed up the non-essentials.  We didn't spend a LOT of time sorting, we sped through it and just got rid of things that were easy.  That took a weekend.  Then when we were ready to move we had two friends come over and the four of us boxed everything that was left.  It took about a day and a half.  It really wasn't that bad.

Now, if we had been trying to get rid of more stuff, that could have taken FOREVER.  THAT would not be something I would be motivated to do.

My suggestion, is just do a quick round of it like we did and forget about the hard core decluttering.  With Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas coming up before your move, and two young children to deal with...  I wouldn't be happy about trying to declutter my whole house right now either.

For reference, my in-laws downsized years ago.  They started decluttering their house a solid YEAR before they moved.  And they were retired, and motivated.  (well, I doubt the husband helped much, but he didn't hinder either)  I try to keep up with decluttering, and my kids are older than yours, but if I was faced with moving by the end of the year that would be enough of a hassle.  I would not even think about trying to do a full house declutter beforehand.

I also agree with the people who suggested you spend some time looking at rentals now.  You don't need to find "the one" yet, but it would be good to get an idea of what is available, what the costs are, etc.  You might luck out and find something they will hold for you, and even if they don't hold it, it may still be available when you want to move in.  That would make things easier.  Trying to cram that into December might kill me.  Christmas is just so busy.

mm1970

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2019, 11:19:30 AM »
There are several ways to decluttter.  There's the Kondo method (each "type" of thing, like all clothing at once).  There's room by room.  And there's by box or basket.

I also get frustrated with too much stuff (we've been in the same place for 15 years) and it's hard for either of us to get motivated.  But I've decided that we don't have to be motivated at the same time.  I declutter my stuff, or the kids' stuff, whenever I want.  If it's something my husband needs a vote on, I'll ask him.  Often, he will say "I don't want to deal with that right now".  Well, ok.

But then MONTHS later he'll get a bee in his bonnet about decluttering, and I just let him go at it.

Sometimes, I have enough energy to take on a closet.  Sometimes, I can barely deal with the underwear and sock drawer.  It's ok.  It's also ok to just start small.  Pick 5 things to get rid of.  Let it snowball from there.

Zamboni

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2019, 12:12:49 PM »
Posting to follow because I am in the middle of packing myself: for a move NEXT WEEK!

My advice is not to wait. I'll second (third?) the suggestion for Marie Kondo's book . . . it has helped me be at peace with parting with many things.

One of the things that I'm realizing has caused problems for me in packing is sifting through and continuously finding stuff that my mom "gifted" me from her hoard. Half of me feels guilty for tossing something she gave me and half of me feels annoyed that I am having to toss it because she couldn't bring herself to do it. Oh, the baggage we all have!


marble_faun

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2019, 12:51:47 PM »
One of the things that I'm realizing has caused problems for me in packing is sifting through and continuously finding stuff that my mom "gifted" me from her hoard. Half of me feels guilty for tossing something she gave me and half of me feels annoyed that I am having to toss it because she couldn't bring herself to do it. Oh, the baggage we all have!

YES!  My mom (who is gradually becoming a serious, as-seen-on-TV hoarder) did the same thing.  She would buy jewelry and housewares for herself off eBay, receive the things, realize she didn't like them that much, then mail them to me.  A lot of the items were in bad condition and not to my taste.  But I stored them all away because I felt bad parting with gifts from my mom. 

When we finally moved just recently, I boxed ALL that stuff up and mailed it back to her.  Fortunately she was not offended -- more relieved that I hadn't just dumped the stuff at Goodwill.  AND so far it seems to also be a wake-up call to her that she has been flooding my small space with unwanted junk objects for 10+ years. Our new rule is that if she wants to send me something, she has to text a picture of it first, and I can decide yea or nay.

Zamboni

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2019, 01:09:03 PM »
If I had time to do it all over, I would declutter the entire contents of my house Kondo-style before packing to move. I read her book and managed to do my clothes and about half of my books before the packing commenced. Trying to declutter, discard/donate, and pack the rest at the same time is really rough.

Packing has been mentally exhausting. Much more so than I would have expected. I'm having to pack everything I own in about a week, with a 10-hour-day 4-day-long business trip inserted in the middle. Suffice it to say that I am really worried I won't have everything ready to go when the movers arrive next week.

The kids are doing their own rooms. I am trying really hard not to interfere. One child has thrown huge amounts of stuff away that I would have saved or donated (like the legos), so I'm having to fight the urge to fish things out and so far I've done pretty well at that. Meanwhile, the other child keeps getting distracted by toys long forgotten and has made almost zero progress. Despite my warnings, both have packed boxes that are WAY TOO HEAVY. I should have given them smaller boxes. Sigh. The main thing this has taught me is that I would have been terrible at making these decisions for them. I'm glad they are doing their own spaces.

