Moving can be one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. Organizing everything can take months. From packing to hiring movers, the process is exhausting. On the other hand, if you start early, these problems can be eradicated. Decluttering before you move can help you organize your possessions, and get rid of what you don’t need. Additionally, the fewer things you have, the less you have to pack. Here is a guide on how to declutter your home the best way possible.

It’s never too early to start

You will probably want to ignore the clutter in your home until the last minute. However, the longer you postpone it, the more stressful it will be. Starting early means more time to focus on the things that matter, such as looking forward to your new home. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to take these things with you. Set aside four boxes labeled ‘keep’, ‘sell’, ‘throw-away’, and ‘give away’. This way you will see the progress you made so far and will more likely stay on track.

The little things should go first

You probably have that one drawer or even a box full of ‘junk’. This includes old magazines, salt packets, flyers, ticket stubs, etc. This is where you should start decluttering before you move. Most of these things are essentially trash, so you are cleaning up as well as decluttering. Check the expiration date on hygienic products and medication, for example. Furthermore, look in the back of closets and bathroom shelves. These are the places you are most likely to find junk. Think of it as spring cleaning. The things you throw away might outweigh the ones you decide to keep or sell.

Where to start decluttering before you move

This might seem like an overwhelming process. If you live in a big house or apartment, you might not know where to start. A good tip is to start with the basement or the attic and then work your way up or down. This way, you will have a clear, logical image of where you have been. You should first deal with the rooms that are the most cluttered or have the most things. This will help with the stress of it all since you accomplished the biggest task at the beginning. You should leave your bedroom and the kitchen for last, as you will be using these rooms during packing.

Decluttering before you move is easier when you start early.
Give yourself enough time to go through everything you have.

How to decide what to keep?

Consider this – if it’s broken, throw it away. The longer you keep it, the less likely you are to get rid of it. This goes for electronics, tools, even decorations. When it comes to clothes, think about how long you haven’t worn something. If something doesn’t fit or is out of style, you might want to donate it. Moreover, think about where you are moving to. You might not need that winter coat and boots if you are moving to Florida. If you are moving locally, however, consider a good moving company for assistance for your local move.

Broken computer monitor on the ground.
Don’t think about repairing it – just throw it away.

Think about how long it has been since you used something. If it doesn’t fit in your current life, it won’t fit in you new home. By keeping unnecessary things, you are just taking this clutter with you. Safe yourself from needless packing and moving by getting rid of these items. Additionally, the less items you have to move, the more money you will save. And every dollar counts when moving to a new home.

Be honest with yourself

Letting go can be hard. We start to become attached to the things we buy. However, remember that these things don’t define you. You are not a collection of items you buy. If you keep this in mind, it will be easier to discard the trash. Be honest about how often you use something and whether it truly makes you happy. 

Save the sentimental items for last

It’s much easier to let go of items that don’t have an emotional attachment. This is why, when you are decluttering before you move, you should save these items for last. Considering whether you should keep them can take a long time. It might also distract you from your original goal. Furthermore, you shouldn’t keep everything sentimental. Think about the emotions that this piece evokes. If it doesn’t make you happy, why keep it? Your new home should be free from pain and bad memories. Try to bring only the things that truly help you move forward. 

Remember to take a break

Decluttering is a draining process, both mentally and physically. If you start early enough, you will have enough time to take breaks. After every couple of hours, take a step back. Assess what you have done and distance yourself from the mess. Have a cup of coffee or watch an episode of your favorite TV show. This will help clear your mind and stay focused once you start again. It can be helpful to decide on an item once you have a fresh perspective.

Man and woman drinking coffee in the kitchen.
Regular breaks when decluttering can keep your mind sharp.

It’s okay to ask for help

The process is stressful by itself, even more, if you have to do it alone. Don’t hesitate to ask a friend or relative to help you tackle the mess. The time that it takes you to do it might be cut in half. Additionally, you might miss something they don’t. A fresh set of eyes can help you see something as less useful. This way, you may declutter even more that you would by yourself.

You have decluttered – what now?

You have cleaned every nook and cranny in your home. Gone through every item carefully and methodically. You are left with only the things that you use and that make you happy. Now what? First, be proud of yourself. Decluttering before you move is a tremendous task and you have accomplished it. Next, look forward to moving into your new home. You will be surrounded by the things that were important enough to keep. Finally, get ready for the big day. If you haven’t already, hire a moving company to help you with the move. Put every box where you can easily transfer it from your home to the moving truck. And remember to enjoy your new clutter-free life!

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