Getting ready to move always feels challenging. You have many things to think about and to pay for, including the search for a reliable team of local movers. On top of that, you need to find a way to pack all your belongings so they can fit inside a moving truck.
This is why a lot of people decide to take some time to declutter before moving. After all, it wouldn’t make sense to pay to move broken objects, clothes you never wear, and stale food you will never eat.
Although decluttering can be easy for some people who don’t grow attached to their furniture and to their other belongings. For some of us, the thought of getting rid of some of our possessions can be scary.
How can you declutter efficiently? Here are seven of the best practices when it comes to decluttering for a move:
1. Think of the benefits of decluttering
If you feel like it will be difficult to get rid of some of the stuff you own, take a moment to think about the many benefits of decluttering.
Decluttering before you move will help you save some time and some money. You will spend less time packing your belongings, and moving them from one home to the other will cost less. And when you get settled in your new home, you will have more space for the objects that really matter to you.
Plus, if you decide to sell some of the items you don’t use anymore, you could earn some money that will help you pay for your move.
2. Start this important task long before your move
Even if you think you don’t own a lot of stuff, don’t wait until the last minute to start decluttering for a move. If you can, you should start months in advance.
This way, you will be able to take the time you need to look at everything there is in your home, and to decide what you should do with it. Should you keep this lamp, try to sell it, donate it, or throw it away because it’s not working right? And what about those shoes?
Start as soon as you can so you don’t have to rush anything.
3. Establish a decluttering timeline
If you know you will be moving months in advance, it could be a good idea to establish a decluttering timeline. For example, a few months before your move, you could start looking at your seasonal items, collectibles, books, sports equipment, and other items you won’t be needing in the next few months.
A month before your move, you could start looking at your kitchen appliances and electronics, your decorative items, your furniture, your clothes, and your toiletries.
A week before moving day, it’s time to go through your utensils, plates, glasses, dish cloths, cleaning supplies, and medicine.
A decluttering timeline will help you know where to focus your efforts.
4. Ask yourself a few questions for each item you own
As you look at everything in your home, you will need to ask yourself a few questions. First, if something is broken or worn out, or if you simply never use it, you shouldn’t hesitate. Sell it or donate it if you think someone else would like it, or throw it away if it’s defective.
If you have food items or cosmetics that are past their expiration date, get rid of them. If you have clothes or shoes that you don’t wear often, ask yourself if you have worn them in the last year. If you haven’t, there’s a good chance you simply will never wear them again.
When it comes to items that have a sentimental value attached to them, you should probably keep them, especially if you know they can never be replicated.
For example, you should definitely not get rid of your childhood photos. But what about that sweater your ex gave you? If you don’t wear it and if it doesn’t make you happy, you should get rid of it.
5. Declutter while you pack
It could be a good idea to pack as you declutter. Since you will need to put your stuff in boxes anyway, you should work with 3 different boxes: one for items you will move with you, one for items you want to donate or to sell, and one for everything you want to throw away or to recycle.
6. Declutter one room at a time
If you are feeling overwhelmed, stick to decluttering one room at a time. This way, it will be easier to stay focused and motivated than if you tried to declutter all of the rooms at the same time.
It could also be a good idea to allow yourself a small reward after you are done decluttering a room.
7. Sell or donate unwanted items someone else could use
When you are done decluttering, have a yard sale to sell the items you want to get rid of, or simply donate them to charity and congratulate yourself for what you have accomplished!
Your move will be more simple, and less expensive.