Lightening The Load

When I tell people what a FREEING experience moving is, they usually look at me like I'm crazy. "What do you mean freeing? It's the most stressful thing I've ever been through!" While there are stresses associated with relocating, each move offers you the opportunity to lighten the load. When I was in college, I moved at least once a year, and sometimes once a semester. You had better believe that I only took the bare essentials with me - because I didn't want to spend all of my time packing boxes and hauling a lot of junk with me from residence to residence. If I didn't use it regularly, it was either sold in a garage sale, given to charity, or tossed in the trash.

Unfortunately, once we become more settled we tend to accumulate things that we don't use or need. It's easier, sometimes, to just stick it in the closet and say, "I'll deal with that later," than make a decision. But when we move, we are forced to pull all of those dark demons out of the shadows and confront them face on. So as you handle and contemplate and pack each of your favorite treasures, ask yourself a few of the following questions.

DOES IT BELONG TO YOU?

You've had your neighbor's hedge trimmer for 3 years -- or your sister's favorite casserole dish since the last church social 3 months ago. Why take someone else's clutter with you to your new home? Since you are going to be touching everything that you own as you pack it up, this is the perfect time to weed out some of those borrowed items that seem to have moved in permanently with you. And while you're at it, hunt down any library books or video rentals that you tossed into a corner and never took back. Returning items that don't belong to you is incredibly cathartic -- it's like tying up a loose end and saying, "At least that part of my life is in order." And even if you have to face late fees or a bit of teasing from the other person about "stealing" their stuff, it's a great way to achieve CLOSURE with your old environment before you move on to the new.

By the way, if you want to avoid this problem in the future, set up a receptacle (crate, basket, box) in your new home for borrowed items. When you are finished using something that you borrowed, put it in this "out box" rather than storing it away in your cabinets or closet. Put a label on each item reminding you who it belongs to, and make a date to return that item to its rightful owner. All this borrowed "stuff" is more likely to end up back with its original owner, and this offers you a great opportunity to schedule coffee or dinner with a friend!

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU USED IT?

If you haven't touched something in the past 12 months, chances are that you're not going to use it in the next 12. Clothes and sporting goods seem to be some of the worst offenders! It's natural for people to have a hard time letting go of the past. And if an old outfit or a bowling ball really means that much to you, then put it away with your keepsakes. If you feel like you need to hang onto ancient financial paperwork, send it to offsite document storage.

If you can't seem to make a decision, ask yourself when you would ever need it again. Be honest and realistic about this one! At what point will a green shag toilet-seat cover be crucial to your survival? If you can picture a specific, concrete instance when you will need it in the foreseeable future, then by all means keep it. "I might need it someday" isn't a good enough rationale. Just don't take up valuable space on your moving truck or in your new home with junk you never use.

IS IT EASILY REPLACEABLE?

You simply may not have enough room on the truck to take everything with you -- but this isn't always the end of the world. Think about all of the things you own that are relatively inexpensive, plentiful, and easy to replace -- plants, canned goods, cleaning supplies, etc. When push comes to shove, it's not particularly painful to leave these items behind -- you can always get more when you reach your new location. And sometimes it's healthier to leave certain items behind. Volatile chemicals - such as paint, gasoline, and certain cleaning fluids - can become a real hazard when packed on a moving truck and it's best to just let them go. And trying to empty your freezer into a bunch of coolers for a long journey is just asking for food poisoning!

Of course, if we are talking about an expensive or hard-to-find item, you are certainly justified in thinking twice before ditching it. But even with items you think you couldn't live without, you always have to consider cost versus benefit. How much will it cost to transport to your new home? How much does it weigh and will it be difficult to carry? Is it bulky -- will it require extra movers or helpers to get it into your new home? How much space does it take up on the truck and how does that break down into dollars per square foot? Will you have to buy extra insurance to cover any potential loss or damage? Will you have to put it in rented storage when you reach your destination? It may cost you more (in time, space, energy, or money) to keep the item than to replace it IF and WHEN you ever need it.

