Grey Wanderer: Packing Up Your Life
Over the years, like many others, I have accumulated a wealth of belongings.
From furniture to books, clothing and memorabilia, I have enough possessions to fill a five bedroomed house and a large garage.
But what do I do with these things when I move away? As you may know, I’ve been debating moving following retirement, where yet, I don’t know, but the question of what to do with my lifelong possessions, is still surrounding me.
Now, I must admit I am a bit of a hoarder and quite sentimental when it comes to my belongings, for example I still have every birthday card from my children and I’m approaching 69. My wife on the other hand is the exact opposite. She likes to de-clutter, do a big charity drop off twice a year and is constantly loading up the car to run to the skip. It’s nice to have that balance in a relationship for the most part, but when we come to pack up the house, I’m afraid of what will survive.
When it comes to packing up your house to move, you’ve got to be realistic, many at my age, will be downsizing and therefore will need to rid of many possessions, but if you’re moving abroad, you literally have a handful of suitcases to cram your life into.
After many conversations, myself and my wife have decided that if we move abroad, we simply can’t be sentimental, there isn’t any room for it. Instead we will gift our favorite furniture pieces, plants ect to our loved ones. This ensures that a piece of you is still with your family, and it will hopefully be passed from generation to generation. This is the best solution for me, as it would pain me to see all of our hard work and things we love, be thrown into a skip or sold for pennies at a charity shop.
If you’re simply downsizing and hiring a moving van isn’t too much trouble then you have the opportunity to take the best pieces of your life with you. Although it seems hard at the time, give yourself a few months or week of preparation to not only get used to the idea but also get a head start, you don’t want it to be moving day and you haven’t sorted anything yet.
If you have a garage or attic, this is the best place to start, as you’ll find years worth of clutter hiding in the darkness. I find that these areas are really the easier to get rid of because you’ll find things you genuinely haven’t seen or used in years, such as TV’s from 50 years ago, your first computer and telephones which, weren’t even created in this century.
Once you move into the house, the best place to start is the office, you won’t believe how much paperwork you hoard, next move onto the bedrooms, bathrooms, living room and kitchen. When my children first moved out they kept a lot of stuff here and still do, call them all over to sort through their rooms, anything they want to keep, they can take it with them, anything else can be thrown.
The trick here is to cut sentimentality with belongings. Take the essentials and only a few things which mean so much to you. It’s always nice to start a fresh in a new home, it’s a new chapter, and if you see it like that, you’ll be a lot better at preparing for a move.
Are you recently retired and think you have some great moving tips for me? Let me know by getting in touch.