Before beginning to pack, take the time to declutter. Throw out, give away, or sell anything you haven’t used or worn during the previous year. This will leave you with less to think about as you sort what to take and what to leave. Consider the size of the place you will likely move into. Keep in mind your space if you’re likely to downsize. Here are some things to consider leaving behind:
- Clothes: Evaluate the climate of the place you are moving to. Find out which clothes and shoes are easily available and how costly they are to buy. If you are a hard-to-fit size, then plan to take what you need. Decide if it’s more cost-effective to pack or to buy a new wardrobe. Just don’t take more than you really need.
- Personal Items: While you’ll certainly want to take certain things that “make a house a home” think carefully about leaving behind sentimental and irreplaceable items. We took far too much when we moved to Africa and then felt obligated to leave most things behind when we left. I’ve regretted the loss of some of those items. It would have been better to leave them at home. You might consider storing them with friends or family for safekeeping.
- Photos: In the age of digital photos, this is much easier to deal with than it used to be. Consider taking prints of some of your favorites to fill your new home. Otherwise, take digital copies and leave behind most photos.
- Paperwork: Of course, you’ll need to take certain important documents such as your marriage license, family birth certificates, and financial records, but many records can be scanned and stored in your computer. They simply add extra weight and bulk to your packing.
- Kids’ Stuff: If your kids (and/or pets) are making the move with you, be sure to take what they will need to feel at home in your new location. However, they might not need every toy in their toybox. Consider leaving behind those toys that aren’t truly valued or that they’ve outgrown. Also, you might want to pack their stuff last and unpack it first in your new location. If you’ve got little ones, find out what’s available in your new location for food and diapers. This might determine what you take and leave behind.
- Toiletries: Unless you have an absolute favorite shampoo that you can’t live without, take only what you need to get started. In most locations, you can find toiletries and you won’t spend the money on shipping. Take the opportunity to clean out your bathroom cabinet and get rid of everything that is past its expiration date or that you haven’t used in years.
- Sense of Normal: Lastly, leave behind your sense of routine and sense of normal. Things will be different! You’ll be embarking on an adventure where so many things will change. Holding onto attitudes of closed-mindedness and worry will keep you from embracing all that is new. Sure, there will be challenges, but you will grow and be changed in positive ways. And you’ll find a new normal as you settle into your new location.
Leaving behind what you think you need when stepping out into a new adventure creates space for new gains, such as new growth, experiences, opportunities, and relationships. Click here to discover new opportunities waiting for you!
About the Author: Barb is the IDEAS Director of Community Life and has lived in Cote d'lvoire and France. Enjoy other blogs by Barb, such as Facing Your Fears.