|Decluttering your home prior to your move is one way to make moving day that much easier for yourself. Not only do you save time by not moving unwanted items, but you cut down on unpacking time as well.
Need help getting organized? Read on to learn how to declutter your home in no time!
The basic idea
The idea behind cleaning and organizing your home pre-move is simple: you're eliminating all the items from your life that you no longer need but may have slowly collected over the years.
You don't want to pack useless things and waste time, space and manpower on moving day, so remember to ask yourself one thing while you declutter: Do I really need this?
TIP: To save on time, you may want to consider decluttering while you pack. It may seem like it's taking longer, but remember, you're completing two tasks at once.
Travel room to room
The easiest way to take on clutter is to do it systematically from room to room, just like with packing.
Start with the least used rooms first and work your way through your home, making sure to decide what to keep, give away, store and toss as you go along.
Go through your clothing
Clothing has a tendency to pile up over time, but it should also be one of the easier decluttering tasks on your list.
- Sort out and donate any clothing you no longer wear or that doesn't fit anymore
- The same goes for shoes and accessories like jewellery
- Don't forget to go through coats and other outerwear
- Anything that's out of season can be put aside and placed in storage
Sort your furniture
You probably won't be taking all your furniture with you when you move locations. Another simple way to cut down on your moving load is to eliminate those larger pieces of furniture you no longer use, or don't plan on using in your new home.
To make things go as easily as possible, you can use sticky notes and the stoplight method:
- Place green sticky notes on items you plan to bring with you
- Yellow notes go on items that are being put in storage
- Red notes go on anything that will be not be making the move
Empty your junk drawers
Junk drawers are yet another typical area you will need to declutter before your move, but it's also one of the more tedious tasks on your list.
The thing to remember here is what you should be keeping in mind during the entire decluttering process: Do I really need this? If you haven't touched some of the items in your junk drawers in months, odds are, you probably won't miss them.
Tackle that closet space
Closets are often another neglected space in your life that needs a going through. Chances are yours are full of items you've unknowingly forgotten about, like unwanted presents from distant relatives.
As with all the other locations we've already explored, choose and sort what needs to be kept, stored, given away or trashed.
Take care of books, newspapers, magazines and paperwork
Don't forget to devote some time to those old tax forms, pay stubs and classic novels you have laying around the house.
- Toss paperwork that is more than seven years old (with the exception of necessary documents like your birth certificate, etc.)
- Burn or shred any paperwork you're getting rid of with secure information on it
- Recycle magazines, newspapers or unimportant paperwork
- If you don't feel comfortable parting with these things, consider scanning them before getting rid of the originals
- Donate unwanted books to friends, a local library or a school
Toss expired items
Make sure you go through your food pantries and medicine cabinets on the hunt for any expired items that can be thrown out.
Decide what to store
Once you've gone through the items in your home and decided what you plan to keep, you can make even more cuts and choose what can be put away if you choose to rent a storage unit (or have some garage space at a family or friend's house!).
Things that can be placed in a storage unit, attics or basements for later use include - but are not limited to:
- Seasonal clothing - winter coats, sweaters, bathing suits
- Seasonal items - holiday decorations, patio furniture, pool toys
- Sentimental keepsakes- childhood toys, photo albums, mementos (anything you can't bear to part with but don't necessarily need in your living space)
What to do with things that don't make the cut
Now that you've successfully decluttered your home, you need to decide what to do with all the items you won't be taking with you to your new location.
You have several options here depending on the condition and worth of the items you no longer need.
Follow these steps and you will have successfully decluttered your home (and your life). Just in time to get an accurate quote from a moving team near you.
- Hold a garage sale to make a little extra money for your move
- Donate clothing, books and toys to local shelters or organizations (which can be deducted later on your taxes)
- Try selling more valuable items on eBay, through Craigslist or your local newspaper
- Give items away to friends, family and neighbors who may be in need of them
- Throw away or recycle anything that doesn't fit into any of these categories