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How to Declutter Your Home Before Your Move

Published by Chris Townsend

How to Declutter Your Home Before Your Move

Let's get one thing straight: moving out is a difficult process. It entails a plethora of chores that you may find quite exhausting to do. When you declutter before a move, it's not like you're having a standard spring cleaning weekend. Although you may be dreading it, decluttering today will save you time and money in the long run. It will also make you happier.

Here are some helpful tips on how to begin decluttering your house while you're moving:

  1. Begin decluttering as soon as you can.

You should start decluttering as soon as you plan your move. It doesn't have to be a full-fledged spring cleaning project. You may always begin with small tasks around the house. It's vital to understand that you'll be obtaining a moving estimate after you confer with your mover, so declutter and leave just the goods you'll transport to your new house to get an exact cost.

  1. Have a solid decluttering strategy in place.

Most individuals underestimate the time it takes to declutter. There is generally a lot of things to sort through.

A decluttering strategy might assist you in determining what you need to declutter. Also, consider how much time you'll need to complete the task. Assisting you in planning your decluttering program and ensuring that you are finished decluttering before relocating.

A solid decluttering strategy will also assist you in avoiding some frequent decluttering stumbling blocks. Things like what you'll do with the things you're getting rid of, how to keep your motivation up, how to prevent forgetting about particular locations or categories of things, and more.

Stop buying
  1. Stop buying new things for your house.

Another wonderful approach to reduce the amount of stuff you have to move is to avoid buying anything new before the move. Anything new you bring in will add to the list of things to pack, move, and unpack in your new house. Remember that your aim here is to reduce the number of your possessions, and adding to them is the polar opposite of what you want to accomplish.

  1. Determine the dates of expiry.

Chances are, you have a few products in your bathroom or pantry that are ready to be disposed of. Before you pack anything, look for an expiration date or recall when you purchased it. If you've had that spice jar for a while, open it up and sniff what's inside. If you don't receive a strong scent of the spice, that is a clear indication that the spice has lost its potency. Many beauty items in the bathroom expire after a year. While using outdated cosmetics isn't harmful, let’s face it you haven’t been using it before, why would you start using it now that it’s beyond its expiration date.

  1. Consumables must be used immediately.

Food and other items that are likely to spoil fast should be consumed as soon as possible. Begin doing this as soon as you know you're going to be moving so you have plenty of time to use up what you can before the big day. There will be less trash, and you will need to relocate fewer objects. Set a goal of transferring as few consumable things as possible by focusing on using up what you have and only purchasing what you require before relocating.

  1. Create a "necessities" box.

This is a box that you will undoubtedly require. Toilet paper, shampoo, duct tape, some basic tools, and nails are among the supplies in the "necessities" box that you will need on moving day. Mark the box and bring it with you when you move so you don't have to dig through all of your boxes looking for a need.

  1. Allow yourself some time.

Don't put off deciding what to pack and what to get rid of until the day before the movers arrive. Instead, schedule at least two weeks ahead of time. Set aside a few hours each day to work on a different room or closet in your home. You won't be tempted to just toss everything in boxes and call it a day if you work in little pieces.

Easy way to declutter
  1. Try to do the 12-12-12 challenge.

This is one of the most effective strategies to begin decluttering. The 12-12-12 challenge might serve as a motivator to keep you going. Locate 12 items to discard, 12 items to gift to someone, and 12 items to try to get rid of, whether by donation or sale. You'll quickly get rid of 36 items you don't use this way.

  1. Check to see if your products are still functional or useable.

Be sure to inspect any items that may pose a risk to the environment, including old mobile phones, batteries, and old pyrotechnics, along with anything else that will not fit into the category of household garbage. Look up how to get rid of this stuff on the internet. You may also hire a junk removal service if any of these things are too large, especially if they are electrical.

  1. Take a little break in between.

It is possible to become overwhelmed while decluttering. Avoid working on your task for more than a few hours at a time. Motivate yourself after you complete packing a specific room or a group of boxes. What could help is a brief tea break, picking up a book and reading for a bit, or watching a movie or a TV show. Knowing there will be a reward at the end adds to the drive to complete the task.

  1. Use the practicality test.

If you're unsure whether to keep or gift something, ask yourself honestly if you intend to utilize it. For example, when it comes to clothing, if you haven't worn anything in a year, odds are you won't wear it again, so give it to someone who will.

Labeled every box carefully
  1. Use boxes that will be labeled with the objective in mind.

Bring numerous boxes for each area you work on. You must keep them properly labeled. Examples include bins or boxes labeled "things you'll retain," "items to toss away," and "stuff to give or sell." Drop each item into one of the three boxes as you move through closets and drawers.

  1. Extras should be used or discarded.

Start using up any leftover home products and amenities, such as toilet paper or shampoo, now so you have less to carry with you. This is something that should be done if you have been stockpiling supplies. If you run out before your move, buy a smaller size to help you through the transition.

  1. Instead of decluttering by room, try decluttering by category.

To make this a successful decluttering activity, you must declutter by category. That implies you should gather every book you own from every area of your home before you start tidying. Go through your attic, basement, closet, office, and bedroom and find them all. Then, arrange each book and determine which ones to retain. Putting them in boxes will also allow you to properly label them. A package containing fragile items will be properly labeled as fragile and may be handled with care.

Real weight of goods
  1. Take into account the items' weight.

Consider the real weight of the goods you're carrying with you while you're decluttering before relocating. If you're moving by yourself, the heavier items you pack, the more work and trips into and out of your old and new homes will be necessary. It will also require more effort for you or your movers. In addition, if you're employing movers, the less weight you have, the less expensive your move will be. Moving is an excellent opportunity to think about decluttering anything particularly weighty.

  1. Deal with “just in case” items.

We all have "just in case" goods, whether we admit it or not. We often persuade ourselves that we will utilize these products someday or just in case we need them. The truth is that we'll never utilize them or have any meaningful relationship with them. We're just afraid of letting these go. And if you have the space to keep them in your house, it might be tempting to just keep them. You must deal with this as quickly as possible. Try to be as honest and realistic with yourself as possible. If these are things you don't truly need, get rid of them as quickly as possible.

  1. Deal with items with sentimental value last.

Sentimental goods might be the most difficult to get rid of. They are the most valuable to us. When decluttering, it might take the most time, so leave it until you have nothing else to clear. If you require more pauses when removing sentimental objects, you may need more time. You don't want to be rushed and anxious when it comes to decluttering sentimental objects.

Easy way to decluttering
  1. Donate or sell your old belongings.

After all of your decluttering, this is actually a wonderful idea. Right from the outset, you shouldn't expect that you will get rich from this. Instead, if you want to save money, plan on how to cut your moving costs. However, if you send the correct products to the appropriate individuals, you might be able to gain some extra income.


If you want more assistance with your relocation, such as decluttering and packing, please call us at (888) 202-0036. We would gladly assist you with any relocation service you may require.

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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