The 6 Big Lessons I Learned from Moving

9 years ago we decided it was time to make a move.  We had a cute little old house in a quiet neighborhood, but we were ready for a change, so we started the process to put our house on the market

I think about that little house with the dormers often.  All the hard-work, sweat, paint & memories of our first home.  It was a great place to start our family.  A great beginning.  And the decision to move was a good one, but the steps that it took to get the house ready to sell almost made me change my mind & decide to stay put.

We had two kids under 5 and an old fixer-upper.  It was a recipe for lots of late night sessions with a paint brush & a radio, as well as the decision to rent a storage unit to contain all the extra clutter that we couldn’t deal with at the time. 

The funny thing is that once we had cleared the house of clutter & wrapped up the projects, I had fallen in love with the house all over again. 

Everything had a place & cleaning up was so much easier.  There was room to breath & space to relax.  We had just enough to keep everyone happy and had taken away the extras that had continued to get in our way. 

Moving had offered me a chance to feel what it would be like to live with less, and I liked it. 

We sold the house & eventually had to deal with all of the extra stuff that we had squirreled away in the storage unit.  It was the perfect opportunity to decide how we wanted to live in our next house.  Moving gave us fresh perspective on what we wanted to surround ourselves with & how we wanted our space to feel. 

Here are the lessons I learned from moving –

living without things for a while makes the decision to let go much easier 

All of that stuff that we had sent to the storage unit ended up being things we really didn’t miss & we were able to let go of much easier when we went to unload the unit.  In this case, time apart made the heart grow less fonder.  And the idea of bringing those “extras” to our new space made us cringe, so we knew it was ok to let them go.

You don’t have to take it all with you

As we prepped our house to be put on the market, we had a yard sale to offload some of the things that we knew wouldn’t be going on the moving truck.  Moving takes work, so I kept this sale simple by pricing categories of things, not individual items.  Getting rid of stuff before we packed saved time & energy all around.

It’s ok to need a little time with decisions

Moving involves lots of decisions, so I needed to give myself permission to have some items that I was “on the fence about.”  Those items needed their own box so they wouldn’t get unpacked with everything else. If I had to do it all over again, I would label that box with the DATE & some words like RETHINK THESE or ITEMS TO DECIDE ON.  If I was still “on the fence” when I unpacked, then they probably weren’t favorites & could be given away.

Be choosy as you unpack

Unpacking offered another chance to check if the items getting put away were going to be used, needed, or loved.  It offered another chance to pare down and start fresh in the new space.  It was a great opportunity to get clear about the things we enjoy spending time on & the items that help us do that.

Don’t hold on to things for “just in case”

Often “just in case” items are the ones that get forgotten in the back of the closet & only surface after years in hiding.  We found those items in our extra bedroom closet or stored up in the rafters of our garage.  I began to realize that setting aside space in the new house for items that we never used would limit space for the things that we really used, needed & wanted.  Moving offered a great chance to look at all that extra stuff with fresh eyes & get honest about the likelihood that those “just in case” items would be needed.   

Set up your house to work for you Now!

The biggest lesson from the whole experience was not to wait to find places for our things.  We remembered how good it felt when our old house was pared down & everything had a place that made sense, so we made it a priority to make this happen in our new home.  We thought about how we wanted each space to function & best serve our family before we added the stuff that would be used in those spaces.   We wanted to create a new home that felt good, functioned well, and was easy to tidy up.  It didn’t happen overnight, but we went into our new house with this goal in mind.  

Your Turn…

Are you contemplating a move but feel overwhelmed by the thought of it?

Moving is a big job!  It’s not something that most people can do on the spur of the moment.  It usually takes planning, clearing, lots of packing and loads of decisions.  So how can you face this job without the overwhelm crippling you in the process?  Decide to take it step-by-step.   One thing at a time.

To get the process rolling, sign up for my FREE Tip Sheet on the 5 Spaces to Declutter to Sell. 

To find out more about the services I offer to ease the overwhelm of the moving process click HERE & together we will get your new home ready to support this new chapter in your life!