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2019, 01:13:20 PM »
As someone that didn't do this: make a point of actually unpacking everything post-move!  We still have a spare room filled with boxes from a move last summer.  It's downright silly at this point, and it can probably all go in the trash/Goodwill pile honestly.  It was a rushed move with no chance to declutter first.

RWD

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2019, 01:18:10 PM »
As someone that didn't do this: make a point of actually unpacking everything post-move!  We still have a spare room filled with boxes from a move last summer.  It's downright silly at this point, and it can probably all go in the trash/Goodwill pile honestly.  It was a rushed move with no chance to declutter first.

I'm pretty sure I still have a packed box or two from when I moved out to go to college... That was over 15 years ago.

jeromedawg

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2019, 01:18:33 PM »
One of the things that I'm realizing has caused problems for me in packing is sifting through and continuously finding stuff that my mom "gifted" me from her hoard. Half of me feels guilty for tossing something she gave me and half of me feels annoyed that I am having to toss it because she couldn't bring herself to do it. Oh, the baggage we all have!

YES!  My mom (who is gradually becoming a serious, as-seen-on-TV hoarder) did the same thing.  She would buy jewelry and housewares for herself off eBay, receive the things, realize she didn't like them that much, then mail them to me.  A lot of the items were in bad condition and not to my taste.  But I stored them all away because I felt bad parting with gifts from my mom. 

When we finally moved just recently, I boxed ALL that stuff up and mailed it back to her.  Fortunately she was not offended -- more relieved that I hadn't just dumped the stuff at Goodwill.  AND so far it seems to also be a wake-up call to her that she has been flooding my small space with unwanted junk objects for 10+ years. Our new rule is that if she wants to send me something, she has to text a picture of it first, and I can decide yea or nay.

LOL my mom is similar - a lot of stuff we have is actually from her. What she has the poor tendency to do is go on "bargain shopping sprees" at Old Navy, 99 cent stores, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, 5 Below, Ikea As-Is, etc and find "crazy bargains and deals" on items that nobody else wants, then buys multiples of these items as "gifts" to give to people (most of whom also don't want those items 99% of the time, including ourselves lol). What this looks like is her giving random junk to us that we really don't need - items such as placemats ("Oh but I got 50 for one dollar!"), ugly plastic cups, table runners, 4 pairs of flip-flops that she got for 99 cents at Old Navy, clothing items (that we wear maybe once if we dare to) and just other random trinkets and junk that we shouldn't have. When we tell her we don't need/want any of those things, her default response is to tell us to give these items to our friends...sigh. If every dollar she spent on junk that nobody wants went to our kids, it could probably pay for their college tuition!!! We've actually said something along the lines of this to her but she just laughs it off - she's addicted to "finding good deals" in her own mind, even if nobody else thinks it's a good deal (if I find a "bargain" on something nobody else wants or is interested in, it's probably not a bargain at all)

My parents hoard *a lot* of junk - to my mom's credit, she is relatively good about organization but at a certain point you start running out of space (which is the case with them... they can't even park two cars in their two-car garage and they are both retired... well, my mom is a workaholic who still does stuff for the school district; which probably gives her greater justification to go on her dumb bargain junk-shopping sprees). Anyway, a good amount of stuff that we really should get rid of can in fact be directly attributed to her.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 01:28:23 PM by jeromedawg »

jeromedawg

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2019, 01:20:12 PM »
Meanwhile, the other child keeps getting distracted by toys long forgotten and has made almost zero progress.

LOL, sounds just like me...hahahaha!

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2019, 03:12:57 PM »
As someone who just finished back to back moves and is now unpacking (moving is hell, unpacking is worse), my major advice to you is to declutter as much as you can.  As your stuff goes, either you will find that you had a lot more stuff than you thought, or you didn't have that much stuff and your wife's stuff will be more obvious.

The hardest stuff to get rid of is furniture, especially if you live in a small town or rural area.    Any piece of furniture that you won't miss or can be easily replaced, you can get rid of.  It's a lot easier when you aren't in a rush.

GizmoTX

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2019, 03:45:13 PM »
Start purging NOW. You can pack later.
Everything you choose to move you are paying for again decide if new later would be better.

Two years ago, we had 2 houses in separate cities. We decided it was time to downsize to 1. We tore down our 70+ old (failing) vacation house to build our forever home & rented an interim house nearby during the build. Start searching NOW we ended up with a not so great place because it was the off-season.

