That one-word secret to decluttering: move.
You pick up a possession, hold it in your hands, then stuff it into a box. Or chuck it.
That’s what I’m doing. My husband and I aren’t moving far, only four blocks away into a different apartment here in Chicago. It’s bigger and has a nicer view; our current apartment is crammed between two other buildings and a train embankment.
This won’t be an especially complicated move. Some of you may recall that in summer of 2016, we moved from Madrid, Spain, to Chicago, Illinois. That was complicated.
In Illinois, you pay your movers by the hour of labor. In overseas moves, you pay by the bulk and weight of the shipment, and that price was about ten times what this upcoming move will cost. As you can imagine, the transatlantic move inspired extreme decluttering. We haven’t accumulated much since, so very little will be chucked or given away this time, and the process will be simple: shovel everything into boxes, and then, in the new place, dump the boxes out. This includes about a thousand books (not counting e-books). They’re our dearest possessions.
If you don’t hear a lot from me during March, that’s because I’m elbow-deep in cardboard boxes. I expect everything to go well and, in the end, I’m sure it will spark joy.
— Sue Burke