Most of you have heard of the Konmari method and the every minimalist’s bible: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Ever since reading the book a few years ago, we regularly “konmari” everything in the house. It’s such a simple and easy way to keep clutter to a minimum.
When we moved, I thought I would use the konmari method to help make the whole moving process easier, not only before moving but during the move as well!
Here are the main focal points of the konmari method:
Declutter by category, not by location or room
This works great for decluttering as well as packing! It helped keep things organized for the move because we knew which boxes had which items. For example, in our last house, we had a teeny tiny closet in our bedroom, so we stored clothes in two other areas around the house. It made sense to gather all of our clothes together in the same boxes, so when we unpacked, clothes weren’t scattered around and lost.
Touch every item and decide whether it “sparks joy” or not.
This is the key of the konmari method. It works out perfectly for moving because you need to handle each item to pack it, you might as well evaluate whether you need that item or not at the same time. And instead of putting it back, you pack for moving. It was helpful for us to have two boxes – one for packing items and the other for getting rid of things. Just be careful not to mix them up! 😉
When moving you essentially have two different opportunities to declutter. Once when packing and then a second time when you’re unpacking everything. We didn’t have much time to move; we had just a few weeks notice, so I didn’t get to spend as much time konmaring everything as I had hoped. Luckily we used NorthStar Moving Company, just like the last time. They are always our go-to when it comes to Bay Area moving (they have offices in the LA area too!). They were super helpful with helping us pack and unpack our items. That way we could focus our energy on decluttering up to the move, as well as after.
Start with the easy stuff then work your way to the harder stuff
The order in which Marie Kondo recommends decluttering is:
- Clothing and shoes
- Miscellaneous objects
- Sentimental items
This is the perfect packing order too! Clothing was the easiest item to pack, because it’s fast and already folded. Once you’ve worked your way down to the hardest part of the list, mementos and personal items, you’ll be able to konmari like a pro. Getting rid of those report cards from elementary school will be NBD. I’m serious btw, I still had my old report cards from kindergarten! Amazing, right?
Utilize what you already have
Marie Kondo is all about using what you have to keep your home organized. She’s a huge fan of shoeboxes and uses them in her cabinets and closets instead of store bought organizers. I love this idea and it works well for moving too. Start saving your shipping boxes. Use your luggage and bags to pack items. Carrying things is their purpose, so why not take advantage of it and spend less on moving supplies? It’s always a great way to get ahead start on packing – the sooner the better!
Appreciate your possessions
Kondo believes strongly that you should respect and appreciate the items you have and they’ll last longer and perform better. I think that, that’s important to keep in mind during a move as well. Moving pros, know how to pack more efficiently than you do. They also know how to pack your items safely so they’re less likely to be damaged. Also, having the right equipment for the job is key: lots of packing paper, tape and sturdy boxes. Fortunately, NorthStar Moving provided all of the materials for us, so we didn’t have to worry about that aspect. If you can swing it, full service is worth every penny. If that’s not in the budget these reusable moving boxes are budget AND environment friendly. They’re very sturdy and will protect your breakables well. We’ve used them before and highly recommend them.
Using the konmari method to keep our belongings in check before and after our move really helped us have a clean slate at our new home. It was especially helpful in our case because we downsized and finding a home for everything was tricky. Thankfully we cut our items in half before the move or things would have been WAY more difficult. In fact, we only needed one truck this time around, but when we moved two years ago we needed two. Pretty cool comparison and definitely an occasion to “spark joy” 🙂