- Moving is a pain.
- The worst part about moving is gathering up your clutter.
- We know of a habit helps prioritize your items.
- It’s easy to eliminate clutter and become more flexible.
- See how.
Moving season is fast approaching. Year after year, thousands of people schlep their collection of clutter from one apartment to another. Another year. Another apartment. The same frustration.
No one on earth has avoided the stress and annoyance of moving. In the off chance that they haven’t yet, they will someday soon. There are a lot of factors that make moving a pain. For instance, squeezing that old leather sectional up a narrow flight of stairs isn’t fun, but at least you can get it out of the way in one big trip. Taping together cardboard box after cardboard box isn’t great, but it’s not the worst thing in the world. Gathering reluctant friends to help you carry furniture isn’t a mountaintop experience for anyone involved, but buying everyone pizza and beer usually solves the problem and makes it worth it (just make sure you buy after things are done to avoid an afternoon crash).
So when it comes to moving, what pushes people over the edge and drives them crazy?
Person after person claims that the worst part about moving is gathering up the random small stuff they never use. We become obsessive over little trinkets that we never need, never use, and never think twice about. We’re plagued by a flurry of “What if?” questions. What if I need this someday? What if I can’t replace this? What if I convince myself that this meaningless thing actually means a lot to me?
It’s incredible how we justify keeping absolutely useless things. Guess what? If you can’t remember the last time using something, then, chances are, you’ll never need it again. Clutter happens when we use something once and then decide that it should become a permanent fixture in our lives.
“Oh, I better keep this really specific type of cleaner that I had to use one time and haven’t touched in the two years since buying it,” we whisper to ourselves as we pack it into the cardboard box full of oddly specific sealants, stocking stuffers we never opened, and keepsakes that we don’t actually care about.
Hoarding is an unnecessary evil. And it adds up. Little by little, we create a mountain of mess.
Uncluttering your life will unclutter your mind and make everything easier, not just moving. Cleaning, organizing, and setting up your home will all feel like a breeze when you don’t have to move around 100+ items.
The key is being fearless. Don’t be afraid to let things go—it’s rewarding to feel free from the chains of clutter.
Solve your clutter problem forever and never hate moving again
For the next six weeks, try this challenge. Whenever you use any item in your house—yes, anything—write it down on a notepad. So whether it’s your toothbrush or a fork, it goes down on the list when you use it. Count clothes, too. Which t-shirts did you wear? Which pairs of socks? Which spatulas? Yes, anything.
Why do something as weird as this for an entire six weeks?
Because—chances are—you’re going to move apartments. When you do, this exhaustive list will tell you exactly what you need to bring with you. Without any significant effort, you’ve created a prioritized list of your biggest (material) needs in life.
What do you do with it? Use that list to motivate donating or throwing away things you never use.
The items that make up the list are important. Those are the things that have to follow you to your next apartment, so pack them up first and take a look at everything that’s left behind. Is any of that stuff really worth keeping? Before you irrationally justify saving it, answer these questions:
- Why do I have this in the first place?
- Did I know that I had this before I saw it?
- How would keeping this increase my quality of life?
- How would letting this go increase my quality of life?
- Assuming that others could use this more than me, why should I be the one to keep it?
- If I were encouraging a friend to get rid of their excess of stuff, would I advise keeping this?
- Weigh pros and cons. Try and lean against any hoarding tendencies.
We shouldn’t justify keeping something we barely use without serious thought. Otherwise, we’ll end up in the same position we’ve always been in: moving useless knick-knacks for years and years.
Trust us. This process is rewarding and has a huge payoff. Moving or not, we encourage you to try it out to see what items you have are worth keeping.