DOES IT FIT WITH YOUR NEW LIFESTYLE?

When I finished my Masters degree and moved to Atlanta, I decided that I was not doing to take a single piece of crappy "college furniture" with me. I wanted to begin my life as a professional with a professional image. So I got rid of everything that didn't match this new persona, and hit the road -- taking only a bed, two dressers, and an entertainment center. Because I had created the space for re-inventing myself, I was able to discover a completely different side to my personal tastes. I settled into my professional life quickly and easily. And I really feel that -- had I kept the temporary furniture around -- I would still be partially stuck in college mode. This might sound like a superficial change, but it has aided me tremendously in seeing myself as successful and achieving my professional goals.

One of the nicest things about moving is that sense of STARTING FRESH. Of course, you are still the same person that you were in your old neighborhood -- but in some ways, you get a chance to do things differently. You might take a job in a different industry, get involved in community activities you have never tried before, or decorate your home in a new style. So why would you want to bring along a lot of excess "paraphernalia" from your old lifestyle? If you are going to make a change, go on ahead and do it without remnants from the past hanging on. If you are no longer interested in macrame, don't even think about packing your macrame supplies on the truck! If you are giving up the corporate job to be a stay-at home mom, consign your suits or donate your work clothes to a women's charity.

Take a minute to think about who you want to be and what kind of environment you desire before you start packing up -- it will not only lighten your load but also get the creative juices flowing!

WHAT IS THE WORST THING THAT WOULD HAPPEN IF I GOT RID OF IT?

When my clients are anxious about discarding an item, they are really saying, "I'm afraid of what might happen if I got rid of it." This is simply fear of the UNKNOWN -- uncertainty about the consequences of their actions. So I ask my clients to let their apprehensions run wild, and to imagine the absolute WORST-CASE scenario. Quite often, the worst-case scenario is not that bad. Will the world end if you toss out that ring binder you haven't used since college? Probably not. This knowledge helps dissipate the fear and makes letting go a little easier.

So let your imagination run wild as you clean out. Picture the craziest, most unlikely scenario that you can. For example -- if you tossed out your old tax returns and the IRS decided to audit you and you couldn't prove you had paid your taxes, the IRS might take everything you own and leave you living in a box under the freeway. So that's an important item to keep. But if you tossed out an old Southern Living magazine from 1985 and there was a recipe for cherry cheesecake in there that you wanted later, you could simply go to the library or look it up on the internet. Not quite as critical to your existence on this planet!

Ramona Creel is a Professional Organizer and the founder of OnlineOrganizing.com -- a web-based one-stop shop offering everything that you need to get organized at home or at work. At OnlineOrganizing.com, you may get a referral to an organizer near you, shop for the latest organizing products, get tons of free tips, and even learn how to become a professional organizer or build your existing organizing business. And if you would like to read more articles about organizing your life or building your business, get a free subscription to the "Get Organized" and "Organized For A Living" newsletters. Please visit http://www.OnlineOrganizing.com or contact Ramona directly at [email protected] for more information.

