Two months from now, a moving truck will be hauling our household goods up to our new duty station. While I’m busy with my boys’ medical and educational needs, I’m taking time to sort out our house before this next move. My goal is for this move to be our smoothest one in 25 years.

I’m going through each of our rooms and pulling out items that we just won’t need at our next location. I’ll look at different items and ask, “Have I used this item in the past couple years? Does it bring me joy? Will it fit in the new home? Do I really need to haul this pile of books/huge stack of craft paper/ice cream maker to our new home?”

When the military moves us, we are limited to a certain number of pounds and can be charged for anything moved over that weight limit. Moving season is a great time to take stock of the inventory in our home and pare down unneeded items.

While my husband and I love our power tools, they’re heavy. We’ve made good use of the equipment in the past, fixing up homes that we had purchased off post. When we stopped using certain pieces, we decided to stop hauling them from home-to-home and sold them at yard sales or gave them to friends.

When my husband retires, he can set up the workshop of his dreams and rebuild his collection of tools. We will hopefully stay in our retirement home for more than a couple of years.

We are a family of bookaholics. We love reading! Early in our married life, we counted over thirty boxes of books that were moved from one home to another. Boxes of books are heavy! Over the years, we’ve tried to get more books from the library. We’re now also reading more digital books, carrying whole volumes of material on our small digital devices.

Going through my book collection last week I’ve asked myself, “If I can check out this book at the library or online, do I really need it at home?” I’ve released a good number of books this year, donating them to the library on post and different thrift shops. Our youngest son even went through his collection and marked a pile containing two-thirds of his books as the “Give to Other People” pile.

I’ve been working through my kitchen this past weekend. I’ve let go of many cookbooks because I now find great recipes online. Instead of collecting different cookbooks, I print out favorite recipes and keep them in a personal binder. I can organize these recipes by category and menus, keeping recipes that work and pulling recipes we’d prefer not to try again.

On Friday, my walk-in pantry was so full that I could hardly walk in and find anything. After pulling out more than half of the items for donation and disposal, the pantry floors are now visible and the shelves are organized with room to spare. I walked in the pantry Monday morning and wondered why I hadn’t cleared it out sooner!

When we move to our new home, I would like to hit the ground running, not buried under layers of extra boxes and mounds of paperwork. I don’t want to work hard to find places for things I might not even need in the next two years. Moving gives us the opportunity to review what we have and need and to let go of the excess in our lives.

I will always keep some special items that remind me of where we’ve been and people we’ve known. Someday I’ll make photo books with pictures of all we’ve seen and done at each duty station.

We will always have great memories, no matter where we live. Before this next move, though, I’m working hard to get our house in order for a smooth move and an easy transition to our next location.

After many years of feeling overwhelmed during the moving season, it would be nice to finally have a smooth move to our new duty station. I look forward to spending less time with boxes and more time making new memories with our family and friends.

Here’s to hoping all our items are packed well and make their way to our new home in a couple months!

Karin Markert is a photography and writing correspondent for the Herald. A military spouse, she lives at Fort Hood.

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