*Decide to leave the country for nine months.
*Wait until the last minute, like a couple weeks before you move out. This way procrastination is not an option.
*Get child care for an entire weekend—three nights and two days, bam. You don’t need little people indulging in full-blown meltdowns over every broken shoe, bent thumb tack, and torn-up book that gets tossed.
*Stay focused and work together. When your wife crumbles to the sofa in despair, pull her off it. When your husband gets too snarky, make him eggs.
*Be brutal. GET. RID. OF. EVERYTHING. When in doubt over whether or not to toss a map, manual, or book, yell, I can find this information on line! Or, Guess what, dodo brain? I can buy another one later! If you can’t bear to part with a box of drink umbrellas that you bought in Chinatown, pack it up and shove it into the attic. (But you should probably just get rid of them. If you ever find yourself in dire need of umbrellas for the fancy alcoholic drinks you don’t make, remember, there’s this thing called…AMAZON!)
*Trash the house. Empty drawers, closets, and cupboards. The messier the house gets, the more effective you are.
*Constantly berate yourself for any packrat tendencies. For example, “I can’t believe I let this broken piece of crap exist in my house!” Or, “Why in the world did I ever buy this crap?” It is important to use the word “crap” (or something similar, ehem) to the point of excess.
*Yell a lot. This is a great way to maintain momentum. War whoops are required. High fives are good.
*Burn, baby, burn! Turn that 30-gallon trashcan of papers to ashes. There is no going back, wheee!
*Reserve the evenings for pizza, Bailey’s-spiked hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows, and obscene amounts of Netflix.
*Exhale. Admire all the empty. Notice how light you feel. (You may need to tie concrete blocks around your ankles to keep from floating away.)