Moving Without The Grief

When I told my husband that I got promoted and that we would be moving across the country, you should have seen the look on his face. He was clearly devastated, and I didn't know what to do to make it better. Instead of focusing on the negative things, I started working with him to help him to overcome his grief. We talked about how we could stay in close touch with family and friends, and how to make the move less stressful than other moves in the past. This blog is all about moving without the hassle and heartache.

Your Guide To Dealing With Sentimental Items When You Move


When you move to a new home -- especially if you're downsizing or moving a long distance -- it's common to go through your possessions and get rid of items you don't need. It's not usually very tough to throw away a beaten-up old purse you haven't used in ages or a cracked mug you got at a yard sale, but what about sentimental items? What do you do with those 16 framed pictures of the family dog who passed away when you were a kid or the 8 potholders your mother knit you, but that you don't use because they burn your hands?

While you could just pack these sentimental items up and haul them on to the next home, you'll just be left to go through the same quandary about them the next time you move. The best approach is to face your emotions and deal with these sentimental items now. Here are some tips.

Pick one and donate the rest.

May sentimental items come in sets. Maybe you have a collection of shirts from when you used to run 5k races or a pile of sweaters that your grandma knit. You probably don't need the whole collection to trigger the memories related to these items. Consider picking your favorite of the bunch to keep, and then donate the rest of the collection. Knowing it will be useful to someone else may make it easier to part with.

Allow yourself one box.

There's really no reason to get rid of every sentimental item that you don't use -- but you don't want to pay to haul 20 boxes of these things across the country, either. A good way to restrict yourself is to designate one box for items of this sort. Decide on this box (or plastic tote) at the beginning of your packing process. Let yourself keep as many no-purpose, sentimental items as will fit into that box, but no more. Don't let yourself cheat and switch to a bigger box partway through! If the box is already full but you have other things you want to keep, you'll have to pull something else out of the box and get rid of it.

Consider giving the items to family members.

Could another family member use a sentimental item that you no longer have a need for? Perhaps you've moved on from mom's tea set, for example, but you have a younger sister who you think might enjoy it. This solution works well for more valuable sentimental items that you may not want to just donate or throw away. Try to collect items of this nature on a table, and have your family members visit and look over them. Allow them to take home what they want, and then sell or donate the rest.

See if you can re-purpose something to make it useful again.

Some sentimental items may not be as useless as you think. This is particularly true about a lot of furniture. For instance, you might not need the old bookshelf left behind by your grandfather, but maybe you do need a shelf for outdoor storage or a unique place to store your wine in the basement. It's amazing how you can transform a piece of furniture into something completely different with some paint, cushions, or basic woodworking. You may also be able to re-purpose clothing, linens, and decorations.

If there are any items that you really love but must get rid of during your move, just snap pictures of them beforehand. Keep the pictures in a folder on your desktop so you can look at them and enjoy the memories they bring whenever you like.

Once you have decided what you're keeping, make sure to talk with professional moving services to help your sentimental items get where they're supposed to go safely. 


8 December 2016