Scaling Down When Moving

Scale down. Pare back. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

You don’t need all that stuff.

You do need to draw up some ground rules. What goes and what stays? High school yearbook? High school textbook? Fifteen pairs of dress shoes? Snowshoes? Everybody has to make up their own mind, but there are a few guidelines you can follow.

Work room by room, tackling one room at a time. Divide everything into three piles, at least mentally. Things you use go into the first pile. Things you don’t use go into the second pile. Things you sometimes use go into the third pile. Pack up the first pile to move and get rid of the other two.

Almost every attic or basement in America holds at least a couple of boxes that were never unpacked after the last move. If you haven’t needed them in this house, you probably won’t need them in the next house. Check them for beloved, if forgotten, heirlooms and toss the rest of the stuff.

Emptying the closets

Studies show that people wear 20 percent of their clothes 80 percent of the time. This means that up to 80 percent of your wardrobe is expendable. To separate trash from treasure, first try on all your clothes. Put those that fit well and look good back in the closet. Put those that don’t fit or are outdated or shabby in a pile. If you’re saving a favorite suit until you lose 10 pounds, maybe you can get rid of it.

Every morning choose that day’s wardrobe from the closet. At the end of the day, put everything you wore either into the left-hand side of your closet or the wash. After a few weeks, the best of your wardrobe will end up on the left- hand side of your closet. The candidates for sale or donation are on the right.

Any clothes that have spent more than a year stored in the attic or basement are clothes you can get rid of.

Measure the closets in your new home and take along only as many clothes as they will comfortably hold. Allow 1 inches for men’s or women’s suits, 2 inches for dresses.