The Art of Moving
Whether one moves frequently or almost never, moving can be an intensely emotional experience.
When moving, you become physically and energetically uprooted for an extended period of time, and for most of us, this can feel quite unsettling. It makes sense then that the faster you unpack and settle in, the better you’ll feel.
Here’s some advice on how to ease the disruption and settle into your new space as quickly as possible.
Declutter before you move
If you have items that you still haven’t unpacked from a previous move or things you’ve taken from place to place and have never used or haven’t used in many years, you can rest assured that it’s time to let them go.
Often these are sentimental items or expensive things that you don’t feel you’ve got your money’s worth from yet. If they are sentimental items, photograph them and let them go. Photos are a surprisingly good way to keep the memories without having to keep the stuff.
If the items are expensive, cut your losses and sell them before they lose any more value. Each time you see them, consciously or unconsciously you will beat yourself up for having wasted your money on them in the first place. Let them go and get on with your life.
Assign a purpose to each room
Before moving into your new home, an important first step is to clarify the purpose of each room. Decide what you will use each room for and what you therefore want and need to keep in it. If you live in a home where some of the rooms are multi-functional, then define the different areas in each room. If possible, do this before you move your things in so that all your furniture and boxes can be placed where they need to be for you to unpack them.
Purposing the rooms of your home is the best way to avoid creating a junk room. If you find yourself with boxes of things that have no place in your new home and you’re not planning to move again anytime soon, then the best thing you can do is bite the bullet and let them go. From a Feng Shui perspective, if you store these things in a junk room, it will stagnate the energy of your home and have a corresponding stagnating effect on your life.
If you do have to create a temporary junk room, then at least put a time limit on it (say, one month). Don’t allow it to become an unconscious area that never gets sorted out. Your home is a reflection of you and, if left too long, it can create a corresponding unconscious area of mess in your life too.
Set up and make the beds
The trick to moving into a new home is to get organized as soon as possible so that you can land yourself both physically and energetically in your new space. The first step in achieving this is to set up the beds so that everyone has a place to sleep on the first night and all the bedding you need. If you are closing on a home the same day that you get the keys to your new one, you never know how fast (or slow) this process can take so making sure everyone has a place to sleep is first priority.
Set up and organize the kitchen
The next best way to help anchor yourself both physically and energetically in your new space is to unpack and organize your kitchen. This is because the kitchen is the source of nourishment in a home, so even if the rest of the place is in chaos, having a kitchen that is set up and functioning will immediately make the whole place feel much better.
An important tip for unpacking your kitchen is that if the new space won’t accommodate all the equipment and gadgets you have, this is the time to decide whether to invest in new storage (if there’s room for it) or let go of the things you rarely or never use.
To minimize visual clutter and maximize your enjoyment of the kitchen, avoid open-style storage and keep your countertops as clear as possible, except for essential equipment you use on a daily basis (kettle, toaster, cooking utensils stored in an open jar, etc).
Set up the room that is most important to your wellbeing
The next most important room to set up and get organized is the one that is most important to your wellbeing or to the wellbeing of all the occupants of your home. For example, this may be the family room or your home office. You might find that once your desk and computer are set up, you feel at home. You can tune out and live with the rest of the place being a work in progress for a while if this area is up and running. There’s no set rule about which room you choose; whatever works for you and your family.
Unpack everything else
When you move to a new home, there’s always a period of disruption that can make you feel mentally and emotionally out of sorts. That’s completely normal. The quicker you can unpack your things and get them organized, the quicker you’ll be able to land your energy in the space. It may take a few days or a week. Or, if you live in a very large house, as long as a month. But aim to open all your boxes in that time and leave nothing unpacked.
During this process, some tough decisions may need to be made. If you have things you want to keep but nowhere to store them, then you will need to buy or acquire new furniture to keep them in. If you can’t afford to do this or there is nowhere to put new furniture in any case, your options are to let them go or pay for storage elsewhere (although there are obvious downsides to offsite storage).
It's never a good idea to just leave things in boxes or storage bins piled up in a corner. Anything unused, unwanted or unloved will create stagnant energy in your home and stagnant energy in your life.
How to unpack
Unpacking can be hard work. It requires making multiple decisions about where all your things belong, as well as letting go of anything you no longer need, use, or have room for. With each item you unpack, you need to ask yourself:
- Do I need this?
- Do I absolutely love it?
- Will I use it?
If you get a YES to any of the questions above, then the final questions are:
- Do I have room for it?
- Where is the best place to keep it?
As mentioned right from the start, it’s best to do as much clutter clearing as possible before you make a move so that you don’t have to haul it all to the new location, only to have the extra work and expense of getting rid of items you do not need or want when you get there.
Until you fully unpack, you won’t be able to fully arrive. Parts of you will still be in transit between your old home and your new one. Whatever the reason, if days turn to weeks and then to months or even years, parts of you will be in limbo until you’ve unpacked.
An exception to this could be if you’ve moved temporarily from a large home to a small one and expect to move to a large home again soon. This may mean there are some things you don’t have room for in your current home that you want to keep for your next home. If so, create an organized storage space for them. But remember, if the move doesn’t happen within the expected timeframe, they will all silently morph into clutter. Be sure to review the situation annually to check if this has happened.
A home is not just where you live and store your possessions. The sooner you unpack, the faster you can settle in and anchor your energy in your new space so that it can begin to support you and your new life.
You may also enjoy reading: What's Really Under Your Clutter?