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Organize Before You Mobilize

nattruckhomeOne question I get all the time is “Should I get organized before I move or after?” I say definitely get organized before you move, because good organization travels well.

Save Money
Good organizing begins with good purging.  There’s no better time to purge than before a move.  The more you get rid of, the more you will save on moving costs and storage costs.   There’s a lot of low value stuff we tend to hang on to because it may come in useful, while we are settled, but when it’s time to move, that stuff can take up a lot of truck space.  Now is a great time to let go.   Toss of donate, if at all possible.

Reassessment Answers Placement.
As you are packing up your stuff, now is a great opportunity to rethink exactly WHY you are keeping what you keep.  When you answer the question of WHY you keep something, you also answer the question of WHERE it should go.  It’s important to note that you may be keeping the same item for different reasons.  Take, for example, books.  Maybe you have a whole library of books, but no room for a library in your new home.  As you are packing up, maybe the books you are keeping as reference, could go in a box labeled “home office.”  It might make sense to put the recipe books in a box labeled “kitchen” and the books you’ve lost interest in could go in a “donate” box.  Just be sure to donate them BEFORE you move!

Start Fresh
Once you have gotten your possessions down to a manageable quantity and you are clear on why you are keeping them, you are in great shape to establish systems that work, whether you are in your current home or in the new one.  An effective organizing system is made up of two components: an appropriate structure and an easy habit.  The habit component travels well and the structure component is usually not dependent on the new rooms.   But let’s say it is.  Suppose you had a ledge in your kitchen near the exit door, which you dedicated to exit items.  Not only is there no such ledge in the new kitchen, but the kitchen is not near the exit door.  It’s easy enough to introduce a new structure, like a small table, near the exit door.
Perhaps this table can even come from the old library you no longer have.

It’s a mistake to think that a new location will solve everything, including old organizing challenges.  If at all possible, it’s best to work them out before you move.  You’ll have your hands full enough with other new things to get used to.

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