Tuesday, May 6, 2014

DIY Moving Tips: What to Keep

This is the second installment of my DIY Moving Tips!

So you've decided to move, huh? The initial discovery that you'll be moving can be anything from depressing to very exciting, depending on what a particular move means to you. Broadcasting your happy or sad news is what makes the move actually real...at least that's what Greg and I have discovered.

Once you make your "I'm moving!" plans known, the moving ball starts speeding down the hill at an alarming rate! You'll need to start running or you'll get plowed-over and smashed flat—like a Looney Tunes character!

After you've gathered your necessary moving supplies, it's time to go through your house and simply look at all of your possessions—as if you were seeing them for the first time! With a notepad and pen, silently go through each room in your residence and decide several things (listed below). Make notes of all of your final decisions. If you can't decide on something, write it down to revisit later.
  • Of all my possessions, what do I really want to keep?
  • Do I actually need this item?
  • Have I used this item during the past year?
  • Will I absolutely use this item in the future?
  • Is there a duplicate of this item? If yes, do I need more than one?
  • Does this item make my life better, or does it make me happy whenever I see it?
  • Do I want to spend my precious time packing up this item? (Time really is precious!)
  • Will I want to unpack this item at my new residence?
  • Will I want to replace this old item with a newer one?
  • If I want to get rid of this item, is it trash or can I sell it at a garage sale?
  • Do I want to donate this item to a charitable organization?
Once you've gone through each room in your residence and decided what to keep and what to throw, be sure to remove the items you've decided you no longer need. You don't want to accidentally pack up something that you really don't need or want. Moving truck real estate is precious and pricey! ;) Pick a place in your residence to temporarily store all of the trash/charity/garage sale items and make sure everyone understands that these items will not be moving with you!

*If my list is too long for you, check out my handy dandy typographic design!

Before we completed our move from Texas to Utah, Greg and I got rid of a lot of stuff. We realized that many of our possessions had been through too many moves already, and they probably wouldn't make it through another move. Then we would have paid to move something that we had to replace anyway! Thus, we made the sometimes-hard decisions to sell or give away many of our possessions.

We held two successful garage sales in Texas and made some pretty decent money. When we realized the Saturday before we moved that we weren't going to be able to sell anything else, we donated the rest of our stuff to The Special Olympics.

Lastly, here's a helpful hint for anyone struggling to let go of something that's not truly needed: take a picture of it. I took so many pictures of things for my children and I. You'll notice that my minimalist husband didn't need to take pictures of anything! It really was therapeutic to take those pictures and know that we will always have a visual reminder of our happy memories! :)

These pictures below are only a small representation of what we got rid of. I'm guessing we got rid of at least one-third to one-half of all we owned! Not carting all of our stuff halfway across the United States was such a happy feeling! Plus, it's wonderful to know that there are many people in Texas who benefited from our generosity! :) I made great progress in letting go!

Here is a sampling of our moving from Texas to Utah memories...

I had no need for this Winnie the Pooh puzzle, but for some reason, I had a hard time letting it go! This picture soothed my silly soul. :)

I always loved this measuring cup, but the measuring lines were crooked on one side. I had to get rid of it because it made me crazy every time I used it. I bought a new Pyrex measuring cup and never knew I could be so happy! Ha ha.

This was a book my 9th grade Seminary teacher gave me for Christmas. He wrote a really nice message on the inside front cover, which is why I kept it for all these years. With this move, I realized I didn't need it since all of the Church's publications are now available online. And now I have the photo of my teacher's lovely words for as long as I want. :)

This was my daughter's Barbie Fairytopia set. I think I always liked it more than she did! She hardly ever played with it after age seven. I sold it to my friend, as I knew her little girls would love it so much more than my daughter ever did. I'm sure it has brought hours of smiles to those lovely little ladies! :)

This was one of my oldest son's pictures that he colored during church. We had so many church coloring books that I thought I might go batty! Yet, I loved looking at all of them because I could remember every Sunday when I colored with my babies. Yes, I'm very sentimental. Just looking at this photo brings back so many wonderful memories! I'm so glad I took the pictures! :)

I got rid of the majority of our VHS tapes, but kept a few of our favorites as we don't have the funds to replace them with DVDs right now. I totally laughed to see that our youngest son wrote his name, and his brother and sister's names, on the video, just to make sure that everyone knew it belonged to all of us!

This darling little bag (it really was small) was given to my oldest son by one of our previous ward's primary presidency when we lived with Greg's parents for a few months in 2004. I thought it was so sweet and thoughtful—which is why I held onto it for so many years.

Greg made our daughter these Happy Birthday Stars for each birthday she had in Texas. We loved them and our darling girl kept them hanging in her room the entire time we lived there.

My daughter and I made this Valentine's Day box in 2013. She created it herself and I covered it completely in clear packing tape—it was indestructible! :)

These are the curtains I bought and planned to hang in my daughter's bedroom in Colorado, but then we moved. I planned to hang them in our second Utah house, but then we moved again. I planned to hang them in our Texas house, but we didn't end up buying it! When I asked my daughter if she wanted me to hang them in our Utah house (the one we moved back to), she said, "No. I like blue now. I want blue curtains." HA! Oh, I laughed and laughed that we carted those curtains through three states (!) and never even opened them! I gave them to my friend for her little girls' room.

My daughter's painting from school.

My daughter's salt dough map of Texas. She was really proud of it. :)

My oldest son's creation that he made in his school's art class. It was hard for me to let this one go!

I planned to hang the wooden pegs (coat/hat hangers), and the Ikea magnet strip, in the past five houses we've lived in! None of them were ever hung in any of our houses. Thus, I finally had a nice reality check and gave them away!

Yippee for freedom from stuff! :)

You're now ready for my next post, "DIY Moving Tips: Timeline Preparation"!


  1. Such great tips, Adrie! After 9 years of NOT moving, I need to do this with my current house. Come help me! (Remember when you helped me decorate my Grace's bedroom?)

    1. Amy, thank you so much! Yes, I definitely remember doing Grace's room, I had so much fun with you! I would absolutely LOVE to come help you with your house. Maybe when school starts again I can convince my hubby to take some time off to play Mr. Mom. Ha ha. If not, it was WONDERFUL seeing you a couple of weeks ago! (Sorry I'm so late in responding to your comment, I forgot I had comments!)


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