How To Decide What To Take With You When You Move

Moving house is a great opportunity to go through your possessions and move at least some of them on to a new life elsewhere. Ideally, you should give yourself plenty of time to go through this process mindfully. Here are some tips to help.

Can you use it up before you go?

There’s an old joke that the easiest way to carry food is in your belly. There’s a lot of truth to this. A lot of food needs to be transported with care (e.g. soft foods and foods with delicate packaging like glass). Even when food is easy to carry, it’s often simply not worth the effort. For example, are you really going to pay removalists to transport basic foods like baked beans?

Similar comments apply to pretty much all standard household consumables. That includes things like cleaners, toiletries and some office supplies like printer paper. If you can’t use it yourself, then consider giving it away. It might not be worth properly donating but family, friends and neighbours could probably use it.

Will you get full use out of it?

If something’s coming to the end of its useful life, then, again, it might not be worth the effort of taking it with you. This can apply to practically anything since just about everything has some kind of lifecycle. It’s just that some items have a longer lifecycle than others.

In the average household, key areas to check here typically include makeup, clothes (especially children’s clothes), stationery, computer supplies and kitchen tools. If you have younger children, then you might want to add toys, games and books to the list. This may sound harsh but children often accumulate vast quantities of these but only really have a few favourites.

If an item’s reaching the point where it just isn’t serviceable to anyone anymore, then you can recycle it at your leisure (or at least under minimal time pressure). If, however, an item is still serviceable then you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you passed it on to be useful to someone else. Again, even if it’s not really suitable for donation, someone you know will probably want it.

Will it fit in your new home?

This can be a tricky one. Often you only really know for sure what’s going to work in your new home when you get there and try it out properly. That said, it never hurts to have a think about what you have and see if there are any items you’d be happy to move on before you leave.

When thinking about whether or not an item will fit in your new home, it’s generally easiest to start with physical dimensions. Remember, even if you’re upsizing, you may end up with less space in any given room. For example, you may gain an extra bedroom but lose a bit of space in the other bedrooms.

The next question is whether an item will fit in with your lifestyle in your new home. This can be a more difficult question. As a rule of thumb, however, the more attached you are to an item, the more worthwhile it is to take it with you and see if you can find a way to make it work and vice versa.

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