Decluttering Before a Move

Decluttering Before a Move

If you are planning a move, you need to “bite the bullet” sooner rather than later to purge your unwanted, unworn, unused, and unloved belongings, to assist in decluttering before a move.

This exercise is absolutely necessary to save you time and money when you do move. It’s easy to see why: the more stuff you move, the more it costs to move it. The bonus can be that you can recoup some money with a yard or estate sale.

Getting Motivated to Declutter

Decluttering is a task best approached in small steps.  It can be emotional and overwhelming – especially if you are decluttering a home that you’ve lived in for many years.  People often say they have a feeling of freedom when they have decluttered … they are no longer bogged down by material things they have no more use for.

Start Decluttering Before a Move Now.

Begin the process early. You don’t even have to wait to plan a move. It is a good idea to purge often to stay in control. Beginning early – three, six, or even twelve months before you move – makes the process less  stressful  and more enjoyable.

Where do you begin?

Start with the rooms you use the lease. Do you have a spare bedroom or a recreation room that isn’t being used much? A basement or attic that needs lots of time to review? Start there.  You can not only dispose of the things you don’t want, you can begin to pack up the things you want to take with you. Don’t start with memorabilia, though. Save that for when you’ve had a bit of practice decluttering so you can move through it more efficiently.

Make Six Piles for Decluttering.

Separate your sorted items into different piles:

  1. Number One is for the items you want to KEEP and MOVE.
  2. The second pile is for the things to plan to offer to FAMILY members;
  3. the third is the one for DONATIONS.
  4. You may have some items that you feel have monetary value, so these are the ones that you might SELL.
  5. Put the YARD SALE items in another pile… the SELL pile is for more valuable items.
  6. The last pile is for items that will be TRASH.

There are also other creative ways to help you with decluttering before a move. Find out what works best for you!

The Closets

We all have items in our closets that no longer fit (I just need to lose 5 lbs. and I can wear that!) or clothing that we loved but really has gone out of style. Purge these first.  Be sure the clothing you plan to MOVE will actually fit in the closet space in your new home.

Trips Down Memory Lane

It is unavoidable to not walk down memory lane while decluttering before a move.  It’s OK to go through things and remember where and when. But bring yourself back to the present so that you can achieve your timeline goals. Set a timer for an hour and when it goes off.  Close the box and move on.

Get the Kids Involved

Moving can be traumatic to children. Involve them in the process of decluttering before a move, so they feel a sense of ownership. Let them help you and then give them age-appropriate responsibilities for decluttering their belongings. Once they have made piles, you can review to give the final approval. Letting them decide on toys or games they no longer play with that can be donated to the less fortunate is a special lesson they learn during this process. You can work side-by-side with younger children to help them decide in which pile each item should go.

Put it on Your Calendar.

Schedule a dedicated time each week for decluttering before a move. One to three hours of purging time will help you move the process to completion more efficiently. Not scheduling is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, as procrastination creeps in and it is easy to get distracted away to another task. Turn off the phone; no TV; no visitors… just a period of dedicated decluttering. You’ll be surprised at the progress you make!

Rent a Portable Moving and Storage Container.

As you are decluttering these units can be very helpful to store packed boxes or furniture in rooms you aren’t using. If you are staging your home for sale, a portable storage container is invaluable. The unit can stay in your driveway until you are ready to move.

Go Through Everything.

Decluttering can be a long process. It is important to go through everything … every closet ; cabinet or dresser drawer; storage bin; closet. Take everything out and assess every item of clothing, kitchen gadget, appliance, and tool. Better to do it now then to move it and just toss it later.

Change is difficult, but it can be exciting. Take it one step-at-a- time and you’ll be ready for your move when the time comes.

Download our helpful Moving and Packing guides and if you have questions about your upcoming move, call Ayer Moving and Storage at (800) 233-6683 or email one of their Relocation Specialists.