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DIC Gurugram organizing Vendor Meet for Haryana MSMEs from Auto & Light Engineering sector  Knn IndiaGurugram, Nov 15 (KNN) The District Industries Centre (DIC) of Gurugram is organizing a Vendor Meet for Haryana MSMEs focused on Auto & Light ...
Organizers of the successful Google employee walkout are now calling on the rest of the tech industry to take up their cause  Business Insider IndiaKatie Canales/Business InsiderOn Monday, some of the original organizers for Google's November walkout demanded an end to forced arbitration.Forced ...
Organizers seek expanded boycott following mall shooting  WBRCProtesters demonstrating against the fatal police shooting of a black man at Alabama's largest shopping mall are trying to expand an economic boycott over the ...
The best organizers for your closet and drawers  Business InsiderThe Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.
Organizers hope to keep Barcelona on F1 schedule beyond 2019  autoweek.comOrganizers of the F1 Spanish Grand Prix are still not sure they will reach a new agreement with Liberty Media. Vicenc Aguilera, the Circuit de Catalunya boss, ...
Organizers come together to help students fight against hunger over winter break  WJAC JohnstownSTATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Penn State's Lion Pantry helps up to 40 students a week but, during the breaks, everything on campus will shut down, leaving some ...
Our Lady of Guadalupe pilgrimage organizers talk about protecting walkers on the streets  KESQThousands walked across the Coachella Valley today in honor of the Lady of Guadalupe.
No Eaux Claires music festival in 2019, organizers say  MPR NewsEaux Claires Music & Arts Festival, the eclectic two-day summer gathering that pulls about 20,000 people to Eau Claire, Wis., is no more. At least in 2019.
City politicians back Juno Awards organizers' $150K request  The London Free PressLondon politicians threw their support behind a bid for $150000 to build temporary structures ahead of the Juno Awards ceremony this March.City council's ...
2019 'Night to Shine' set: Organizers seeking helpers for community event  Sequim GazetteThe sponsors of the Night To Shine free community prom invite guests with special needs of ages 14 and older, along with guests, to attend the third-annual ...
Neaux Claires: Organizers say there will be no 2019 festival  Leader-TelegramFour years ago, Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon and his friend Aaron Dessner of the National aimed to create a music festival unlike any other in Vernon's ...
Parent organizing group plans event to garner support for reading achievement program  The AdvocateSTAMFORD — POWER, an immigrant parent organizing group supported by Building One Community (B1C), is planning an event for Saturday, December 1, ...
Statement from the Organizing Committee on Reported Human Embryo Genome Editing  National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and MedicineIn December 2015, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and U.S. National Academy of Medicine, the Royal Society of the United Kingdom, and the Chinese ...
Kremlin claims "not involved" in organizing protests in France  UNIANRussian president's press secretary Dmitry Peskov has called "slander" reports on Russia's involvement in organizing protests in France, stating respect for the ...
Organizers Fight to Take Action on Initiative 77 with “Save Our Vote” Campaign  Afro AmericanBy Brianna McAdoo, AFRO Staff Writer, [email protected] Community organizers are furiously working on gaining support as they take to the streets with the ...
Organizers Cancel 50th Anniversary Zodiac Killer Tour Due to Repeated Threats  NBC Southern CaliforniaA group of amateur Zodiac Killer crime sleuths planning to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first murders have had to scrap their plans.
Workshop talks power of community organizing, ways to combat white supremacy and prejudice  The Michigan DailyIn response to the growing visibility of white nationalist movements across the country and subsequent debates about free speech, the social justice nonprofit ...
Speedo Celebrates Children's Day by Organizing a Fun-Filled Activity for Kids in Mumbai and Bangalore!  Business Wire IndiaThe world's leading swimwear brand, Speedo has always aimed to nurture and motivate individuals to learn how to swim from an early age.
Para hockey organizers shooting for 'through the roof'  The London Free PressThe Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup, which begins Sunday at the Western Fair Sports Centre, was called the World Sledge Hockey Challenge in its first local ...
The Ocean Cleanup Isn't Capturing Plastic, But Organizers Are Testing A Solution  ForbesThree months in, an ambitious project to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch isn't capturing tons of plastic as planned. But that's why they call it a beta, ...
Pope names organizing committee for abuse conference in February  National Catholic ReporterPope Francis named U.S. Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago to be part of the organizing committee preparing for a meeting of the world's bishops' conferences ...
Organizers, teachers and students pen open letter to Girl Develop It demanding change  Technical.ly DelawareWhen coding education nonprofit Girl Develop It leadership kept the complaints of Minneapolis leader Lanice Sims quiet, then-Delaware chapter leader Jocelyn ...
Man who threatened SLO Women’s March organizers trolls court at sentencing  The TribuneAfter being convicted for making death threats to organizers of SLO Women's March on Facebook, Daniel Phares heckled the court and interrupted the judge at ...
Juno organizers seeking volunteers  BlackburnNews.comOrganizers of the 2019 Juno Award festivities are looking for some help. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is inviting people in the ...

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