5 Strategies To De-Clutter Before A Move

Sep 2, 2014 by

14 percent of Americans moved in-state, out-of-state or overseas in 2012, Pew Research points out. Moving gives people a chance to declutter, which can be a curse and a blessing. When preparing for your next move, click here for info on moving or try these 5 decluttering tactics to minimize the stress of moving and only move what you will truly use in your new home. 

1. Start with the right supplies – Pick up a paper shredder and stock up on garbage bags and boxes when you plan to de-clutter. Then sit in a room and sort through its contents. If you want to keep an item, box it up. If you don’t need to keep an item, decide whether you can sell it or donate it. When you purchase needed supplies before you declutter a room, you ensure that you maintain the momentum needed to sort through all of the room’s contents and decide what to keep and what to let go of.  You’re less likely to stop decluttering halfway through the room because you have run out of organizing supplies. 

2. Call a junk removal service for big-ticket items - Moving is the perfect time to get rid of that beat-up rec room sofa and invest in new furniture. Consider calling a junk removal service to haul away large items that you cannot move yourself. Many junk removal services can recycle, dispose or, or donate items depending on their condition. Schedule this one to two weeks before you move to get unwanted large items out of your way for good.

3. Get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year – Donating anything that you have not worn in one year is an oft-touted piece of advice in personal organizing. To cut through clutter, consider recycling, donating, or throwing away anything that you have not used within the last year. Donate that old plastic sled in the basement, recycle those plastic gardening pots gathering dust, or shred old paperwork that you no longer need. 

Be rigorous when it comes to keeping or getting rid of occasional-use items. Something like a grass seeder or a half-gallon of leftover wood stain may be useful on a less regular basis than once a year. If you sincerely believe you could use the item again, keep it. If you’re really just holding onto it “just in case,” lighten your load and donate or toss it. 

4. Put your best self forward – Whether you need to declutter clothes, kitchen gadgets, bathrooms, or bookcases, apply the rule of putting your best self forward. To do this, go through your possessions and think about whether they are truly useful, beautiful, or valuable to you. 

Get rid of clothing that no longer fits or doesn’t flatter your body, old books you won’t reread, old CDs or DVDs you haven’t used in years, art that no longer excites you, any anything that doesn’t represent your lifestyle as you envision it or your best image of yourself. 

5. Work for short bursts of time - If you leave the whole day free for decluttering, you’ll get burned out. Instead, set aside 2-3 hours to declutter one room. You’ll see immediate results and feel good, and can then carry this momentum forward to spend another short chunk of time decluttering another room. 

Leave yourself enough time to apply these strategies by starting your decluttering process at least one month before the move. If you are crunched for time, it’s too easy to put off managing your clutter and bring everything with you to your new home. As it compounds, clutter becomes even more difficult to confront. 

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