What's that box in the back of your closet? Anything good?

One of the most stressful aspects of moving is all the decision-making involved. There are dozens of decisions to make. Decisions like where you’ll do your grocery shopping. Or what things to keep when you're trying to pare down. 

A way to mitigate the decisions on what to keep is to have a plan before you start.

One (seemingly) simple plan is:

 Keep only what you need, use and love. 

This is straight forward enough. But figuring out what to keep can trip you up when there are emotional attachments to a piece.

Let's say you've come to a box from the back of your closet. It's filled with frames, figurines, and candles that you don't have room to display. Your first reaction might be that you need to keep these things. You’ve always loved them. You would display them if only you had room.

The first sign that you don't love them anymore, is that they're still in that box in the back of the closet.

It’s sad to think of them going to waste in your closet. Time to let them go to someone who will use and enjoy them the way you once did.

There may be some items that you can’t bear to part with, even though you’re not using them right now. Please don’t agonize over these. Better to set them aside for now. When you’re done with the room you’re in, look at these things one more time.

Often these are easier to address after you’ve packed the rest of the room. But if you’re still feeling conflicted, pack these things in a box labeled for the room they came from. Then add a “donate on…” date. Mark this date on your calendar to remind you.

Now you’ll have some time to find out whether you actually do need or love the items inside. If you miss an item, you have it where you can get to it.

When you get to the donation date, and you haven’t needed to retrieve the items from it, don’t open the box. Donate it as it is. And enjoy having that space back.

One final thought. You may find that you’ve let something go that you could have used. Replacing it may seem wasteful. But it’s been my experience that the risk of this hiccup is well worth it. Beyond that, most people discover that they can find a workaround without having to buy another.

In the long run, you have gained so much more by being out from underneath the weight of all that excess.

  • Now you have less stuff to maintain.

  • You have the space to find and use what you do keep.

  • You’ve gained the calming effect of less clutter in your home.

Yes. Worth the risk.