Lightening the load when you’re moving house

Changing address can mean changing lifestyles, too—adapting to new neighbors and switching your local coffee shop and bar. It can also mean a change in how you view your possessions. Moving house is the perfect time to lighten the load both literally and figuratively. Here are some ways to make the process of moving house more manageable.

Be selective

Many families manage to put their stuff in boxes, move it into the new house, and spend the next fifteen years never unpacking it. Much of the stuff we have we don’t necessarily need—and being able to differentiate the necessary from the expendable is an important skill. If you haven’t learned it yet, now is the perfect time to do so.

Organize and cull

Your daughter’s high school yearbook is irreplaceable. Your old Woman’s Weeklys or Fishing magazines, however, are probably not something you’ll need anytime soon. Try and think back to the last time you used something. If you can’t remember, you can probably live without it.

Use moving house as a great way to get rid of clutter

Have a recycle pile, a giveaway pile, and a keep pile. If you have difficulty letting go, give yourself a “probation pile” and stack it with all the items that you’re mixed about. Go through it a few days before you leave—anything you’ve forgotten about can go straight to the giveaway pile. Don’t take what you don’t want with you when you move house.

If you want a bit of extra cash, don’t forget that your “giveaway pile” can also be a much more lucrative “sell pile.” Try selling on GumTree or Facebook Marketplace, or even your local market. This will lighten the financial load as well as the moving van, and makes letting go of your old things easier!

Moving house is a great time to give things back!

Don’t forget that the various parties you’ve hosted over the years may mean that half of your kitchen’s inventory isn’t actually yours. Go through your pots and pans and try and remember whether the casserole dish is in fact your neighbour’s. Also keep in mind that pots and pans are easily replaceable, and you don’t necessarily need to fill ten boxes with your kitchenware. Use moving house as an excuse to get rid of clutter.

Label boxes carefully

With fewer things to pack you can afford to be more organized. Have different boxes for books, clothes, and silverware. Label boxes on each side so they can be directed to the right room; otherwise, moving day will be chaos. Clear instructions can save a lot of time and effort. Enjoy starting over. Rather than seeing your new and emptier home as overwhelming, remember how much more work it was when you had to de-clutter! Try and see moving house as liberating. It can even be an excuse for a shopping spree. You do have to replace that casserole pan you returned to your neighbor, after all…

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Jenni Proctor

Hi, I'm Jenni Proctor from Boomers Next Step. Remember when the formula for success in life was simply to strive for good marks at school, gain qualifications, get a great job, work hard and save for your retirement? Yes, I believed it too! For years my husband David and I wanted to develop a business that we could operate anywhere in the world, but both of us were educated to be employees.  We had entrepreneurial dreams and ideas, but still had employee mindsets. 14 years ago I took the giant leap!  I left my job in Education to start a business as a Career Counsellor and Coach, helping mature adults transition from one career path to another, and particularly from employment to entrepreneurship.  I had studied long and hard to gain new qualifications but sadly I hadn’t learnt how to market my new business. About 12 years ago we realized that we were not tracking well towards having the sort of retirement we wanted. We’d saved; we’d invested; and like so many other people we’d also lost some money along the way. It didn’t help that my business was not bringing in as much as I had been earning as an employee. Our dreams of extensive travel and helping our family were being replaced by a growing concern that we would outlive our savings. It seemed that a traditional retirement would not allow us to maintain the lifestyle we wanted. I love helping people plan the next phase of their lives, but we realized that was not going to be enough.  We needed a way to create an income stream that would pay for the travel and other lifestyle luxuries we wanted, that would provide mental stimulation, and would interest us both.

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