Deciding what to keep and what to toss when you're moving to a new place

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Table surrounded by chairs and sofas.For some of us, moving is a bigger deal than it is for others. Whether it’s across town, across the country or across an entire ocean, we know we’ll be getting used to a new environment, new routines and new neighbors... but when it comes to our stuff, the endless litany of decisions about what to keep, what to take and what to toss can be a little overwhelming.

Since we’re well-entrenched in the world of relocating here at Moveline, we thought we’d offer some basic tips to ease the stress of the keep/take/toss conundrum and share a few resources while we’re at it.

Measure, measure, measure

Whether you’re moving from one similarly-sized space to another, upgrading your square footage or downsizing your living space, a square foot here may not equal a square foot there. Now, we’re not contesting the concept of math itself -- it’s just that the dimensions of each room in your new home can provide challenges when it comes to arranging your furniture in a way that’s comfortable. So before you start figuring out whether or not that jute rug will clash with the tile in your new place, figure out if it even fits. Get your measurements down cold so you can plan ahead and avoid a lot of last-minute chucking on your move-in date. A helpful resource: this roundup of half a dozen floorplan tools compiled by our pals at Apartment Therapy.

Get inspired to upcycle, repurpose and reinvent.

Night-stand made out of suitcases.Image credit: Cupcakes and Cashmere

While it’s fun (for some) to redecorate and dream up a whole new decor scheme to go along with the clean slate of a new home, what starts off as a lovely idea can quickly turn into an expensive and exhausting process. So, instead of tossing out your old belongings so you can run out and buy all new things, take a long, hard look at what you’ve got and consider its potential. The wealth of DIY tutorials and resources on the web is endless; you can transform a shipping pallet into a coffee table, update old suitcases into the world’s cutest nightstand... the possibilities go on and on.

A few great places to look online for inspiration: IKEA Hackers, Design Sponge and -- for the utterly fearless DIY decorators -- Instructables.

Happy hacking!

Leave a little wiggle room.

There’s a common misconception that a new living space has to be perfectly in order and impeccably decorated before guests should be welcomed, or before it can even feel like home. Truth? That’s ridiculous.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a great home. Ask any interior designer worth their salt what the foundation of great decor is, and they’ll all agree that it can’t just be snapped up from a showroom floor in one fell swoop. It takes time to cultivate the collection of objects and furnishings that make a space feel alive.

So, our biggest piece of advice: take your time, get creative and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Bring that couch, those shelves and that bedroom set you can’t live without, and resist that impulse buy on some easy chair that fills that empty space. Wait, if you can, until you run across things you absolutely have to own, whether you find them online or wander across it during a Saturday romp through a vintage market. Let your new home develop its personality as time goes by and let yourself settle into all its quirks. When you think about it, that’s half the fun, and you’ll thank yourself years down the road when you’re still enjoying those wise decisions you made in your own time, on your own terms. Soon enough, it’ll feel like home sweet home indeed.

Check out more packing tips and move organizing advice from Moveline, a radically easier way to move.