Planning a move? Before your start packing for your move, the best thing to do is declutter your home. This will not only make your move a lot easier, but it will also leave you room to have a totally fresh start. After all, sometimes getting rid of a few things to let new things in is the best thing we can do. Follow our decluttering tips to get your home cleaned up and organized for the big move.
Once you start the decluttering process, it can be amazing to realize how much stuff you actually have. To get a clutter free home, being decisive about what you want and don’t want can be difficult, but it’s necessary. Getting started early will give you time to sort through everything and really, truly decide which items you want in the moving truck when the big day arrives.
Make a Declutter Your Home Checklist
Checklists are awesome tools to use when you need to get something done. When decluttering before moving, a checklist is a great idea. There are several different checklists you may want to use, but we recommend starting big and then going room by room.
Part 1: General Removal of Unwanted Items
There are some things you have in your house that you know you no longer want or need. This could be broken furniture, a pair of shoes you haven’t worn in years, a shirt that no longer fits, toys that you don’t use anymore, etc.
Do this part of the process over one day, making two trips through the house. During the first trip, bring a trash bag and recycle bin along and throw out/recycle anything that cannot be donated or sold. On the second trip, you should go through every room in your home and set aside those unnecessary or unwanted items that can be sold or donated.
Part 2: Room by Room
This second part requires a lot more time, work, and attention to detail. You need to go through every single room in your home and decide what you want to keep and what you want to part with.
You might decide to use the three box method for sorting your things. This means taking three boxes into each room and designating them as “keep”, “give away”, and “storage”. Putting something in a storage unit is a good compromise if you have something that you don’t use a lot, but you still don’t want to get rid of it.
Finally, the order of the rooms is important. You don’t want to pack up your entire bedroom three weeks before a move. Then, you wouldn’t have anywhere to sleep or any clothes to wear. That’s why we suggest you begin with less important rooms, like a home office or laundry room, before you move on to declutter your kitchen or living room.
Helpful Tips for Decluttering Your Home
Although the steps given above seem pretty simple and straightforward, decluttering your home for a move can be a lot more complicated. In this section we will outline a few tips on decluttering before a move that will hopefully make the process easier for you.
Have a Garage Sale
Garage sales are a great idea to help you get rid of things, recycle unused or unwanted items, and make a little extra money. One important thing to have in mind when hosting a garage sale is that you need to be flexible with price. At the end of the day, you want to get rid of everything. So, if someone offers you $2 for a book you have marked for $5, don’t be too stubborn. After all, you’ll probably just donate the book if it doesn’t sell anyway.
That being said, you should also have a plan beforehand of what you are going to do with any unsold items. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll sell every item. Finally, if you decide to have a garage sale, make sure you do it well in advance of moving day so you have time to get rid of anything that you can’t manage to sell.
Selling Items Online
The ubiquity of the Internet in the world today means you can sell a lot of your items online. There are tons of online marketplaces where you can sell your used furniture, clothes, and appliances. Consider selling things on Facebook Free & For Sale pages, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist, among others.
You might have to commute to sell your items, but you will reach a much wider audience than you would with a traditional garage sale. With some good luck, you might even get a bidding war and sell your items at an even higher price!
Again, if you are going to sell your items, try doing so well in advance so you have time to donate or get rid of any unsold items.
Donating Your Items
There are a lot of nonprofit organizations that accept donations of clothes, furniture, and more. If you want to upcycle your unwanted items, consider donating them!
Don’t know where to donate? With a quick Internet search you should be able to find some local organization that accepts donations. However, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- For clothes and furniture: The Salvation Army or Goodwill
- For books: try checking out your local public library or school
If you end up donating a lot of items (worth $250 or more0, ask the organization for a receipt. You can claim the donation as a charitable contribution in your taxes for the year.
Another Way Out
If the idea of cluttering makes you feel super overwhelmed, you can always consider hiring a professional organizer to do everything for you. These people will decide what does and doesn’t belong, and they’ll be able to do so without attaching sentimental value to anything.