nyc // on de-cluttering and how (the hell) to pack for a big move

Friday, November 15, 2013

i officially have four weekends left to a) donate b) sell c) throw away, and d) pack all of my stuff. actually. one of those four weekends includes thanksgiving, and i plan to spend that weekend eating pumpkin pie and watching football. so we might as well throw that one out. three weekends it is. ahem. 

i've only moved a few times in my life, but they've all been relatively small moves. a new neighborhood. maybe across town. in fact, the last time i moved i only went as far as five blocks down the same street! the thing i always forget about moving, though, is how much stuff i have. you would think after one or two moves i would have de-cluttered enough that, by now, moving would be a piece of cake. you know? like maybe this time i'd only need a box or two. maybe this time i wouldn't find myself standing in the middle of my room (again), surrounded by piles of clothes and books and mysterious boxes, scratching my head and wondering, where did all this shit come from?

my favorite blog series right now is life in a tiny apartment. as far as guides on realistically-moving-to-new-york-on-a-budget go, this series has turned out to be the holy f*!#ing grail. if you happen to be in need of some really helpful (and hilarious) moving tips (to tiny spaces), that blog is where it's at. anyhow, last weekend i decided to tackle my first project: The Closet. i was definitely channeling this post about "purging" and de-cluttering the whole time.

so like i said, stuff.
it always amazes me how many clothes i own that i don't ever wear. are you familiar with this phenomenon? how does this happen, exactly? why do i buy things that i never wear? with all that merciless fluorescent lighting in dressing rooms nowadays, you'd think i'd be a better judge of what i actually like to wear. but alas, last weekend i packed up four giant bags of clothes that i never wear/clothes i'm willing to let go of.

then i took a 10-minute break.....and went back and did it again.

when i really sit down and think about how little space we're going to have in nyc, how much i can actually cram into one suitcase, and how much i don't want to spend my hard-earned cash on mailing/shipping (too many) boxes, i realize how little i can actually take with me. after a quick snack break, i went back to my closet and looked at the things i had decided to keep. there was a sweater that i hadn't worn in 6 months, but it was cute and i might wear it again sometime some day, maybe? gone. there was that skirt i bought last summer, despite the fact that i never ever wear skirts ever. gone. those red pants, that were kind of fun to wear that one ti-. gone.

i hang on to lots of things for sentimental reasons. you'd laugh if you knew how many t-shirts i still have with my high school emblem on them. but they're never worn! they just sit in piles, waiting to be reminisced over. for a minute or two (once or twice a year). and then back to their piles they go. (and who really wants to reminisce about high school anyways? ack!)  of course, j is the exact opposite. he has no problem donating/throwing things out. for the sake of this move, i'm trying to be more like him - more practical! less emotion!

i'm proud to tell you that my closet is now 1/3 of the size it was last week. as far as purging goes, i really went for it. i think i have twelve shirts now.

so, hooray. one project down! many more to come.

to put things in perspective, here are some fun reads:

The Smallest Apartment in New York

5 Super-Efficient Tiny New York Apartments

How to Make Your Tiny Space Feel Huge

Pinterest Makes Small NYC Apartments Pretty

Amazing Micro-Apartments in New York City


  1. I went through the same phase when I moved (2 times). and I somehow managed to bring all the crap with me. and I'm cluttering even more. ah, sentimental people. can't wait for your posts in new york. :)

  2. i know!!! i've moved a few times before, and never learn about how many stuffs i have. gah, i'm moving too and i can't believe i have that much of stuff. gah!

  3. you can do it! press on, girl! <3

  4. I've been meaning to downsize my closet (full of clothes, yet I never have a anything to wear) maybe you've motivated me! best of luck xoxo

  5. I moved to a different country a few months ago, and I realized the exact opposite; how few things I really own.xx

    dreaming is believing

  6. Good luck with the purge! After moving to NYC, I learned how to be less sentimental about "stuff" but I still end up gathering things. It's a bad habit when you live in such tight quarters. I feel your pain!


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