Moving into a new apartment in Glen Allen, VA is stressful enough. When you start thinking about how to transport all of your endless stuff, it’s no wonder you might fall into anxiety overload. But there is one tried-and-true way to make your move less miserable: downsizing.
Here’s your seven-step guide to purging before you pack.
1. Consider your new space
Whether you’re downsizing or upgrading your square footage, keep in mind what will and won’t fit; consider style as well as size.
And don’t just plan to put oversized pieces in storage until the day you have a bigger home. Unless they’re heirlooms or antiques, or have sentimental value, you’ll probably never think of them again.
2. Dig through the closets
Somehow, closets absorbs all your secret junk—and still has enough room for more and more stuff to be thrown in it. Step No.1 for a pre-move downsizing: Sort through that terrifying mess.
Take a long, hard look at your clothing and closets to see what you can throw out or donate.
Follow the “two-season rule” and ditch any clothing item you haven’t worn in two seasons six months or more.
3. Ditch old kids’ clothes
Go through your children’s closets with the same discerning eye. In fact—because kids grow so fast—take an even more critical look.
Make sure to only move clothing that fits.
4. Sift through old electronics
A lot of people have broken electronics. Whether they’re old laptops, cracked cellphones, or numerous micro-USB chargers, they need to get thrown away.
5. Sort, sort, sort
Go through each room, from least-used to most-trafficked, and sort each and every item you see. Divide them into three piles: keep, donate, and toss.
Once you have the donate and toss piles in order, deal with them immediately. The longer they sit, the more likely you are to put junk into your moving boxes.
6. Ditch the duplicates
Unless you’re holding onto something for sentimental reasons, now’s the time to get rid of doubles. Two wine holders? Multiple printers? Six table lamps when you need only three? Choose your favorites and say sayonara to the rest.
7. Create an ‘open first box’
Also, kee things smooth when it comes time to unpack: Create an “open first box,” complete with toilet paper, lightbulbs, toiletries, basic cleaning supplies, and bed sheets. This genius idea keeps you from having to dig through every box to fill your basic needs on your first night in your new place—just open, kick back, and relax. Just make sure to label it clearly and instruct your movers to leave it somewhere obvious.