Decluttering and packing or preparing for a move go hand in hand. Every season, we unpack and pack items for decorating or wearing. Why not take these moments and time to combine it all together -- two birds and one stone and whatnot. Let's talk about seasonal packing. No, not seasonal packaging with snowflakes or candy hearts on it, but packing and preparing with the seasons.
In January, seasonal décor comes down. We pull out the bins for the ornaments and holiday crafts. Now is the time to plan for next year, and therefore planning for that next move. Would the wreath make it if it is packed? If not, consider taking pieces of it and create an ornament with it that can be packed more easily -- a reminder of the item without risking it falling apart. If crafts are your weakness too, check the ages for the crafts you have on hand. If the items are no longer appealing for the you or the children in your lives, it might be time to donate them.
Same goes for February and March -- the seasonal décor of hearts and shamrocks get rotated in and out. When you put those items up and take others down, take a moment to stock in what you have, what you realistically would have room for at the next home or what you would put up. If it has been two years since you put out the stuffed leprechaun, perhaps it is time to donate it or put it up on your local Buy Nothing group.
When spring comes around in April, not only is décor changing, but clothing. While this is location dependent (Okinawa -- we know you have two seasons -- rainy and sunshine but we still pretend there is fall and winter in there somewhere), you can still rotate out clothing by preference and size.
Enter the summer months -- May, June, July and August. These are prime months for PCSers. If you aren't moving, this is still prime time to declutter and go through items. Clear out the summer items that won't be used, or aren't useful after the summers end -- pool noodles or swim goggles that break down with use and chlorine. Toss those items at summer's end.
Then comes fall -- September, October and November with fall decorations. The holidays in November and December also bring a host of holiday dishware. If you haven't used items in several years, it might be time to part with it or see if a family member who could use it would be willing to take it.
Seasonal packing lends itself well to culling out clothing. For children's clothing, pulling out the next season's clothes is the perfect time to determine if things no longer fit. If they aren't being saved for posterity or a sibling, it is time to hand it down to someone in the family, framily or through the various donation or clothing recycling sites. Same goes for the adults clothing. While adults don't have the same growth changes, there are clothing preference changes in addition to style changes. If you are super crafty, hanging onto old t-shirts might be fun to make a blanket, but they also double as rags. Take each season as an opportunity to cull down by size of clothes. If you have multiple family members, you can even divvy this up by one family member per one day to spread it out of a week.
Seasonal packing also means just that -- packing by the seasons. Organizing décor and clothing that correlate with the seasons into color-coordinated bins makes it easy to spot and organize. It also keeps things at a finite space size. If finding matching color bins is too expensive, or just not your jam, get color painters tape so you can easily spot the winter gear bins or Halloween decorations. There are, thankfully, many different colors so you can organize similar colored bins or boxes easily.
The bins keep it all in a finite amount of space. Which is a burden and a plus. You have all the room you need in those 2 bins, but you also have only the room in those 2 bins. If you are the type of person or family that can make this work, good for you!
The key to seasonal packing is doing it in bits of time that work for you. Packing and reorganizing in small, achievable bits of time and items. It's easy to get excited and pull everything out when unpacking those boxes. It is normal to feel sad when packing up those items. It is an amazing feeling to both unpack, and repack all while decluttering and thinning out what we can. Preparing to move is never an easy feat -- but with seasonal preparation, it makes the task much easier.
-- This article originally appeared on the Millie Journal.
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