As part of our home staging business, we moved again recently. We’ve been averaging a move every six months lately. We’ll probably move again soon, though, because this house is getting shown a lot (a realtor brought two people by as we were moving in).
(Reduce) Now, you might think all that moving is unbearably stressful. Actually, with enough practice, one can actually get good at it. And, it turns out, it’s actually good for us, too. Stuff doesn’t have a chance to turn into useless junk when you have to take everything out of its spot in storage, decide where it will go in the new house, pack it up, box it, ship it, unpack it, and set it up in the new place. The burden of this side of “ownership” puts the value of things in a totally new light. If you’re not using it and it has no sentimental value, get rid of it. Sell it, donate it or throw it away.
(Reuse) One aspect of moving is, of course, boxes. It really does take lots of boxes to move. We give ourselves 5 days to move fully from one house to another. Once we get fully moved in, the boxes get broken down and put in storage (on or off site) until the next move. One lesson we learned on this last move is to use a different color of marker for each move. You pack stuff in the boxes and then label them with either the contents (and “heavy” or “fragile”) and/or with the name of the room they’re supposed to go into in the new house. The problem for us was that we never marked out the previous moves’ writing on the reused boxes. (Hey, we’re in a hurry! We only have 5 days to completely move in.) We didn’t mark them out this time either, but next time we’ll use red markers so we know which words to believe.
(Recycle) The activity of moving does take its toll on boxes, and there are always some that aren’t going to be usable again. There are probably going to be some with too much writing on them to be usable, too. Luckily, cardboard is still recyclable, so these get fully broken down and sent off to the blue bins to become something else in their next lives. You’ll also see listings on Craigslist for free boxes. Someone will have moved and won’t be planning to move again. Knowing that everyone else who’s moving is going to need boxes, they’re more than happy to get the usable cardboard off their hands.
(Remember) By the way, if you do pick up someone else’s boxes, take my advice and mark out whatever they have written on them.