This year, I helped my mom sell our family home. The hardest part? Going through decades worth of old belongings, deciding what to keep ... and what to chuck.
Before this move, I never thought of myself as an especially sentimental person. Yet, as I opened boxes to uncover stuffed animals from my childhood or a box of family photos, packing would come to a screeching halt while I sat down and studied every object and image with care. While a small part of me longed to keep everything, I knew that my mom's new place lacked the space, and my own home was already cluttered enough. This forced me to make some tough decisions.
In the end, we got it done—and I learned a ton in the process. Here are a few hard-won lessons to help declutter and move without sacrificing all those memories.
5 Tips for a Long-Distance House Hunt
When I first found out I was moving to a new city, I knew I wanted to buy a house there quickly. The city I was moving from had experienced a surge in home prices—to the point I could no longer afford to buy—and I didn't want the same thing to happen in what would become my new home.
In the end, I rented an apartment for a couple of months in my new city while I looked for a home. But leading up to that, although I didn't do a long-distance house hunt, I did do a lot of research about what that process might have looked like. Here's what I gleaned.