1.5 years ago, we sold our primary house. We selected what we wanted in our new house & moved it to a climate controlled storage space in our forever city plus a non-climate storage space for garage, shop, & outdoor items. We moved artwork, clothing, & other personal items to our rented house.

We had furniture that we loved but knew would not fit in our downsized final house, so we found homes for them for free. In our experience, garage sales take immense time with little return. Even charities demand almost new & our stuff was in good shape. Waiting for bulk pickup takes calendar time. We scheduled a major shredding of sensitive documents to avoid moving them or falling into the wrong hands, but you can find almost free shredding by scouts or a church if you start early enough. We used packers for the storage items because we were running out of time, BUT it was all pre-purged.

Our rented house was now our full time house. When its lease ran out last July, the owners wanted a longer lease to renew than our max of 6 months. Even tho it meant yet another move, we found the perfect place that we wish wed had the whole time. We purged again & organized tools & garage stuff into covered plastic totes.

We have one more move to do, into our new house, but it should be the easiest. We expect to do another purge as we merge the stored items with the items were keeping from our rented house.

Noodle

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2019, 04:03:49 PM »
I sympathize with your wife--moves are tough and first moves even tougher. A few thoughts--

 1. The perfect is the enemy of the good. Whatever you get done before the move will be better than doing nothing
2. It's not surprising your wife is struggling with her feelings about the move. The local grocery chain I shop at is about to open a new location which will be much more convenient to me. I'm excited to start shopping there. But last week when I was driving to my old store, for what will likely be my last weekly shop there, I was feeling a little sad--I've been going there every Saturday for 5-6 years now. And it's just a grocery store! Our brains just struggle with change sometimes. Let her be where she is.
3. Go ahead and start decluttering what you can--your things, and any "joint" categories that your wife will agree to let you take on. For instance, if you're done having children you might agree that you can take all the baby stuff to Goodwill at this point.
4. I also sympathize with trying to declutter and pack with little kids underfoot. Parenting involves a million little decisions a day, and decision fatigue is a real thing, aside from the distraction factor. Can you find someone to take them for an afternoon or a day, or can you at least take turns taking them out so the other person can work on the project?
5. Second the idea to start looking for your rental now. Especially since you want to move in winter, you may be able to find landlords who know they have a tenant leaving then and would be happy to have a new tenant lined up given that winters are a tougher market. Or if you're looking at big complexes, you may be able to look at a similar unit even if it's not the one that would be available to you--enough to help your

And keep in mind, you probably will have to declutter again after you move. No matter how how carefully you plan and pack, your new space will work differently than the old one and your stuff will have to adjust.

SunnyDays

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2019, 04:55:09 PM »
Get or create an estimate for how much the move will cost with all of your current belongings, then figure out a per pound amount.  Knowing that every pound you declutter now will save you X amount of money might motivate you both.

AMandM

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2019, 07:16:09 AM »
I completely sympathize with your wife. Five years ago we moved out of what we had thought would be our forever home, when we bought it 15 years before. Even though I was the person most in favor of the move, I found it wrenching--this was the house where we put down roots for the first time in our married life, where we had installed tile and built a shed and learned plumbing, where all our dead pets were buried, etc. So I echo those who say to talk about the feelings--not as a way to make your wife get with the program, but to acknowledge and respect those feelings.

As to the actual decluttering, I would recommend starting by doing what you can do yourself. In my experience, the decluttering is never complete before you have to move, but anything you declutter is one less object that has to be packed, moved, and unpacked. So do what you can and don't worry about your wife's stuff. It sounds like you could make a big difference fairly easily by eliminating the junk from your mother, which might be a satisfying way to begin the decluttering with a win.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2019, 09:04:10 AM »
Seconding AMandM after rereading your posts. Getting rid of the junk from your mother will kick start your decluttering. It will show your wife you are walking the walk. And it will free up some space which will make the next round of decluttering easier.

BlueHouse

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2019, 12:29:28 PM »
I'm the same as your wife even when I'm excited to move.  I get analysis paralysis for packing.  So I recommend just packing everything that's not broken or worn out and culling the stuff when you get to your new place.  It's so much easier to dispose of things when you have a brand new place and you don't want to sully it with too many things that you don't need. 

Zamboni

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2019, 03:16:10 PM »
^This mentality will really help me on Sunday and Monday. At this point, I just need to stop sorting and starting tossing in boxes blitzkrieg style. If I tell myself I can pop things in the donate box during unpacking, then it will making it easier to stop analyzing every item as I pack. Thank you for this.

marble_faun

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2019, 08:28:32 PM »
I'm the same as your wife even when I'm excited to move.  I get analysis paralysis for packing.  So I recommend just packing everything that's not broken or worn out and culling the stuff when you get to your new place.  It's so much easier to dispose of things when you have a brand new place and you don't want to sully it with too many things that you don't need.

