July 2014. Originally copyrighted and posted in "Type for Life" by the Center for the Applications of Psychological Type, Gainesville, FL. Used with permission.

I have moved several times in the past few years. Moving is a pain! While normally I like making decisions, the decisions involved in moving were not fun. What to move…what to throw away…what to give away? I'm an ESTJ, known to be organized and willing to make decisions. But moving, well, moving is different.

I have never been one of those people who sorts their closet twice a year getting rid of anything they haven't worn in the past year. I have numerous sizes of black pants, just in case. I have my prom dresses (from nearly 50 years ago), just in case I ever have grandkids who want to play dress up.

What I discovered in moving was how wonderful friends are for helping. Through their eyes I could see the foolishness of moving multiple boxes of rags when only one box was needed.

They did not stop and reminisce over clothing worn for special events, cherished books whose plot lines I loved, special knick knacks acquired on trips, etc. They simply packed every cupboard I assigned them. Occasionally they would stop, hold up a broken something or a particularly unattractive something, and inquire. They were right…toss it.

I did ask a relative, a librarian, how to handle books. She said there are three categories of books to hang on to. One, first editions — okay, I have none. Second, books needed for your profession. Oh dear, I have tons, although the word "need" is open to interpretation at times. Third, highly sentimental books such as your first reader. I did finally give away my set of Laura Ingalls Wilder books.

The librarian's advice was useful up to a point. What really helped was culling my books to contribute to a fundraiser. Seeing a second life for books, or for anything for that matter, is a comfort.

Another technique I recently observed might work for you, too. An ENFP friend was having difficulty sorting the sewing room of his late wife. There were lots of memories including the partially completed kayak cover she began making for him decades ago; he admitted she didn't particularly like kayaking!

I spent hours with him boxing up dozens of zippers, reams of material, scraps of leather, piles of patterns, skeins of yarn, yards of lace, etc.

A dear friend of his (an ISFJ) knew what a trial it was to close out that sewing room. She said we could cart it all over to her home, and she would go through it for her own art and sewing projects and then donate the rest to a new immigrant center. This sharpened our focus because we did not have to decide about the usefulness of each item. We just had to box it all up.

But you should have seen this friend's husband's face (an INTJ) when we unloaded box after box of sewing stuff. They too are planning to move in a year and he was hoping this stuff would not remain as something for them to move. I did check with him recently — all the stuff has found a home. Whew — and we're still friends.

I'm curious as to whether you have any techniques that could help in sorting and moving. And how does type fit into the patterns or relationships that govern these decisions?