How to Declutter Your Home Before Moving: When Less Is More

Michael Miller is a reputable author at Great Nation Moving and an expert in moving, packing and storage topics.

How to Declutter Your Home Before Moving: When Less Is More

One common mistake that some people make while they’re packing for a move is to take everything they own to the new home without decluttering their belongings first.

Below you will learn the exact reasons why you shouldn’t move your things without reducing their number to the absolute minimum. Even if you don’t have much time until the day of the move, the all-important job of decluttering your home before moving is a must-do task because it’ll actually let you save TIME and MONEY at the same time.

Don’t make the mistake of packing up everything you have in your current home so that you can “save” time by skipping the steps of sorting out and decluttering. Interestingly enough, it’s the other way round – you’re almost guaranteed to save more time by packing ONLY the things you like and will use in the new home.

Below you will find the logical steps required to declutter your home before moving away – quickly, easily, and efficiently.

Step 1. Learn why decluttering is a must-do task

The very first thing you need to do is understand why it’s critical that you slim down the number of your possessions to their absolute minimum before you begin the packing process.

When you know WHY it makes sense to do something, it’s usually much easier to keep yourself motivated so that you complete the task as quickly as possible.

  • You will save money by lowering the transportation costs. This one is simple: fewer items to move will mean a lower shipment weight, which in turn will reduce the final moving cost.
  • You will save time during the packing process simply because you’ll have a decreased number of things to pack up.
  • You will earn some money from the sale of the unwanted things you’ve decided to sell before you move away.
  • You will save valuable storage space in the new place by not having to store items that you don’t really need to keep in the first place.

Step 2. Do a complete inventory of your home

Before you can declutter your home before moving away, you just have to know which items you will keep and which items you will leave behind. And in order to make the right call, you’re going to have to inventory all the things found under the roof of your current home.

A home inventory sheet will help you make the right decisions when you’re about to decide the fate of each item you own.

Basically, all you need to do is to go to each room and make a detailed list of all the household items in there. Mark down any important information about each item – description, current condition, value, destination room, and even some critical notes that will guide you throughout the decision-making process.

While inventorying your home, always start with the large items in each room – furniture, appliances, etc. – and work your way toward the smaller items.

Step 3. Understand which items you should get rid of

Now that you have the detailed home inventory in your hands, it’s time for some good decisions on your part. 

To make your life easier, here are some of the items that you should not normally bother to take with you to the new place:

  • Items that are too worn out or too broken. It doesn’t make any sense to pay to move items that are either too worn out to be used again (clothes, shoes, furniture, toys, etc.) or just plain broken, usually beyond repair too.
  • Clothes and shoes that you will not use anymore. Some of your clothes and shoes may have become uncomfortable with time or just too old-fashioned for your taste. Either way, packing clothes or shoes that you don’t see yourself wearing in the foreseeable future is not something you should do.
  • Duplicate items. If you happen to have duplicate items in your home, then it’s only reasonable to get rid of any extra items that have one and the same purpose.
  • Forgotten items. If you have forgotten about the existence of some of your belongings, then logic says that you don’t really need them. What this means is that you can safely get rid of them prior to moving away.

Step 4. Start decluttering as soon as possible

The thing you need to remember when getting ready to move out is that reducing the number of your items as a cost- and time-saving technique takes time. You may think you’ll be able to handle the decluttering task fast enough only to realize it’s eaten up a big chunk of your precious time.

Possibly the best advice you can get when moving house is to start packing your things as early as you can. But in order to begin boxing them up, you’ll need to have sorted out all your stuff first.

Once you have an inventory sheet and you know which items you shouldn’t bother moving with you, it’s time to initiate the real decluttering process. Where to begin sorting out your things?

Start from the premises that usually have the largest number of items to sort – all the storage places found in the home such as the basement, attic, garage, closet, and spare room.

Remember that the sooner you declutter your home, the more time you’ll have for the arduous task of packing.

Step 5. Sort out your items into 3 categories

As you keep sorting out your things, you should place them into three different piles:

  1. To KEEP. These are all the things that you will take with you no matter the cost to transport them or the time you’ll need to pack them up. These are all the things you love and use regularly – things that you are proud to own and happy to enjoy.  In most cases, any items with high sentimental value should go into this first category as well.
  2. To SELL / DONATE. If you still have usable items that you’re not moving, you shouldn’t just throw them away. Instead, you must do one of two things: either try to sell them to pocket some extra money or donate them to charity, thus making sure those items get used by people who are less fortunate than you.
  3. To THROW AWAY. Dispose properly of any items that cannot be reused. In other words, recycle the stuff that nobody needs anymore.

Step 6. Try to sell your unwanted items

The final step to decluttering your home before moving is to get rid of the items you won’t be moving to the new home.

In the best-case scenario, you’ll be able to sell all those unwanted items, either at a garage sale prior to moving away or online. The thing is that moving house can be an expensive business so any money you manage to get from the sales of those things will be more than welcome to your (limited) moving budget. 

More often than not, organizing a profitable moving sale is the better option than the two simply because you’ll be in full control of every single step of the sale. Besides, the experience of hosting a yard sale is likely to give you a sense of closure before you have to move away to another part of the country.

Provided that you have enough time for the transactions to go through, you might as well try to sell some of your stuff online in order to cover part of the inevitable moving expenses.

Step 7. Give away or donate the stuff you don’t need

If time is against you once more, then the fastest way to get rid of all unwanted things after decluttering your home is to give them away to friends, work colleagues, or neighbors. Consider those farewell gifts, a way to thank your best pals for their friendship and possibly even for their help on Moving day itself.

Of course, you can always do the right thing for the community and donate still usable items to various charitable organizations around town. This idea is especially appealing when the charities can come and pick up the donations with their own transport straight from your home.

A simple Google search will give you a list of reputable charitable organizations in your area but you can always trust Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Move for Hunger, and Direct Relief to help you complete the very final step of decluttering your home before moving away.

If you want professional help for your moving you can call us at (800) 403-7552 or to fill our quote form.

By Michael Miller

Michael Miller is a reputable author at Great Nation Moving and an expert in moving, packing and storage topics.

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