So you’re moving — again. You might even be considering doing a PPM (Personally Procured Move — or as it was known in the old days, a DITY move) to get some extra cash. Some families can make thousands of dollars moving themselves, so it’s an appealing option.
Moving everything you own can sound like an easy path to more money, but it will bring you a whole lot of headaches during the process (not to mention the arguments with your spouse). Assessing your household before making a move can help you make some tough decisions about what you really need in your life.
I became really passionate about this topic when my Virginia Beach house flooded during a massive hurricane. While my possessions and furniture were mostly alright, the water seeped through every wall, meaning the entire house – walls, floors, and ceilings – had to be replaced. Everything I owned went into boxes in the garage, except for three suitcases. With my husband on deployment, I moved my two toddlers into a hotel for what I thought would be a two-month stay. It turned into six months.
When I got back into the house, I couldn’t remember a single thing I had put in those boxes. With the exception of some seasonal clothes, dishes, and kitchen items, I needed none of it. I realized how much I was holding onto that wasn’t really serving me.
With another military move on the horizon, I decided to take some time to sort through everything I owned with a fresh eye. Here are eight things I learned:
Start with books
Books are especially cumbersome to drag from house to house. Marie Kondo suggests sorting through books later in her process, but I think military families who move a lot should start with these, because books take up a lot of boxes. Some people have the luxury of being able to live in one place for a decade, and they’re able to create cozy libraries that need nothing but a little dusting. Military families don’t have this luxury. I suggest keeping about 10% of all the books you own, and making a list of the titles you decide to get rid of. This way, if you doubt yourself in the future, you can always reference your list and re-order the few you want to reread.
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