Thursday, October 21, 2010

Making Moving Easier Step III

Step #3: Edit + Sort

Now that you have a idea of how you want to live and an idea of the new space itself, it's time to go through your things. This is so you get reacquainted with what you have, edit out (donate, sell, give away, recycle, and/or trash) what's not adding to your life, and get things sorted so you can move onto the next step, mapping out the new space! Plus the less you have, the less you have to move.

EDITING: I believe our things are tools to help us live the lives we want to live. Ask yourself "does keeping this inhibit or enable me to live the life I want to live?". Don't get rid of something just for the sake of it, or because you haven't used it in X amount of time. Keep things you'll actually use (even if only once a year) and are worth the 'cost' of keeping; we pay by square foot here in NYC, so we literally pay to store things in our apts.

SORTING: Group like things together; all kitchen stuff, office supplies, clothes, tools, batteries, vases, etc. A key concept to being organized, this also helps you edit. Example: seeing a vase on it's own, it's hard to know whether to keep it, but seeing all your 15 vases together you can see maybe it's time to let go of a few. Use shopping bags or designate surfaces for each category and use labels to keep things straight (believe me, it helps!).

It's never too soon to do this as it can take quite some time depending on how much you're starting with.
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AilanthusAltissima said...

The process of going through all of my things is something I am learning to do. I've moved several times and there are boxes and boxes of stuff that I have never opened in years - I just transfer the unopened boxes to the next place. I've been in one place for almost four years now and in the past two years I started actually opening boxes and going through them. I have managed to get rid of a lot of things in the past two years (though I still feel like I am keeping too much stuff). What has surprised me about this process is how long it takes me. A lot of the unopened boxes I have are full of documents - old work and research papers from graduate school, old documents from a small business I used to run, old personal financial records, old papers from former jobs etc. I have recycled or shredded a lot of things, but it is a long, slow process for me. I am doing better now at not keeping so many papers with my current life and job, but sometimes I feel that I'll never get to an end of the boxes. And there is always that nagging fear that I will destroy an important financial document.

So I was wondering, do you literally go through all of your possessions on a regular basis and edit and if so, how often?

laura said...

lots of people do that, moving boxes without opening them so don't feel so bad. and it takes everyone a long time to go through their things, again, it's not just you. BUT you have started going through it and many people never do! just keep chipping away at it, progress is progress and doing it slowly is better than not doing it at all.

i feel like the process takes a while and is difficult so you hopefully learn to see your things differently and stop accumulating/consuming without purpose.

the best way to go through your paperwork is to ask your tax attorney or cpa to give you a list of what you need to keep so you have a clear framework to guide you. and when in doubt, keep it.

i go through pretty much all my things little by little throughout the year, but keep in mind it took me a few years and 2 moves to get down to this little (in terms of how much i own), which makes it a lot easier. Since everything has its place in the home, once that 'place' gets crowded it shows me it's time to go through it. The main thing for me is limiting what I bring into my life so i don't have to worry about having to go through it later...

keep up the good albeit slow work!!