Simplify me, Pam! My husband and I are moving across country in a few months, and we have so much stuff but can’t imaging taking it all with us. Crazy as it sounds, we’re just not emotionally ready to get rid of it. Do you have any suggestions for creative and motivating ways to start the editing process so we can feel good about parting with our things?”
You bet I have an idea! Think: Re-gifting with sentiment!
Before you head out of Dodge, you’ll likely want to bid farewell to your local friends. Why not make your send off a “Sentiment Event” whereby you host a casual party, and (re) gift each guest with a specially selected item that you’ve loved for years, but feel that specific individual might now enjoy it, while also giving them a little reminder of you?
So, before taking loads of discarded things to Goodwill or selling on eBay or donating to a local resale shop, go through each and every space, select out your “gently used” items you no longer want to keep, place them in a handful of boxes, and then match up the items with your guest list: A Beach Boys CD for your surfer friend, a wool scarf and flask for your skier sister, the Harry Potter book series for your tween nephew, and your collection of seeds and gardening supplies for the neighbor who always snatches your flowers!
No need to get fancy with wrapping paper, but presentation is important (especially when the gifts are “vintage”). Use simple packing paper (or maps from your old National Geographics), some twine, a few twigs or leaves from your yard, and on photos (that you’re about to toss anyway), punch a hole, write your new address and a short sentimental reason for giving them that item, tie it onto the package, and pass out each gift as your guests leave the party. Be sure to take a selfie with the recipient holding the gift, so that when you’re feeling a million miles away, you can send a funny text with the picture.
Whether you’re moving or organizing for the new year, deciding to part with your belongings seems so much easier when you can gift them to someone you *hope* will enjoy them. A few twists on this idea: Mismatched dishes and utensils? Take food to a dinner party, write on the bottom of the dish “pass along, don’t return” and see where the dish shows up next! Host a “clothing swap event” where friends and friends of friends all bring a bunch of clothes they no longer want, and pull numbers to see who gets first dibs on the items. Expand it to include just about anything in your home, like toiletries, linens, stationery, spices. What’s left gets donated by the host to a charity, or if food, placed in the kitchen at work for your co-workers.
Pam Hudson, owner of Simplify With Pam, a professional organizing business here on the Central Coast works with busy families, individuals and small businesses, as well as people who are downsizing, relocating and moving. Visit: www.simplifywithpam.com