We all know moving can be stressful. But one thing I didn’t anticipate last time I moved was the stress I felt about how much stuff I have. When it was all crammed into a mountain of boxes in the middle of the room, it suddenly seemed simply overwhelming.
Was that really all mine? And did I really need it all?
The experience left me thinking. Moving really is the best time to weed out what you can put on the trash heap or the donation pile. What if you were to limit yourself to a certain number of boxes and force yourself to discard all but what could fit inside?
I mentioned the idea to a friend, who actually took me up on it. She was about to move to a smaller place and decided this was the perfect time to try a “25-box move.” Everything that didn’t fit into those 25 boxes would get the old heave-ho.
Well, as you’d suspect, it is surprisingly hard to decide whether there is room for Grandma’s antique—but never used—candleholders. Or if that old National Geographic collection holds enough sentimental value to save.
My friend pulled her hair out in the process, but managed it in the end. Some of her boxes were rather large, but there were in fact only 25 of them. Here are some of the tricks she used:
- Use a wardrobe box. Sometimes bigger is better! Wardrobe boxes are great because they’re so large and do help you transport a lot of clothing. You can maximize the space by packing shoes, jeans and sweaters in the bottom of the box, under the rest of the clothes you’re hanging.
- Multi-task soft items as packing material. Items like gooseneck lamps and old candleholders might seem like space hogs, but you’ll make good use of your boxes by stuffing clothing, sheets, and other soft items around them.
- Be merciless with books. They’re wonderful to have around, but how many of them have you actually opened in the last 15 years? You can keep your favorites and maintain their ambiance with a couple well-placed bookcases.
- Kick out the kitchen gadgets. A lot of these little tools are only for one thing that could be accomplished another way. If the tool is a one-use wonder, put it in the discard pile unless it is something you use daily.
Have you tried a 25-box move? Can it really be done? What tips from your own experience do you have for weeding out or packing smartly?