We’ve all been there. You are getting ready for a big move and carefully looking around your home, feeling a bit overwhelmed. After all, where do you start? What more people are realizing is that the moving process is an excellent opportunity to declutter. With minimalist lifestyles getting more traction, cutting down on your personal possessions may be something you’d like to do. Let’s take a look at some tips on how to declutter for moving.
Sure, you may actually have plenty of time to begin decluttering, but why not start now? A huge mistake people make is waiting too late to declutter, leading them to take a haphazard approach and end up moving way too much stuff. This can greatly increase the stress of the moving process.
How far in advance should you start to declutter for moving? It really depends on the size of your home. If you have a small apartment, a few months is probably sufficient. If you have a large house, you may want to begin six or nine months in advance.
One of the easiest ways to declutter your home without having to actually begin throwing items away is to get rid of consumables. In fact, you should set a goal to eliminate as many consumables as possible before your eventual moving date. This works great for food. As you near the moving date, plan out meals to allow you to use the food you have on hand and minimally buy what is needed to make those meals. Ideally, you’ll move with only spices and a few bulk dry goods.
However, start using other consumables too. You don’t need to keep a large stock of paper towels, toilet paper, toothpaste, conditioner, candles, or other things. Begin using your supplies down. This is particularly important if you are someone that likes to stockpile a bit when you get a good sale. Let your stocks dwindle.
Set Ground Rules
This is a particularly useful tip if you are someone that has difficulty parting with things. Set ground rules to determine whether or not you will get rid of something or keep it. One of the best rules is the utility test. Have you used the item in the past year? If not, it is probably a good candidate to recycle, upcycle, donate, or trash.
It can be particularly rough to get rid of sentimental items. For these, you may want to set aside one box that can be filled with sentimental items. Set these items aside and ultimately decide what gets to go into the box and what does not. If you are someone that collect a lot of things, this can be a great way to help you decide what items make the cut and which ones can be decluttered.
Set Aside a Staging Room
One of the most important parts of the decluttering process is having room to work. It can help to set aside a staging room for you to work. This allows you to create piles of things to donate or sell. If you have a guest room in your home, this is the perfect place to set up shop for the decluttering process. Because you may declutter over a fairly significant length of time, choosing a room you don’t use often is key.
This is one of the most effective ways of how to organize your declutter process. Once you have a good pile of things to donate, make a trip to drop them off or schedule a pickup. Many places will pickup items if you have a lot to donate. A staging area is also key if you decide to have a yard sale with some of your belongings because it can allow you to organize and price items.
Consider Your New Home
One of the most important factors that should influence your decluttering decisions is the size and layout of your new home. This is particularly true if you are downsizing. Going to a smaller space means you really need to optimize your belongings for that space. Make decisions based upon the transition.
Even if you aren’t moving to smaller square footage, there are layout aspects that may change what items you keep. If you are going from a home with a large master bed and bath to one with much smaller storage for linens, you’ll probably want to downsize things like towels. If you are going from a garage to no garage, this will have an impact on decision too. Consider these factors.
Things to Consider Decluttering
When looking at decluttering, many people have similar items that are just sitting around taking up space, never being used. Below are some ideas of items that you may want to declutter.
Kitchen. Almost all of us have old mugs or glasses sitting around that we never use, not to mention unnecessary utensils. Frayed potholders and dish towels should also be ditched. If you have scratched up pots and pans, it may be time to get rid of them.
Bathroom. Stained, ripped, and torn towels and washcloths should be the first to make the cut. Unsanitary items like plungers and drain stoppers can be replaced at your new destination. Cleaning supplies? Save space and buy what you actually need at your next place. Also, do you really need two dozen half empty lotions? Probably not.
Living Room. Take a hard look at your furniture and whether or not it fits with your new home. Electronics you never use are another good candidate. Consider ditching some wall art if you’d like to try a new aesthetic.
Bedrooms/Closet. This is a great area to declutter. You probably have clothes that no longer fit, extra jewellry, excessive bedding and blankets, and shoes you never use. If you have children, you almost certainly have clothes they’ve outgrown. For old toys, have your kids help in the decluttering process. It’s a great way to teach them about giving to others through donating things they no longer play with.
Home Office. Chances are you have old computer equipment and cords that you don’t even remember what they go to. Old calendars and planners, used pens, and various office supplies that you rarely use can also get tossed. Just make sure to shred any important documents you decide to pitch. While it may be hard, consider donating some of your books.
Final Thoughts Moving is a great time for a fresh start. Decluttering takes a bit of effort but can make you feel great with how much stuff you off-board out of your household. When looking at how to declutter for moving, give yourself time and follow these tips to help cut down on the number of boxes you have to pack. If you would like help with the moving process, contact rent-a-son today.