I did this in my move-before-last.  The result: our portion of the basement was stacked with so many boxes of junk that it was unusable for six years, until we moved again and finally hauled 90% of the stuff to Goodwill.

If you're a person who tends to cling to things, planning to declutter "someday" can be a dangerous game.

Start chucking stuff now! Divest yourself of these material burdens!

(I think it is different if you only have a few days to move. But the OP a couple months to figure out a good strategy.)

Bee21

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2019, 04:07:19 AM »
Check out the Clutter fairy on youtube. She is a houston based professional organizer and has heaps of videos (around 1hr each!) About decluttering.  She even has dedicated videos to packing, moving etc. I tend to listen to her while decluttering.

Definitely start now. It gets easier once you are in the groove.. Get a garbage bag and quickly fill it with stuff which is easy to identify as rubbish. The clutter fairy recommends doing a 27 things to toss 27 things to donate quick session just to get you started. Have a week when you just purge the obvious stuff you definitely don't want to take with you. You still have the time to sell a few things on ebay. Check out the charity shops in the area and have a plan how and when to take there your unwanted stuff. Sometimes the collection bins are full, so you have to drive around. In my area, tuesday is the best time to drop off stuff, as people declutter at the weekend and the charity bins are full until Monday.

If your wife is reluctant, start with your own stuff. Then sort out the kids stuff. Decluttering and packing other people's stuff is a horrible thing, i know, bc i am the only one in my house purging regularly and I hate it. So start doing it as soon as possible as it is a stressful process. Once you've minimised your possessions it will be much easier to pack.

I do room by room decluttering,  every week concentrating on different areas. In the past 3 months i got rid of half our clothes, kitchen stuff, kid's stuff.....there were things I didn't consider decluttering in the first round but 3 months later I realised that I am not planning to use it in the near future, so why keep it. It is a long process, not a one off session. Don't pack away stuff you are not planning to use. You can get rid off a lot of stuff in an hour, so maybe dedicate an hour each evening to minimising your possessions for the next 4-6 weeks. Once you identify what you want to keep it will be easier to plan the move.


We are thinking of moving in the next 2 years and the main question i ask 'would i pay to move it to the new place?

I recently helped a friend move, and it was ridiculous,  she refused to get rid off anything, we spent hours packing a mountain of Tupperware, scratched plates and mismatched glasses.....they are probably still in the boxes.  I would have tossed 80% of them, but it was not my decision to make.

Sibley

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2019, 07:52:52 AM »
1. Do your stuff first. You've got a lot you can do before you need your wife on board, so just do what you can for now. Your activity has a good chance of getting her to start.
2. Clothes: if it doesn't fit, it goes. If you haven't worn it in more than a year AND it's not a special occasion item, it goes. Special occasion items - decide how much space you'll allocate to pack it in; think about the special occasions you actually need special stuff for; put the stuff that works for the events you know about in, then continue putting stuff in until you run out of space. The rest goes.
3. Stuff: If you haven't used it in more than a year, it most likely goes.

"Goes" can be donate, gift, trash, or sell. However, set yourself a deadline to list it. If you haven't listed it by that date, then just donate it.

MayDay

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2019, 07:03:27 AM »
You are talking a lot about your wife.

Stop.

Do your own work.

Throw away (donate) all the stuff from your mom. Pull out everything from your own closet, put back only what Sparks joy, and donate the rest. Go through a hall closet and toss anything not used at least annually if not monthly. 

Mushave

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2020, 01:35:02 AM »
It's amazing how much stuff a person can accumulate in 10 years of life, and if we talk about family, there will be much more belongings.
Yeah, well I didn't realize I had this much stuff back here until I had to move. In fact, this is a sore subject for me. Because I understand that many things need to be disposed of, but I can't do it. This is because they hold a memory and they are of sentimental value to me.
And I understand that I don't use many things, but I can't throw them away. Does anyone else have the same problem as me?

DaMa

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2020, 07:38:47 AM »
I've moved several times in the past 10 years.  I agree with the others - start decluttering now.
Here's a couple of things that haven't been mentioned...

1.  You can replace it.  If you get rid of something and find you want it back, you can get another one.  This is especially true if you consider what it costs to move it.  When I moved from Detroit to San Diego, I paid about $1 per pound.  There were things I didn't take, just because I could replace them cheaper if I decided I needed to.  For example, I had pretty much quit using my cast iron skillets, because they are so heavy.  They went to Goodwill.  My family china got packed away in my son's attic. 

