Pretend You're Moving

A classic Tip of the Week from July 4, 2004

This is one of my favorite organizing tricks, hands down. It doesn't require that you pull out the moving boxes or padding, or that you empty out your fridge and pantry as it would if you were actually moving. Rather, it's a simple and useful exercise to help you get rid of things you're not using and don't need. 

When you pretend you're moving, you go through your things with an eye to what you'd be willing to pay a moving crew to pack up and transport to another location. To make this even more effective, imagine you're moving somewhere far from your current home, and that you're being charged dearly for every box you take with you. 

Would you pay someone to move that collection of old bowling trophies? How about those stacks of magazines you haven't read in years? The boxes of old LPs you're sure will be worth something someday? The shelves of books you keep intending to read? 

At the very least, separate out the things you're sure you would not be willing to go to the expense and trouble of moving, and get rid of them: have a yard sale, sell them online, or donate them to a local charity. With your excess stuff gone, you'll find you have more space—and perhaps more money—to enjoy in your current home, no move required.