Moving presents the perfect opportunity to declutter because it’s one of the only times you will place hands on nearly every item you own. This forces you to make decisions on whether you want to keep certain items. Decluttering saves time and money in the moving process. This also allows you to make a little extra cash by selling the items you no longer want.
Not sure where to begin? Here are some tips on how to declutter your home before moving.
Step No. 1: Start throwing things out early
Don’t wait until the last minute to declutter and start purging at least a month before you move. Tackling the entire house can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re also trying to pack for a move. Give yourself time to go through all of your belongings to break down the chaos. This gives you the ability to tackle a different room each day. This also gives you the time and opportunity to designate boxes for items to toss, donate, and sell. After you decide an item’s destiny, toss it into the labeled box(es).
Step No. 2: Gather the right packing materials
Load up on organizational tools like packing tape, black markers, trash bags, boxes, and clear plastic bins. Clear plastic bins are a lifesaver because you can see what’s inside, and they’re easily stackable to save space.
Step No. 3. Create a Necessities Box
A necessities box includes everything you’ll need the day of and (at minimum) 24 hours after your move. Items that would go into this box are a box cutter, hammer, nails, screwdriver, and screws. More importantly, personal necessities such as toilet paper, paper plates, plastic utensils, hand soap, and paper towels. Keep this box nearby so it’s readily available without having to dig through a sea of boxes.
Step No. 4: Consider the size of your new home
Before decluttering, think about the size of your new home. When downsizing, get a good feel of the available space in your new home. This is when you decide between keeping the loveseat or the recliner or the dining room table over the breakfast table, etc. It’s better to make these big decisions before you move so you don’t end up paying to haul or store excess furniture. Even if you’re moving into a home with equal or more space, that doesn’t mean you should use this as an excuse to keep everything you own.
Step No. 5: Target these top things to toss
Here are some common items you can almost certainly do without. Be merciless, and get them out of your life!
Broken or worn out items: There is no reason to pack items you’ll need to replace soon anyway. Worn out clothes, shoes, broken furniture, broken appliances, broken children toys, etc. Throw out everything you’ve been “meaning to get rid of”.
Unused items: If you haven’t worn or used something in a year, you probably never will again. Donate it to charity, sell it, or just toss it.
Expired: Any items past their expiration date. Food, medication, or cosmetics past their sell-by date shouldn’t move with you to your new place.
Duplicate household items: It’s time to let go of any extra items that serve the same purpose. Storing 2 coffee makers, 2 microwaves, 5 of the same spatulas, 3 can openers, or even multiple sets of bed sheets will only make your move a hassle.
Past paperwork: We all have boxes of documents, junk mail, direct mail flyers, or recipes that we will never use. If you file your tax returns online, the IRS says to keep returns and documentation for three years after you file. Shred ATM and bank deposit receipts after a year. Keep critical documents (e.g. your birth and marriage certificates) and sentimental documents (photo albums, school certificates, and awards, etc) in a separate box so you don’t mistakenly throw them out while purging. Books and magazines are heavy and bulky to move. Magazines older than a couple of months will never be read so throw those away. Books, on the other hand, can be donated to the local library.
Paring down and carefully organizing everything can do wonders for keeping a house livable and clean. By keeping a focus on organization throughout the downsizing process, you’ll end up feeling much better about your lightened up, decluttered space.
For peace of mind, with all of your decluttered belongings, consider hiring a professional moving company. ASAP Movers provides, along with their expertise, a pleasant and efficient moving experience. If you’re planning a move call ASAP Movers today and get a quote!