Guest Post: Get rid of unnecessary items before you move.

Note from Kay: Today's post is from guest author Joseph Ver of Sparefoot storage search. Please be kind to Joseph, he's allowing me a much needed day off from  writing.

Do you have too many belongings? If you can say yes to any of these, you may have too many things:

-Do you find yourself yelling an assortment of expletives due to stubbed toes?
-Do you have to move piles of items off of chairs and furniture every time someone visits?
-Do you find yourself having to temporarily rearrange a few pieces of furniture just to get out of your home?
-Have you lost your pets only to find them hiding under papers or clothes in your home?
-Have you already forgotten the color of your carpet?

Although these may be a bit severe and symptoms of being disorganized, having too many things isn’t necessarily an immediate revelation. The moment I realized I had too many things was when I had to move out of my apartment recently. I found myself frustrated as I gathered loose papers scattered across various tables of my apartment, and stuffing them in recycling bins. All of those kitschy knick-knacks you bought at your thrift store will probably be heading back there upon moving. If you can, try to keep your home from having too many things. If you are like me and are about to move, here are some tips in deciding what you should get rid of and how to pack everything away when relocating in Chicago.

Pile and organize.

Grab some belongings and sort them into three piles: Important, not important, and maybe important. Whether it’s an assortment of random papers or a few trinkets, by doing this you can finally confront what you actually need versus what you need to throw away. This pile and clean tip is covered a bit in this blog post by zenhabits. I typically do this with piles of paper. My school work seems to be shuffled into important documents, so instead of carelessly keeping them or throwing them away, I’m forced to organize them.

Is there a memory?

I have a bad habit of collecting various items from thrift stores and different festivals. What ends up happening is that I begin to hoard these items as they begin to scatter around my home. When deciding on throwing something away, ask yourself if there is a memory or a connection associated with this item. If you can’t come up with a good memory from something, then that ceramic rabbit or gaudy picture frame is probably something you shouldn’t keep.

Try the Pomodoro technique.

While working on projects during finals week, I found myself constantly distracted by everything. I ended up looking for ways to stay focused on Google (a distraction in itself) and learned about the Pomodoro technique. Essentially, this technique requires a person to stay focused on a task for twenty-five minutes and take a five minute break. This definitely helped me push through finals week, and can be used when decluttering and packing  your belongings. The last thing that you want to do before you start cleaning or packing is to actually clean or pack, so by forcing yourself to stay focused on a task in intervals can it make the job a bit easier. A blog by "one more thing" covers this technique here.

Pack boxes according to rooms.

When relocating, being an organized packer is important. By carefully placing items into particular boxes according to room, you will have a much easier time unpacking and organizing things in your new living space. This can also help you envision your new home. There may be a few things that might not make sense in your new home, so it’s probably time to get rid of it! Pack seasonal items, like electric blankets and Christmas trees, together especially if you’re moving in the heat of the summer.

Think about using storage.

For the things that you can’t get rid of, getting a storage unit might be the answer. If you’re planning on relocating somewhere in the same city, think about using storage for either those small trinkets or bulky items that won’t fit anywhere in your new home. Of course, storage is not for everyone. An average 10' x 10' storage unit in Chicago can range from 100-200 dollars. Think about the monthly cost of your items versus the items that you want to keep. Are they worth that fee? If not, you might be better off getting rid of those things.

Moving out is stressful, so try to make moving into your new place as easy as possible. Don’t clutter up your new home. Use these tips to prevent that from happening. Do you have any decluttering tips?

Joseph Ver is part of the SpareFoot marketing team. In case you do need to keep a few of your things, please consider using SpareFoot storage finder to help find the best unit to fit your budget.

Image artist unknown - if this is your image, please contact Kay for credit.

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