Right now I’m in the midst of a move. This time, it’s not a personal one but a professional one, the company that I work for is moving its office from the suburbs to downtown Cleveland.
This process though is reminding me of the many personal moves I’ve made in my life. By my 18th birthday, I had lived in 12 different houses. Since then I have lived in two different dorm rooms, squatted in three different home during summers, two apartments, a rental house and now Brad and I have been in the home that we own for two and a half years. Bottom line, I’ve lead a very nomadic life.
Packing up and moving to a new place can be stressful, frightening and exciting all at once time. Here are five things moving can do for you:
1. Force you to downsize, declutter and purge.
Right now, we’re purging old files at work. Press releases, ads, documentation and a whole pile of paperwork from years of working out of this location need to go. If you’re moving homes, going through things as you pack them helps you identify what you no longer need or want. Pro tip: Never pack a box with the intention of sorting it later. That’s how boxes sit in attics and basements for years after a move and remain untouched.
2. Make you more organized.
When packing you have to decide where the box is going to end up in the new place, which helps you evaluate which items need a new home. Maybe you’ve been keeping something on a book case in the living room that should really be in the desk in your office, you can separate out your seasons of clothing when you pack your wardrobe as well. Pro tip: Don’t pack boxes with contents that belong in separate rooms, keep like items together.
3. Bring out your adventurous side.
New places, even in the same city, can make life feel more adventurous. When we moved across town into our house, we discovered a slew of places we wouldn’t have thought to visit before, including a favorite take-out place. It can also make you more adventurous in your home’s style. Pro tip: Try new furniture layouts rather than simply replicating a room layout from your old place.
4. Remind you of special moments.
When you’re going through things and packing them, you will inevitably run across items that hold sentimental value. Photo boxes and albums will definitely do that, but so will gifts from special people. Some memories will be happy, some sad and others bittersweet, but each one is a part of your story. Let yourself recognize those memories and leave yourself time when packing so that you don’t feel rushed down memory lane. Pro tip: Think of ways to work the really special ones into your place, like framing the key to your first home on a map or making a shadow box of wedding or graduation items.
5. Help you start over.
A new place can signify a new start. Institute new organization systems or traditions in your new environment. Take what you learned from the old place or the last move and do things differently in the new one. Pro tip: Make resolutions for your new place the same way you do for a new year.