If you’re unsure what to keep and what to donate/toss try having a Packing Party!
What is a Packing Party, you say? Well, keep reading.
The basic idea is to invite some friends over, have some snacks, listen to music, maybe drink a little wine (this is the party part) and pack everything you own into boxes. Obviously, this isn’t for those not ready to jump in completely because it will take some time and effort. However, this is perfect for those who have already downsized and bit and want to declutter even more but do not know how to do so.
You should probably warn you friends beforehand that they will be helping pack your entire life into boxes during the party, but most good friends won’t mind giving you a hand.
Once everything you own is packed (organize and label these boxes- it will make your life much easier) over the next 3 to 4 weeks (or longer, depending how quick you want to do this) you will take out things as you use them. For example, the very first night you will probably pull out your toothbrush, bed, couch, bedding, pajamas, etc. Once you have taken something out of the box and used it, place it where it belongs in your home.
The Minimalists created the idea of a Packing Party. Here is an excerpt from their blog on the topic:
“You see, I didn’t want to spend months slowly paring down my possessions like Josh had. That was fine for him, but I needed faster results. So we came up with a crazy idea: let’s throw a Packing Party. (Everything is more fun when you put “party” at the end.) We decided to pack all my belongings as if I were moving. And then I would unpack only the items I needed over the next three weeks.
Josh came over and helped me box up everything: my clothes, my kitchenware, my towels, my electronics, my TVs, my framed photographs and paintings, my toiletries, even my furniture. Everything. We literally pretended I was moving.
After nine hours and a couple pizza deliveries, everything was packed. There we were, sitting in my second living room, feeling exhausted, staring at boxes stacked halfway to my twelve-foot ceiling. My condo was empty and everything smelled like cardboard. Everything I owned—every single thing I had worked for over the past decade—was there in that room. Boxes stacked on top of boxes stacked on top of boxes.
Each box was labeled so I’d know where to go when I needed a particular item. Labels like, “living room,” “junk drawer #1,” “kitchen utensils,” “bedroom closet,” “junk drawer #7.” So forth and so on.
I spent the next twenty-one days unpacking only the items I needed. My toothbrush. My bed and bedsheets. Clothes for work. The furniture I actually used. Kitchenware. A tool set. Just the things that added value to my life.
After three weeks, 80% of my stuff was still in those boxes. Just sitting there. Unaccessed. I looked at those boxes and couldn’t even remember what was in most of them. All those things that were supposed to make me happy weren’t doing their job.
So I donated and sold all of it.
And you know what? I started to feel rich for the first time in my life. I felt rich once I got everything out of the way, so I could make room for everything that remains.”
You can read the entire article here.
- If packing up your entire apartment or house seems too overwhelming, which it will to those who have quite a bit they’re wanting to downsize, then I suggest to try doing a packing party with individual rooms. For example, do your bedroom and write on the calendar when it’s been 4 weeks so you’ll know your deadline. You can pack up more rooms within those next few weeks or literally just do one at a time and wait until the 3 or 4 weeks is up before starting on another room. This is the easiest way to do the Packing Party. But, I wanted to give you all the backstory of the Packing Party, especially for those who are ready for that big change and don’t want to wait.
I hope this has inspired you. If you have done something similar to downsize your own items, how did you do it?