Lightening the load before a move (book recommendation)

> How'd you get all your stuff out there, or did you just take what you could
> pack?  I'm a bit of a collector, and I wouldn't want to leave anything behind
> ,
> but I would be willing to ship it in smaller amounts slowly, like a bit at a
> time.  I don't know if that would help any overall though.
> Thanks!
> Adam
	I'm a collector as well, and my piles are somewhat scary. :-) 

	Before going on the move, and before even packing things up, I'd 
*HIGHLY* recommend getting a US$10 book that may save you hundreds or even 
thousands of pounds of shipping weight, not to mention days of packing/

	The book is called "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui" by a woman 
named Karen Kingston. 179 pages, and small. About 5"x7". has it 
discounted by about 20%, and there are used copies available for less than 
that. They also have about 29 pages of the book available online.

	Some parts of it read a bit "new-agey", but overall there's a lot of 
very practical and easily digestible info in there that inspires you to go and 
tackle sorting out your stuff. We've given copies to many friends and been 
rewarded with stories of how they cleaned out their room/apartments/houses/etc 
in very little time. 

	It does work, and it's actually worth a re-read every year or so. (I'm 
about due for one. :-)  )

	Along the line of cleaning out stuff you don't want and lightening 
your load, here are a few other strategies we've used over the years:

	Go through your clothing with a critical eye and pull out the things 
you haven't worn in 3 years or more. These are probably safe to go away. :-) 
	Pull out the things you haven't worn in at least a year. Ask yourself 
(truthfully) if you think you will again. Is it worth the ballast weight and 
shipping cost?
	Put all the clothes you want to give away into bags for Goodwill or 
Salvation Army or some local charity, then BRING THEM TO THE CHARITY! This 
part is really important! Put a date on the calendar within a week or two and 
get the stuff out! It doesn't count if you've moved it from inside the closet 
to the corner just outside the closet! :-) 

	Over the years, Stacie and I have employed what we call a "Calgon 
Box". This is a play on the old Calgon soap commercials where they said 
"Calgon, Take me away!" :-) A simple cardboard box does the trick, and we've 
actually put a label on ours that says "Calgon (Take me away!)" just so people 
know what it is. (Variants like "Free stuff to good home" work just as well.) 
	Keep the box near your front door, or in a guest room if you have lots 
of visitors. Encourage people to take stuff with them. If you live in an 
apartment building, leaving a box of goodies near the stairs or elevator or 
where people get their mail also works astonishingly well. (When list member 
Ken Turgen moved "downspin" from SF to Boston last year, we put stuff out and 
often found it gone within 15-30 minutes.)

	Good candidates for the Calgon Box are book/tapes/CDs/videos that you 
no longer want, old pots & pans, dishes, glasses, stuffed animals, etc. In 
apartment buildings, consider leaving behind cleaning supplies, brooms & dustpans, 
and even unwanted bottles from your liquor cabinet, if you have one. We helped 
a friend move from Santa Cruz to San Francisco last spring, and we found 
neatly arranged boxes of those things placed gently on top of the dumpster, 
not thrown in. They essentially were left with a "Free to good home" sign 
implied on them, by someone who didn't want to deal with the ballast. 

	If you have an office that's moving, or even a home office with lots 
of office supplies, envelopes, pens, folders, etc., consider donating these to 
a local school. Private and Charter schools often don't have much of a budget 
for these things, and LOVE to get donations like this. (We just did this while 
closing out an office in San Jose this summer for my old company. A local 
charter school sent over people and hauled away a pickup truck-full and a 
van-full of things like folders, old microwave ovens and coffee machines, 
Post-It Notes, 3-ring binders, etc. And the person in charge of the move 
didn't have to worry about shipping it to the East Cost, or having someone 
unpack and sort it over there. The whole thing worked out so well that they 
did the same thing with a local school in Minnesota when they closed an office 

	Hopefully these sorts of things will be helpful to you. They have been 
to me in the past. 

	These are also the sorts of things we should probably formalize into 
Wiki pages, or the Faq-O-Matic, so people don't need to sift through the 
archives to find juicy tidbits. Links to both the Wiki and the Faq-O-Matic are 
on the front page, so feel free to check them out and add sections. Doing it 
in the wiki might put us well on the way to actually producing something like 
the long-talked-about "Haul Your Ass Upspin!" book, so feel free to cut chunks 
of this message out and make wiki pages, or add to existing ones. 

	In fact, to show how easy it is (and to get off my butt, so to speak), 
I've started a new subsection, which you can find at the bottom of the main 
Wiki HomePage:

	Check the RecentChanges page for info on what's new, or just dig 



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