If you’re planning a move in the next few months, one of the first things we recommend doing is decluttering your home. Odds are, you have a lot more stuff in your home than you really need—especially if you’ve lived there for more than a couple years—and packing up items you don’t use is a waste of time, energy, and packing materials. So, here are 5 tips to help you declutter your home and lighten your load before moving day.
First and foremost, start early. As we mentioned above, this is one of the first things that we recommend people do when they find out they’re moving. You’ll need some time to go through your possessions and decide what you really need, so start decluttering at least a month before your move. Try to declutter just one room a day, so you don’t burn yourself out and give up on the process.
Use the 3-Box Method
If you’ve ever watched any kind of decluttering or home organization show, you’ve probably seen professional organizers using the three-box method when helping people declutter. The reason you see it so much is because it’s simple and effective. Every time you declutter a room, bring three boxes with you. Mark one as items to keep, one for items to give away or donate, and one for items to throw out. Use these boxes to help you sort your possessions.
Use a Practicality Test
Getting rid of stuff can be difficult, so if you find yourself stuck on a particular item, ask yourself if it is something you’re going to use—and be honest with your answer! For example, you should set a time limit on clothing items; if you have not worn it in the last year, odds are you won’t wear it again, so it should be donated.
Ask yourself if you really need as many sets of sheets, or as many duplicate kitchen utensils as you have, and donate or throw out any excess ones. Remember, while having extras might be nice from time to time, the point here is to ask yourself if it is truly necessary and practical to have as many as you do.
Save Sentimental Items for Last
One of the most difficult parts of decluttering is getting rid of items that have a sentimental value. Perhaps your grandmother gave you some mixing bowls for your wedding that you never use, but that have a lot of sentimental value attached to them. While you may be able to acknowledge that the items aren’t used regularly, that sentimentality can make it very difficult to decide whether or not to keep the items.
Of course, there is no hard-and-fast rule for handling such items. Each case will be different, as sentimental value is not something you can completely disregard. However, we do recommend waiting to make these tough decisions until after you’ve completely finished the rest of the decluttering. This will make it so that those hard choices don’t burn you out on the decluttering process in the earlier stages.
Use Up the Excess
Many homeowners buy certain items in bulk in order to save money. While this is a great and very practical idea, it does make moving time difficult. So, as soon as you know you’ll be moving, start using up those canned goods and extra toilet paper as much as you can, so you don’t have to worry about moving it with you. If you still have a lot of stored food when it’s time to move, check the expiration dates. If they’ll be expiring within the next year, it may be best to donate those to a food pantry instead of dealing with packing and moving them.
Decluttering your home will help to get your move off on the right foot. Not only will you have fewer items to worry about packing, but you’ll save money on packing supplies, and on the costs of a professional mover (if you’re using one), since movers often charge based on the number of boxes you have. Additionally, when you get to your new place, you’ll be able to start off with a neater, more organized, clutter-free home, instead of filling up your new home with unnecessary items that likely won’t even be used.
If you’re looking for professional movers to help with your upcoming move, contact us today and get a quote on our moving services.