Too Much Stuff? Pretend You’re Moving. Twice. In Short Succession.

Mt Hood - too much stuff

“Most of us know we own too much stuff. We feel the weight and burden of our clutter. We tire of cleaning and managing and organizing. Our toy rooms are messy, our drawers don’t close, and our closets are filled from top to bottom. The evidence of clutter is all around us.”

– Joshua Becker

Long time readers of my blog might remember how hectic my life was in late 2014 and early 2015. Our house sold the day it was listed. Which is great, except that our townhouse wasn’t going to be ready to move into by closing.

Neither my husband nor I have family in the area we could move in with temporarily, so we ended up with a three-month lease on an apartment. This meant that most of what we owned had to be packed, unpacked, repacked and unpacked again.

While in some ways it was an awful experience, it was incredible motivation to declutter. We’d already gotten rid of a lot to prepare for downsizing, but there’s nothing like asking yourself if you’d like to pack something twice in three months to help you weed ruthlessly.

It’s especially effective for things that you can’t just toss in a box. All those things that need wrapping with newspaper or bubble wrap, like extra coffee mugs and knick knacks.

What if you have too much stuff, but aren’t planning to move any time soon? Simply pretend that you are.

Imagine a scenario where you need to move twice in a brief period. Perhaps a situation like ours, or maybe moving to a new city and renting an apartment for six months before deciding which neighborhood you want to settle in.

As you declutter, think about whether you like each item enough that you’d be willing to pack it up to move it. If the answer is yes, ask yourself if you’d be willing it to do that twice in a few months.

If not, it’s pretty safe to say that item isn’t all that important to you.

Do you have any tips for deciding what to declutter when you have too much stuff?