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Moving is a time when many of us have to confront the clutter we've allowed to accumulate in our lives. Especially if you're downsizing in your move, it's important to start early in paring things down so that you move only things you need and want.
Here are some questions to ask as you make decisions about your things:
-- Is this useful to you now? (For instance, does it fit? Is it out of date?)
-- Are you using it now? When was the last time you used it?
-- Is it something you would choose for yourself now?
-- Are you keeping it because of the person who gave it to you? (You can get rid of the item while still keeping your feelings for that person.)
Start by getting rid of anything the movers won't handle – hazardous wastes, open bottles of liquor. Next, start sorting things into three groups: Stuff you want to keep, stuff you want to sell or give away, and stuff to throw out.
It might be wise to set aside an area in your house to hold garage-sale items. If you don't feel like adding a garage sale to your pre-moving list of responsibilities, donate these items to charity.
If you still have more stuff than your new place will hold, consider a storage unit – but beware, they can be expensive. Decide ahead of time what belongs in the unit and how long you will keep it.