Before you move, always, always get rid of stuff. This is Moving 101 Basics. Deciding how to get rid of stuff can be tricky, because most people assume, incorrectly, that they will “need” the elephantine sized industrial juicer at some point in the future. You will not. Just…. shhhhh…. let it go. I’ve heard all the objections to getting rid of junk, mostly my own. Remember, clutter is the mind killer, and purging is weakness leaving your house. The following are parts of the purging process that although not readily apparent at first, will result in a big happy purge in the end.
1. Cry, because even though you’re getting rid of stuff you’ve completely wiped from memory, and just rediscovered 10 seconds ago, it’s incredibly important and meaningful to you.
2. Plan ahead for trash, keep, and give away. Just so you know, the trash pile should be huge, the keep pile should fit in a shoebox.
3. Fight with spouse over what goes in every pile. This is when you discover there are multiple meanings for trash.
5. Cry over your kids baby pictures that remind you of all the horrible things you did as a parent.
6. Limit the amount of time you spend “reminiscing” over old stuff you find to about 20 seconds. Seriously, this is not the time to reflect on life choices, just pick a pile.
7. They won’t pack your food. All the meats in the back of your freezer can be combined with the 73 cans, and counting, of Cream of Mushroom soup you accidentally keep buying, thrown in a casserole dish, topped with tater tots and called a meal. It will feed 400 church members for Wednesday night Pot Luck. It should make up for the time you got drunk at the church picnic.
8. Tell your kids that Toy Story is a lie and their toys will not be abused by day care children in the Caterpillar room. Remind them that if they took care of their toys, you wouldn’t have to give them away.
9. Buy your kids ice cream because you made them cry.
10. Spend incredible amounts of focused energy trying to figure out a way to NOT have to do anymore work, that won’t cost money.
11. You can see the floor now, you begin to have hope there may be an alternative end to this process that doesn’t include prozac and a polo mallet. (h/t Manhattan Murder Mystery)
12. With the end in sight, you now start to care way, way less about everything you touch. It is during this phase that you need to be cautious you don’t accidentally throw out stuff you actually do want. Like, a letter written by your great grandmother to your grandfather during WWII. That, you keep. Or the deed to your house.
13. Don’t stop, you’re almost done. This is where the big mistake of, “I’ll finish in the morning,” bites you in the BLEEP. You won’t finish in the morning. You won’t go back in that room for seven more days. You have to push through until the bitter, bitter end. Until it’s exactly the way you want it for the packers. Now, I personally, quit towards the end, promise I’ll finish up, and never go back for seven days. So if you’re like me, it’s important to have someone who will finish the job, working with you. A closer. That’s usually your spouse who is a Type A personality with compulsive tendencies. They are GOLD in a move. Exploit them.