How to Cut Down on Moving Boxes

July 09 2014

Sort it Out Now’s Advice: Only pack items that are functional, nostalgic or beautiful.

It goes without saying that moving means decisions, from the big (what town?) to the little (should I take that pasta maker?).

Ironically, it’s often the little decisions that stymie us the most, often because our feelings are attached.

The process of packing can start to slow when we need to make choices about whether to bring something to a new home or get rid of it. All the sentiment we place on certain belongings is sometimes difficult to walk away from. That pasta maker? Maybe you received it at your engagement party from a favorite uncle. You’ve never used it because you really don’t like soft homemade pasta and it’s easier to grab the spaghetti box off the grocery shelf. But your uncle walked up to you carrying it with his goofy grin and had his own story about your aunt’s first attempt at pasta. But now here it is, the pasta maker never used but full of hope and dreams. What to do?

Sort it Out Now Recommends: Gift it to someone. But-but-but, my uncle! His great story! Sure, he had a great story, about his hopes and dreams. Whenever a strand of guilt comes along while packing, that’s your hint to donate. This pasta maker doesn’t count for “nostalgic” (remember, you’ve never used it), nor “functional” (remember, you like boxed pasta), and beautiful? However, preserve the memory of that sweet moment by taking a picture of the pasta maker and keeping the photo in your album or with other memorabilia.

Let’s stay in the kitchen – take out those cute pumpkin cookie cutters you got on sale over fifteen years ago. They’re the old-fashioned kind, metal, so the edging has rust. You and your daughter used to make sugar cookies with them but now she’s graduated from high school. What to do?

Sort it Out Now Recommends: Keep one for the shelf. But always ask yourself – when was the last time I used this? Consider that not every item in your home, at moving time, has “present-day value.” If you haven’t used it in a long while, time to donate. If you have the space to store, and the time to do this, give items away for repurposing. Check out Freecycle in your area or a nonprofit like HGRM in Acton, MA.

When packing get tough…the tough get wiped out: Are you finding the task overwhelming? (As you sit in the middle of an overturned room flipping through a photo album from 1982?) That’s why Sort it Out Now exists. We excel at organizing and move management.

Sort it Out Now Recommends: Contact Pat, the owner, for a free consultation. She’s super easy to talk to and great at her job. Call (617) 332-7500 or email:

Parting advice: Moving is a very stressful time on the emotions – and physically exhausting to boot – so keep in mind you’re only human and might need some help along the way. But while you’re on the floor with the photo album, mark one box, and one box only, for items you’re having a tough time saying goodbye to. Once the box is full, tape it up. Most likely, you’ll never open it again.


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