There is so much to worry about when you’re moving a long distance like leaving old friends, starting a new life and potentially living in a foreign culture. Recently two of my best friends moved across the country. In the midst of finding a place to live and transitioning into new, more challenging roles at work, they both had to make critical decisions about the items that made up their environment.
What is the financial cost of keeping certain possessions when you’re moving a long distance? Is there an emotional cost of letting things go? It can be so overwhelming to decide which items to keep and which to let go of. Like it or not, when moving, it is a very necessary task. Here are five critical questions to ask yourself before deciding which items to pack.
Many moving companies will charge based on the weight of the truck. Because of this, the more heavy items you can let go of, the more money you will save. Great examples in this category are cleaning products and hygiene products like body wash, shampoo etc. If you have time, try and use these items up before you move. You would spend just as much money moving them as you would to replace them. Save yourself the packing time and moving money. Just don’t forget to pack a few necessities (ideally travel size) in your personal suitcase so that you have them before you get a chance to have them replaced.
Maybe you once used an item a lot but have not done so in recent years. It may be time to let go of it. The price-per-use is probably pretty low from all of the years you used it. You’ve gotten your money’s worth! Don’t pay to move an item you will probably never use again. Not only will it cost you space on the truck, it will cost you space in your new home that you may need for other items that you use more frequently. A couple of good examples of items in this category are old electronics and gifts you’ve received and never used. Do not be afraid to let these items go. The last thing the gift giver would want is for you to pay to move an item you don’t enjoy or use.
What is your vision for your new space? Make sure that everything you are taking will fit into your next home and lifestyle. For example, is your new home already decorated in a certain style? Consider the aesthetic vision you have for your new space. Are you combining households with someone? Maybe they already have some of the things you are planning to bring. In this situation consider who has the best of the two and don’t waste money moving stuff, only to let it go upon unpacking. Perhaps the climate is different and won’t need to take your long winter coat.. Envision yourself in your new space. Which items make sense and which do not?
So many of us keep items that we intend to mend, fix, or buy a replacement part for. Keeping these items in a long distance move isn’t always cost effective. Consider if it would cost more to move the item and fix it then to just buy a new one upon arrival that will be brand new. Besides, what is the likelihood that you’ll have time to fix the item in the midst of a move if you haven’t done it already?
We all have things we hold on to that make us smile when we see them. Objects can happily reflect another part of our lives. By no means do you need to let go of these items. If they continue to make you happy, they are worth holding on to. It’s possible that these are the type of things that will bring you a sense of comfort in the midst of great change. So. if you need to pay for the physical weight of a paperweight Great Aunt Sally gave you when you graduated from college because you like to hold it while you think at your desk and it makes you happy, keep it! But if there are items (say the collection of sports trophies your mom mailed you last month) that weigh a ton and you have no desire to keep them, set them up, snap a goofy picture and then donate them to a trophy shop. With items that hold emotional value, make sure to give credit when due.
Moving, especially long distances, can be very costly. Don’t let moving be emotionally costly by keeping items that won’t serve you once you get to your new home! By asking yourself these five questions you can help make confident decisions about what items make it onto the truck!
Know you need to start thinking about decluttering for your move but unsure of where to start? Check out our blog post “10 Easy Ways to De-clutter Before You Move”
Good luck! We hope your next move is the fresh start you were hoping for!
This article was written by Mackenzie