decluttering stuff before moving

organized tools in garage

Moving can be an overwhelming experience. However, taking time to declutter before moving makes packing much easier. Plus, organizing your home will take a lot of stress out of the entire process.

Perfect Time to Declutter

Moving is a perfect opportunity to reevaluate your possessions and get a fresh start in your new home! Whether you tend to keep everything or you’re already living the minimalist lifestyle, these tips will help you organize and make your move so much easier.

Sift Through Storage Before Moving

As soon as you make the decision to move, begin to clean out and organize the storage areas of your home. This includes closets, the attic, and the basement. If you have a garage or any storage sheds on your property, address those as well.

These lesser-used storage areas are a great place to start, since we tend to stash seasonal and seldom-used items in these places. Chances are high that you’ll find at least a few things you completely forgot about, and you likely won’t mind letting go of these items.

Create Categories

Instead of sorting items by room, organizing experts like Marie Kondo recommend a category approach. Kondo’s popular tidying system, the KonMari Method, suggests five categories of items: clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous), and sentimental. You can adopt these five categories or create your own categories to suit your items.

Designate your categories and stick to this approach over a room-by-room approach to make the organization process faster and more efficient. For example, go through every laundry hamper, dresser, closet, and suitcase in your house and make a pile of all of the clothes you own before sorting through them. Then, approach the next step of deciding which items to keep, donate, sell, or toss.

decluttering stuff before moving

Declutter Creatively

Moving is the best time to be particular about the things you choose to keep. To avoid clutter in your new home, leave behind any items you haven’t used in the past year. This includes things you forgot you owned and stuff you simply don’t need anymore. Before tossing items in the trash, try a few creative and environmentally-friendly ways to get rid of any items you don’t want.

Have some friends helping you move? Invite them over ahead of time and give them first dibs on anything you’re planning to sell or donate. Holding a garage sale is another great way to declutter and put a bit of extra cash in your pocket from any sales you make. Plus, you’ll save money on the cost of shipping or moving your goods by lightening the load!

Stop buying groceries a week or two before moving day and start finishing off your perishable food items. For non-perishables, some moving companies can donate these items to Move for Hunger, a non-profit organization that works with relocation companies to collect non-perishable foods and deliver them to food banks.

Stay Organized While Moving

Getting organized before you move is a great way to make the moving process smoother. You’ll feel less stressed and have an easier time packing your belongings. Plus, unpacking and settling into your new home will be much faster and more pleasant without the extra clutter.

For more tips on decluttering, here’s links to additional articles on the topic: “15 Clutter Busting Routines for Any Family,” “Back to Basics Decluttering” and “8 Ways to Get Rid of Clutter and Get Your Life Back”.