How To Properly Declutter Before Moving

Decluttering is one of those tasks that can easily become overwhelming if you don’t think through it carefully. But once you’re finished with the whole process, the rewards are worth it.

We are all guilty of mindlessly hoarding things we don’t use. After a while, clutter builds up. Once you start preparing and packing for your move, it becomes clear just how much stuff has accrued.

Decluttering before a move has many benefits — it decreases the items you have to move and it’s a great way to get a fresh start in your new home.

The best news? Now is the perfect time to get rid of all that unnecessary stuff and enjoy your new cozy and clean space.

Follow these tips by North Dallas Moving and Storage to make the whole process stress-free and as easy as possible. Remember, it’s all about smart planning rather than hard work.

Start Early and Give Yourself Time

The key to making decluttering as effortless as possible is to start early and give yourself some time. Sorting all the stuff that accumulated for years is quite a task, so don’t rush yourself into the process.

To limit stress, it’s best to start packing things up two to four weeks before your move-out date. With that in mind, decluttering should begin one to two weeks into the packing process. However, if you know you have an excessive number of items, start earlier. It’s a good idea to have a handy moving checklist so that nothing gets left behind.

If you need packing motivation, make decluttering a fun task. Invite a friend or two over and add a bottle of wine to make a night out of it. 

By giving yourself enough time to prepare and think through every item, you will avoid burnout and start the whole journey on the right foot. 

Conquer One Room at a Time

Just like packing, it’s easiest to declutter one room at a time instead of tackling your whole house.

Breaking up your decluttering tasks into smaller chunks makes the task less daunting. You’ll feel more accomplished when you declutter one room, then another, and another …

Before you know it, you’ll have every room in the house sorted, decluttered, and ready for moving.

The best strategy is to begin with rooms that are used the least, and then, just before the move, you can sort out the spaces you use most frequently. The choice will depend on your habits, but you could probably start with your working space and guest room, while the bathroom and kitchen will probably need to wait a bit more.

Sort by Categories

You will need to sort your items into three categories: keep, donate/sell, and trash.

Once you start going through all of your things, ask yourself which of those are truly necessary. Stuff accumulates very fast, and before we know it, we have three sets of plates when only last spring we had one. Maybe you have a friend or a family member who’s been admiring the set for some time — if so, you can gift it to them and keep only those plates that are the most practical or your favorite.

When decluttering, a general rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used an item or worn a piece of clothing in one year, it’s time to get rid of it. Try to avoid the “but I might one-day” argument, as it’s probably the same reason stuff accumulated in the first place. If you haven’t decluttered in a while and you’ve realized that items have built up then it may be advisable to hire a skip, as moving can be one of many typical projects for choosing a 15-yard dumpster.

Of course, there are no rules to abide by when it comes to sentimental keepsakes — as long as it’s within reason, you should keep them.

When sorting, check for duplicate items. For instance, if you have three sets of pink sheets, it might be best to donate two of them (unless, of course, you use all three of them often).

After the first round of deciding what to keep, it’s time to check it once again and reprioritize if necessary. The pile of items you’re saving is most likely way bigger than you expected.

Go through the “keep” pile again, and think carefully about each item. If you’re not using it regularly and you’re not emotionally attached to it, get rid of it. Chances are, you won’t even remember it once you move to your new place.

Once you’re sure which items you’re going to keep, it’s time to take a look at your “donate/sell” pile. You have a few options — you can donate, gift, sell, or throw away if it’s damaged.

First, sort out the damaged items that wouldn’t be useful to anyone, and put them in a “trash” pile.

The rest you can choose to sell, donate, or gift.

Those should be the items in excellent condition that someone else would be happy to have. Our suggestion is always to try and sell most of it; moving is a costly journey after all, so why not make some cash if you can?

Social platforms made it very easy to sell and up-cycle. For example, if you’re living in New Orleans, you can join the New Orleans Marketplace Facebook group, where you can sell almost anything in good condition. 

You’ll inevitably gather trash while you declutter, but we urge you to donate, sell, or try to recycle those items before disposing of them if you can.

Happy Decluttering!

By following these steps, decluttering before a move will be a breeze. 

Remember that one of the essential parts of decluttering is to give yourself time. That way, you’re not going to end up rushed, and stress won’t build up.

Happy decluttering and enjoy your fresh start in your new home!

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