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Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus help over 20 million people live meaningful lives with less through their website, books, podcast, and documentary. The Minimalists have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Forbes, TIME, ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, CBC, and NPR.

Podcast 051 | Moving

In this episode of The Minimalists Podcast, Joshua & Ryan talk about dealing with material possessions while moving, and they answer the following questions:

  • In preparing to move to a more spacious place, how can I prepare appropriately to ensure I hold to my minimalist practices and not fill it with unnecessary items?
  • How can I help my children purge much of their superfluous belongings during a move, yet still make it fun for them?
  • How do I ensure I pack only what I need when moving?
  • How do I politely refuse family heirlooms and other donations from family when they’re moving?



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Minimal Maxims

Joshua & Ryan’s pithy, sharable, less-than-140-character answers to the lightning-round questions:

  • Joshua on finding inexpensive or free moving boxes: “If you have less stuff, you’ll need fewer boxes.”
  • Ryan on finding inexpensive or free moving boxes: “Between friends, family, and local grocery stores, you can find a lot of cardboard boxes for free.”
  • Joshua on determining what to keep and what to purge: “Distinguish between just-for-when and just-in-case items. Let go of just-in-case items with the 20/20 Rule, and apply the 90/90 Rule when dealing with just-for-when items.”
  • Ryan on determining what to keep and what to purge: “It doesn’t matter what rules you follow, as long as you’re following rules that fit within your lifestyle.”
  • Joshua on determining what to sell, what to donate, and what to give away: “Moving is the perfect time to throw a literal packing party.”
  • Ryan on determining what to sell, what to donate, and what to give away: “When selling possessions, it’s important to determine the value of your time versus the sunk cost of the items.”
  • Joshua on parting with sentimental items: “The first step in letting go is understanding that our memories aren’t inside our things—our memories are inside us.”
  • Ryan on parting with sentimental items: “Start small—give away one sentimental item to see how it feels. If you can’t sleep at night, ask them to return it.”
  • Joshua on determining what is essential: “Ask yourself, ‘How do I want to live?’ Build your home and your stuff around that life.”
  • Ryan on determining what is essential: “Don’t bring things into your home just because there’s a space for it—instead, ask, ‘What is going to serve a purpose or bring me joy?’”
  • Joshua on forcing children to adopt minimalist practices: “The road to discontent is cluttered with good intentions.”

Mentioned in This Episode

This episode was produced by Shawn Harding. Our theme music was written and performed by Peter Doran. Our podcasts are completely free, so if you found value in this episode, and you’d like to help us produce more, please consider donating a dollar to The Minimalists. Your donations help keep this podcast 100% advertisement-free (because advertisements suck).

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