2.  Take a picture and start a photo album of things that have sentimental value, but you really don't need to keep.  Flipping through those photos brings back the memories the same as having the actual item.

The Kondo method is actually really great when your packing.  If it doesn't "spark joy," don't bother taking it in to your new life.

Sibley

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2020, 10:26:17 AM »
@jeromedawg   Update? Since someone brought this thread back to life.

MilesTeg

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2020, 10:51:23 AM »
Hey all,

We are planning on moving (not too far but to a different area bit south of us) in a couple months. The plan is to rent for a year where we are moving then consider buying. We don't have a move-in date (or place) set but we plan for it to be sometime in January 2020 preferably. That said, we have been told that since we are renting we shouldn't start looking for a place to rent until end of Nov and December or 30-45 days before we actually want to move.
Last time I moved was back in 2007 when I moved into the current place. My wife was living at home with her parents and moved in after we were married. We haven't moved ever since so this will be our first move and it will be quite significant - for my wife it's very unsettling not knowing *where* we're going exactly. We know the city/area we're moving to obviously and the neighborhood as well but not the house/condo/apt/etc that we will end up in. So because of this, she feels less motivated and inclined *not* to start packing, which doesn't seem very productive towards making any headway with being move-ready.

We have accumulated a lot of crap over the years (especially the pre-Mustachian ones), so decluttering is going to be a BEAST of a job...a lot of it is mine but my wife has her fair share too (mostly clothing and shoes that she doesn't really wear much). My wife partly blames her lack of motivation on my clutter too, so it just feels like we're just stuck in a rut. It's already busy enough with the two kids around to distract us (4 and 2).
I'll talk about how we should declutter stuff but my wife isn't onboard and is barely motivated - we are moving for schooling for our son and are both onboard about that but she has verbally expressed that she will miss this place and doesn't want to move, which is understandable.
It's frustrating and overwhelming thinking through how to even get started. It feels like it's far away but it really isn't. But it also feels 'nebulous' in that we don't have a place that we've committed to moving into yet (so I get why it's hard for her to want to pack up when we don't even know where we'll end up).
We already packed up a bunch of boxes of books and stuff that was in my office and brought it up to my in-laws' place not long ago (even some of that we should probably give away). There's a lot more though - it seems never-ending and this is another thing my wife has trouble with. But instead of just letting it get to us, we have to get over it somehow and proceed.
Even the thought of the two/three box (keep/donate/trash) strategy is overwhelming because I feel like my wife (and myself to an extent) will say "Oh but I think we'll keep/use that in the future" but maybe we just need to physically get the boxes in front of us and just do it, right?

Anyway, I'm just trying to figure out a good strategy and plan of action to take with getting everyone on board and moving forward with things. Any suggestions/advice/tips?

Our rule of thumb is: if we haven't used it in a year, and it's not a keepsake:

a. shame on us for buying it, clearly it was not really needed
b. sell / donate / recycle / trash it.
c. in b, don't fall prey to the sunk cost fallacy

When we last moved we were ruthless, and we have not regretted it. All we have 'in storage' is about a dozen medium tubs of keepsakes between the two of us. It's quite liberating TBH.

jeromedawg

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #34 on: February 18, 2020, 10:18:35 PM »
@jeromedawg   Update? Since someone brought this thread back to life.

Hey thanks for checking in - at this point, the move is on hold. We aren't as much in a rush to move since we (as of recently) are planning to delay our son starting K for another year. So we do have a little more time to figure things out as far as the logistics on moving, etc.

Other than that, I haven't really been thinking about any of this for some time now but especially in the past 2-3 months as my dad has been suffering from major anxiety (seems like general anxiety disorder but hoping it's not anything more concerning like an early onset of Alzheimer's).
In fact, before things went downhill with my dad (or right around the time they started but we didn't know how bad), we picked up some furniture off Freecycle (bunk bed and loft) for the kids in anticipation of moving so it feels like we have even more stuff LOL. Anyway, it has been a pretty stressful period of time these past few months and I feel like things are going to have to be put on hold for a bit.


AMandM

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Re: Practical tips on packing, decluttering and moving?
« Reply #35 on: February 21, 2020, 12:19:41 PM »
I'm sorry to hear about your father's decline, but glad that you have the extra year to deal with it without the simultaneous stress of a move.

FWIW, in case it helps you, I personally find that if there is stuff I can get rid of easily, even a little purging often makes me feel less stressed.