I’m back! Did you miss me?
As I mentioned in my last blog post, I decided to get rid of everything and move out of my apartment; and today, I’m pleased to announce that on the evening of June 15, I made my final exit!
It was a difficult race to the finish line, but honestly, I couldn’t be happier. In less than 30 days, I did everything from packing to donating, selling, and tossing what I couldn’t take with me. I didn’t track my hours, but you can imagine how long it took to sort through everything I’d accumulated over the last seven years — despite my attempts at purging at least once a year.
Day 1 of my move couldn’t have been better. With the help of two friends, it took less than an hour to load up their Jeep, transport my things, and store them in a somewhat final destination . . . One car. One trip. Less than an hour from start to finish. (Yes, people. That’s how little I own at the moment!) Day 2 called for last-minute cleaning and gathering my clothes, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. Earlier that day, one of the same friends agreed to pick up my bed and dispose of it responsibly, so no stress there. Then, I was out for good.
Along the way, I picked up a few tips and tricks for relocating quickly, and a few others on adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Originally, I posted them on my IG story for inquiring family and friends, but now that I have a bit of free-time, I can publish them here for future reference . . .
So I present to you, in no particular order, my tips and tricks on downsizing, moving, and becoming a minimalist. Enjoy!
- Create a checklist; then, prioritize what gets done first. Add specific tasks to your calendar as needed. (Oh yes, it’s that important.)
- Think about the stuff you can’t see right away — i.e., anything hidden or in storage that hasn’t seen the light of day in ages.
- Start with the most challenging area(s) — be it a particular room, cabinet, or closet — and go to work on it . . . You’ll thank yourself later.
- Eliminate items by category. For example: clothes, shoes, dishes, paperwork, etc.
Rule of thumb: if you’re not crazy about it, get rid of it.
- Once you’ve identified items that absolutely must go, commit to moving them out of your space ASAP . . .
- Take a trip to the dumpster and/or recycling bin; load up your trunk with gently used items and stop by Goodwill and/or Salvation Army; snap a few good photos and sell big-ticket items on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace (my new favorite thing! I got rid of my furniture in less than 2 weeks!)
- If possible, move all donations to your front door or someplace where you’ll always see them till they’re gone. If you’re like me, this will drive you crazy, but it’ll get the job done.
Resist the temptation to keep putting it off. Same-day is the goal.
- Still struggling? Play music while you work. Create a packing playlists that’s fun, but helps you stay in the zone.
- Reward yourself for all your hard work. Once you’ve tackled and completed something major, celebrate!
- Stay focused. Don’t use up valuable space on what-if, maybe, or someday items. Don’t use it up on keepsakes either. You’ve done that before, and look where it got you!
- OK, if it’s that important, you can always take a picture of it.
- Develop filing and organizing systems that are smart and help reduce clutter. (If you can, invest in a good paper shredder and storage bins.)
- Just say NO to catch-all spaces.
- Make it a priority to live with less: don’t buy things you don’t need; don’t buy things you’ll forget about or want to give away in a few months.
If it doesn’t have a “home” in your home, maybe it shouldn’t be there.
- When it comes to your move, don’t pack anything you don’t plan to keep.
- For your wardrobe, think big picture. Invest in quality and versatile pieces. Put your pennies towards things that won’t wear and tear after a few years, and don’t buy something just because it’s trendy. (I started doing this last summer and rocked a lot of the same pieces all year . . . I now have less than 20 hangers, and most of my laundry fits in two bags.)
- Avoid “multiples” like products and tools that do that same things. Pick one and stick with it.
- Last but not least, think about how good you’re going to feel once you have a handle on all your possessions. It’s truly liberating and makes moving a breeze. Let that motivate you.
That’s all I have for you, friends! I hope these tips were helpful.
Just FYI: I didn’t follow any particular book or method — I just pulled information from a variety of online resources and went from there. Downsizing is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and this summer gave me the perfect opportunity to test everything I’ve learned in a big way.
I’ll need to revisit this post from time to time to keep up with my new lifestyle. If you have any additional tips to share, leave them in the comments.
Seven years of life. Thirty days to get it out the door. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED . . . I’ll keep you all posted on the next steps in my journey.