Moving: Chapter 1- Your Stuff (Clean Out First!)

We just moved. After 6 years in an awesome home around the corner from our entire family, we moved. Why? Work, why else. It’s a good thing, but it is a big thing and moving a 2600 square foot home across the state is quite an undertaking. Bottom line, what was the biggest thing I learned? Clean out now! Planning on moving anytime in the next century? Well then get out your garbage bags and give it away, throw it away, just get rid of it, whatever it is, because if you haven’t used it in the past 6 months not only don’t you need it, you do NOT want to unpack in.

I though we had done a pretty good job of this. We shredded 14 years of unnecessary paperwork. (NOTE: Please just pay the $30 and have a local office supply store do this for you. It’s worth every penny and will save you from having to purchase a new shredder. We killed ours in the process. Not smart.) We gave away dozens of boxes of toys, clothing, household items, etc. that we no longer needed. We sold furniture. We gave away yard equipment, filing cabinets and refrigerators, but STILL when the movers pulled away from our new, and 500-square-feet smaller home, we couldn’t see the floor or each other in the house. Where did all this stuff come from and what to do with it now that it’s here?

I remember moving into the home we just left. It was just Rod and I. The house seemed HUGE and the storage cavernous. I thought, I will NEVER be able to use all these kitchen cabinets. I did. We all did. When our girls arrived one after the other, we lost touch with what we had. I like a tidy house, so I filled my closets and closed the door, not really knowing what I had or didn’t have. And now as I look around this lovely new home, I realize how much abundance we have, and how we let our space dictate how much is enough. This great new space is much smaller and has made me take stock of what we really need and use on a daily basis. Anything extra is gone, it had to go, we simply cannot store it here.

Bottom line, if we could all maintain a healthy accumulation of “stuff” all of this effort and work could be avoided. Buy only what you need. Sell or donate what you don’t. And most of all free your home and family of the burden of too much space hogging and unnecessary stuff. If we could all just focus on the people in our lives and forget the “things” our homes could be healthier, happier and cleaner, and more importantly our lives freer. Live pretty and Live simple.

Elizabeth Montgomery James

After living in California for several years, Beth and her husband, Rod, relocated to Florida, to live, work, and play. They have two adorable daughters, and Beth is very involved with her children’s schools as a parent volunteer, Daisy troupe, and other community organizations such as the Junior League. Beth enjoys crafts, yoga and fitness, as well as a nice glass of Chardonnay. Beth is a graphic designer who has worked on national and international ad campaigns for top consumer brands, and now brings her talents to a variety of projects in and around Central Florida. In addition for bringing classic elegance to everything she touches, Beth has a natural talent for making everything pretty, from kids’ birthday parties to her garden.

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