If so…start with these top 5 tips from T-O-P Move Management.
Welcome back! As you can see, we are pretty excited to launch our new blog, and share some proven and practical information to help anyone in the process of managing a move or taking on a transition. If you read last week’s thoughts on how to ‘Simplify Some, Honor Always’, you know that we addressed the emotional and sentimental considerations of lightening up that load without letting go of the memories that go with them. As a very valid concern that impacts ALL of us whether we are spring cleaning, downsizing or preparing an estate sale…here are 5 ways to ‘right size’ your life (that don’t feel wrong!).
1. Start with the BIG 12.
Asking someone to take 10 things they would want on a desert island and leave the rest is pretty unreasonable.
So as you are packing and down-sizing, try sorting into these 12 categories first, as recommended by HouseBeautiful (www.housebeautiful.com).
1. Family Heirlooms 2. Electronics. 3. Photographs
4. Important Papers 5. Landline Phones 6. Collections
7. Fine Jewelry 8. Kitchen & Bathroom Basics 9. Unique Sentimental Items
10. Emergency Supplies 11. Tags From Expensive Handbags 12. Non-expired medications/toiletries
2. Honor Through Words Or Photos Instead.
There is no doubt that many of the items you put aside might be an easy choice…which toilet brush (the cleanest!), which purses (Coach of course…), which papers (legal & medical paperwork first), etc. But sometimes you end up with many, many items which depict a great time in your life, a once in a lifetime vacation, or an epic decade. You can honor these memories without having to keep every item related to them in 2 key ways.
1) Make a sentimental scrapbook . (Idea courtesy of ‘Man vs. Debt’.)
Give yourself an afternoon to have a photo shoot of those items you simply love, the ones that make you smile when you come across them in a drawer or pull them out of storage. It might sound funny to point and click at ‘things’, but we do it to people and scenery all the time…why not capture the beauty you see in some key items too? (And you won’t have to worry about yelling ‘say cheese’!) Once you have captured everything, have the photos printed at your local drugstore or via an online service like www.shutterfly.com, and make your own sentimental scrapbook. It can be as simple as captioning what each item reminds you of on construction paper, or taking a class at a local craft store and learning to embellish with related scrapbook trinkets. The result will still be a tangible, visual representation of what you love most – without having to keep it all.
2) Tell the story, literally. (As recommended by ‘Becoming A Minimalist’.)
Instead of holding onto the things you love…give them even more power by defining who and what they represent. That umbrella from your first tropical drink on your first trip to Hawaii is really cute on the windowsill…but you could say much more about that memory in a journal. Take the stories and visions from those beloved sentimental items and put them into words. You might be surprised how vivid the visions become when you let them extend beyond the one item that triggered them. This gives true honor to that person, that travel or that time of your life…on paper – which can be easily stored, passed down and transported. Think minimal space, maximum memories.
3) Be your own Psych 101 teacher.
You’d don’t have to be Sigmund Freud to perform a little self-talk and psycho-analysis. Tell yourself these key expressions, sleep on it, and then try again to sort through those difficult items in the morning. A fresh set of eyes with fresh perspective is a great combo.
~ I am not my stuff; we are more than our possessions.
~ Our memories are within us, not within our things.
~ What is sentimental to me might be truly useful to someone else.
~ Learning to let go is freeing.
4) Make tough decisions…based on logic.
The emotion behind giving away the item is often bigger than the value it had sitting in the attic for 10 years. Keeping 3 entire boxes of your great grandfather’s ties in a dusty coat closet wasn’t truly enjoying them, was it? Framing one of his silk handkerchiefs and putting it on display…now that is a treasure. Think of what you were actually doing with the item before you came across it in your packing travels. If you can’t remember the last time you saw it or have to dust it off, than there is a better (and more space friendly) way to give that memory meaning.
Also consider passing it on. Take those 8 favorite scarves from your great aunt and frame them for your great nieces. Divide that colored depression glass among the cousins so everyone has one piece. One memory for you can equal dozens of memories when passed along.
This just might be one of our favorites…(which is also why it is the topic of our next blog so check back soon!) If you have a few beloved items you must bring with you, give them new meaning and use.
– Turn that vintage tea cup into your new jewelry holder on your nightstand.
– Let those crystal vases sparkle as your bathroom counter (and you might not even need a night light!)
– Turn great grandma’s wedding album into your new coffee table book.
– Let dad’s old marble collection add color into a clear cup for a new paperweight.
Get creative, and you don’t have to ‘make what is old new again’, just make it purposeful again!
Let us know what you think of these top 5 tips to ‘right size’ your life, and let us help you execute them on your next move! Email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Happy packing,
Helen & Julie