Well it’s almost moving day – the day when all this minimalism pays some serious dividends.

For weeks I have been de-cluttering and donating things left, right, and center. Having fewer things means less packing, which has lessened the stress of my move. I have enough boxes and I can close my suitcases, what a novelty! I have a long way to go, but I also feel that I’ve come a long way and that I’ve learned a lot.

If you’re moving soon, embracing minimalism and paring down your possessions can make your move much less stressful. I noticed that paring down just three things has made my packing much easier than I dared to hope it would be. If you only have time to do a little bit of de-cluttering, I recommend trying to focus on just three areas.

1. Fragile items

I am moving in with a roommate who has kitchen supplies like plates and drinking glasses. Great! I am not going to hang onto mine for a “just-in-case” scenario that may happen many months down the road. I donated all my dishes and glasses, keeping just a couple mugs, my good wok, and a couple other random kitchen things. Not moving glasses and breakable dishes is a *huge* relief!

2. Shoes

I have made a very big effort to limit myself to only the shoes that I really need. I still own a ridiculous number of shoes, but the number is about half of the shoes that I started with. Shoes are heavy – don’t lug them around just because you think you might wear them “someday.” If you didn’t wear them more than twice last season then you probably don’t need them. Ladies, if you are having trouble parting with the sky-high heels that you rarely wear because they are SO UNCOMFORTABLE but that you hang onto because them make you feel sexy, read this post about how I learned to part with the things that made me feel sexy. Be honest about how often you wear your shoes. If you rarely wear a pair but really can’t part with them, consider giving them to a friend who will lend them to you if you ever need them.

3. Books

I love books so much, but they are so heavy! I am slowly converting to e-books, but in the meantime I wrote this post about reaching “book equilibrium” where books in = books out and you have a minimal number of books at any given time. If you really want to scare yourself, fill a suitcase or box with your books and weigh it. Then try to cut the weight of the suitcase or box in half, and then in half again if you can manage it. If you are holding onto all your favourite box sets (*ahem* Harry Potter) consider giving them away and buying the e-book versions if you ever find that you really want to re-read them. Still having trouble parting with a favourite? Get a close friend to look you in the eye and ask “hunny, how many times do you really need to read Twilight?” Sometimes you need tough love.

If you make a real effort to pare down these three things I promise you that your move will go more smoothly.

This is Minimalist Moving Part One. Later this week I will report back from the other side!