Out of all the big stressors in life, having to move tops the list for many people. Whether you’ve lived in your home for a few decades or less than a few years, having to face the daunting task of organizing and packing up your accumulated belongings can send even the most organized person into a heightened state of anxiety. Add to that the logistics of the move itself — transporting your goods, closing down your current household, and setting up a new household — and you’ve got the potential for an overwhelming life event.
In Rightsize… Right Now! The 8-Week Plan to Organize, Declutter, and Make Any Move Stress-Free, author and professional organizer Regina Leeds seeks to guide readers through the process with minimal stress.
I was immediately impressed by Leeds’s easygoing, humorous approach. Instead of getting a lecture, which I’ve come to expect from those who love a tidy and organized space, I got plenty of guidance, which was broken down into a series of eight weeks.
Leeds has spent many hours organizing homes for a living, and has overseen moves for many of her clients. She clearly understands the challenges of moving a household, and has great suggestions and guidelines for navigating the pitfalls and maximizing the opportunities of a big move.
Throughout each section, Leeds provides a soothing, step-by-step guide to dealing with the clutter that builds up as we live in our homes. In addition to general guidelines for tackling each room, the book includes powerful tips for handling two of my personal nemeses: paperwork, and handed-down items and memorabilia.
Leeds also provides multiple lists of resources for how to deal with possessions you won’t be taking to your new home: shredding services, companies that take donations, how to sell your unwanted items, and whom to call if you simply want it hauled away from your current house. As she wisely points out, once you begin to clear your home of the items that won’t be making the move with you, the energy in the rooms will feel lighter, which in turn will give you more energy as you go through this life transition.
As I read, I kept marveling at how Leeds really does think of everything — down to packing your clothing in boxes that can be returned to the mover, how to minimize stress on your pets throughout the move, and what to do with all those pesky old tax receipts. Although I usually find such detailed books overwhelming, Leeds does such a wonderful job of providing the information in a user-friendly format that I was able to easily absorb the information as I read.
I’m confident that if our family ends up facing a move in the near future (a possibility on the horizon for us), I’ll have no trouble going back through the book as I pack.
Indeed, if you are planning to move, I would suggest reading this book in its entirety before you begin packing, if possible, and then revisiting each section as you follow the plan. You’ll find yourself grateful for that extra voice reminding you what to handle each week, a voice that you can pick up or put down in the form of a book — rather than an overly helpful relative or stressed-out member of the household who happens to be making the move with you.
Rightsize… Right Now!: The 8-Week Plan to Organize, Declutter, and Make Any Move Stress-Free
Da Capo Lifelong Books, March 2015
Paperback, 256 pages