Whether you’re moving alone, with family, as a student, as a professional, with a job, without a job *inhale* *exhale* no matter how you slice-n-dice your particular relocation situation, we all have to at some point pack up and schlep our stuff across the pond.

Today’s packing tip for moving to London is annoying, but simpler if you start thinking ahead.  Basically, start to sort through and divide what will be staying behind and what should be given away.  This way, even if you’re not ready to pack up your necessities because you still need them on a daily basis at home, you can start to clear out the rest.

Every time you’re looking in your closet, try to identify things that you can donate to charity or give away to the lucky friends and family who wear your same size 🙂  I remember planting a giant box in front of my closet, so, in waves, I’d toss more and more into the box as long as I was standing right there and thinking about it anyway.  If it goes in the box, while that takes up some space, it’s not making a mess.  Do the same for accessories and knick-knacks, and keep revisiting your closets/cabinets with a fresh eye every day or two to see if you can’t part with a little more.

At this stage, it’s wise to also identify what you don’t regularly use, but that you don’t necessarily want to toss.  If you can do without these things for a while, start to pack them up as well and store them in your own storage for the time being or where they’ll reside after you move.  In my case, we didn’t want to pay to rent a storage unit, but we were blessed to have family willing to take it on for a few years.  The possessions we left behind are divided between my sister’s and father-in-law’s basements, and some is actually being put to use in our parents’ homes—my mom and dad are enjoying my bookshelves filled with my precious leather-bound book collection, and my father-in-law is actually using our living room set (the leather would fare better in use than sitting in storage left to dry and crack).  This infringement on our loved ones’ space shouldn’t be taken lightly, however, so do offer some sort of compensation or a generous gift.

The more these non-essentials are thinned out, the more clarity with which you’ll be able to look around and assess how to pack up the need-to-haves later.  Giving stuff away is really a good exercise to perform anyway (even if you weren’t moving) for saving space with the added benefit of helping others.  And leaving stuff behind might at first seem painful, but ask yourself honestly when the last time was that you used a certain item and just trust in the truth of “Out of Sight, Out of Mind.”  I’m as sentimental as they come, so if I’ve come to terms with it, so can you!

So in the spirit of your london relocation, put your Sorting Hat on and sort it out!