These are not pretty pictures of a job finished. I think this may have been midway in my process of unpacking. I was finally able to go through boxes that have been with us since the first through middle years of our marriage. It wasn't that I had not gone through things before, but we also had things from school and papers galore, even old plans and things from my husband's office. After carrying this stuff around for forty years, you know you really don't need it. Thank goodness, he agreed.
The nagging question for most people is "where do I start?". When you are dealing with pain and fatigue, moving feels like the straw that will break the camel's back. First of all, make sure you rest. You have to be patient with yourself. It is probably going to take longer than you want it to take to get finished, but don't give up. You can do this!
Secondly, if you brought too much to your new home, you are going to feel cramped in this house. It will be harder to clean, and your things may start to feel like an albatross around your neck. I only say that because I have been there. I am happy to say that my load is getting lighter. Because of my particular illnesses and circumstances, it has taken me longer to get things in shape, than it has in any other move. When we moved in August of 2011, I became very depressed and unmotivated. Also, I was in lots of pain. I had a hip replacement that December. After I got past the depression and while recovering from surgery, I still had piles of boxes.
However, I was determined to get through the piles, which got worse, because of the other items that start getting added to the mix of boxes: things like books, magazines, pill containers, bags, and junk mail. However, I would unload a box onto a table; and then, I would start finding a place for the various things. While I was unpacking, I started thinking about things I didn't want in my house. You can use three hampers to sort as you unpack. Have one hamper marked give away, one marked put away, and one marked trash. Boxes work too. This helps contain the items, and you have an easy way to move things to other rooms. Also, be open to using decorative items differently. Just because a picture or an object was in the dining room or hallway, does not mean you can't put it in your bedroom.
I recently made a list of questions to ask yourself while getting rid of clutter. These questions also fit in with moving to a smaller home.
- Am I keeping this object out of obligation? Perhaps, it was a gift, but you never use it or you don't even like it. Or perhaps, you have just grown tired of it.
- Have I used it within the last year?
- Do I still love this object?
- Do I need this object for a special purpose, like a holiday, wedding, etc.?
- Can I substitute something else for this item?
- Do I have room to store this item?
- Is it probable I will ever use this again?
- Can this be easily replaced?
- Do I feel guilty, because I spent quite a bit of money on this item?
- Does this item make me happier?