Did you know that a cluttered home can be damaging to both your mental and physical health? Clutter is never a good thing to have around, but this is made especially true when you’re planning a move.
If you have a few too many things lying around the house, it can be immensely helpful to downsize and declutter before beginning to pack. You will be thanking yourself both as you pack up and unpack in your new home!
But how do you decide what goes and what doesn’t? If you’re struggling to get started with the decluttering process, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve outlined some helpful tips to make your move as stress-free as it can be while saving you a few dollars in the process.
Now then, let’s get started!
Don’t Delay the Process
The absolute worst thing you can do when decluttering your home for a move is to wait until the last second to do so. You want to give yourself plenty of time to do a deep evaluation of your belongings, sort through them, and decide what you want to bring with you to your new home.
Start the process at least a few weeks before your move, giving yourself an hour or two a day to sort through everything you have. Go room by room, or even corner by corner, depending on how much clutter there is in your home.
If you’re getting started a night or two before the big move, you’re much more likely to discard items you’ll regret or pack things up that you shouldn’t have.
Be Honest with Yourself
When decluttering, it’s imperative that you’re brutally honest with yourself. It’s all too easy to look at a piece of clothing you haven’t worn in years and think one day you might use it again.
Create rules for yourself before ever beginning. For example, if you haven’t worn a shirt in over a year, it’s probably time to say goodbye to it.
It can get a little more complicated when you’re dealing with non-clothing items, but the same basic principle applies. Analyze each item, whether it be a kitchen utensil or an extra set of sheets, and ask yourself whether you use or need it.
If the answer is no, place that item in the donate or discard pile.
Pack, Donate, or Sell
Continuing with the last point, there should be three boxes or piles in each room. Label them pack, donate, and sell, and fill them accordingly. There will likely be items that you simply have no other option but to discard but do so sparingly.
If there is a chance that someone else could benefit from an item you no longer have use for, donate or sell it! You never know, that toaster oven that you haven’t touched in years could be someone’s new favorite kitchen item.
Once you’ve taken your donation boxes to a shelter or thrift store and sold or discarded everything else that isn’t in your pack pile, you’ll be left with far fewer boxes. You’ll be surprised at how much money you’ll save on movers by taking the time to declutter.
Use Extras and Discard Expired Items
The easiest way to begin with decluttering is to do so with items you don’t care about. This means going through things like toiletries, linens, and food items to check for duplicates and expiration dates.
Obviously, if that can of soup in the back of the pantry expired three years ago, it’s time to throw it away. But there are less obvious choices to make as well.
With linens, for instance, you have to decide how many you need. Having three or four sets of sheets or an abundance of dish towels can feel helpful, but if you rarely use them, consider donating your extras.
Last but not least, be sure to use up any surplus toiletries and foods. Take note of how much of each you have and be careful not to buy any additional soaps or condiments that are already in your cabinets.
Save the Sentimental Items for Last
Sentimental items are the most difficult part of any decluttering process, whether it be for a move or simply to better organize your space. There are certain things that, even though you know you will never use, you’ve been carrying with you for years because it sparks a memory or emotion for you.
It’s okay, and completely normal, to have this kind of clutter! However, if you’re serious about downsizing your belongings, you need to go through these items as well.
This can be an emotionally taxing experience, so it’s best to save it for last to avoid burn out. And hopefully, the rest of the decluttering process will have you feeling so great that this part of the job will be easier!
Downsize and Declutter to Make Your Move Smoother
By using these tips to downsize and declutter before moving, your transition to your new home will be much easier. Not to mention you’ll save a few bucks thanks to the decreased number of items, and therefore boxes, you have to move!
Remember, it’s important to be realistic and honest with yourself. Start with the easiest things like toiletries and food items, then move on to clothing and other belongings, and finally, tackle the items that have the most sentimental value to you.
You don’t want to discard or donate anything that you will miss if it were gone, but you also don’t want to carry years’ worth of clutter with you to your new home.
Looking for more tips to make your next move smoother? Check out our blog!