Is the moving process overwhelming and stress-inducing? Do you feel like the moving boxes are just piling up with no end in sight? As life goes by, we all accumulate several items for various reasons. If we don’t declutter regularly, these items can pile up and outlive their usefulness. When relocating to your new house, you might have to take along piles of unwanted, unused belongings. These will weigh you down, cost money to move, and cause frustration in an already challenging situation.
On the bright side, moving is the perfect time to declutter. You’re about to start the next chapter in your life. With fewer items, you’ll have more physical and mental space to enjoy the moving experience.
Not sure where to begin? Have a look at these tips for reducing clutter before you move:
Some Mental Preparation
Decluttering is not just a physical process – it’s also a mental exercise. You most likely have emotions, feelings, and memories attached to almost every item in your home. When you declutter, parting with certain valuables and belongings can take a toll.
It may also be hard to get into the mood for decluttering, especially if you’re moving for the first time. Investing in a mini storage unit can help you get into the right zone to start decluttering. You can keep all your valuables and family heirlooms in a mini storage unit while decluttering your space.
If you need some inspiration, try remembering the following perks:
- You’ll be downsizing your stuff, which means an easier packing and moving process
- You will be saving money on packing boxes, labor, and fuel
- Your new space will only have the items and furniture you use or need
Decluttering can help us create a calm and relaxing vibe for our space.
Start as Soon as Possible
Most people may not realize how much stuff they have until they begin pulling it out. The sheer amount of items will take a long time to sort through. Even disposing of unwanted items takes time and effort.
If you live in a small apartment, you might want to start two months before moving day. For larger homes, six or seven months might be necessary. Having ample time for decluttering means lower stress levels, allowing you to sort the items and not rush anything.
Begin with the Less-Used Items
Don’t start decluttering memorabilia before anything else since this might involve making difficult decisions. It’s probably wiser to begin by sorting out the rooms and things no one uses much.
You can start your decluttering process with these guidelines:
- Clear out the garage, attic, basement, or whatever room you mainly use for storing items
- Keep the memorabilia side (family pictures, souvenirs, etc.) and focus on the other items; for instance, bicycles that the kids have outgrown
- Deliberate what you want to keep and what you want to throw away or sell
- Start with the other rooms; by this time, you should be more in tune with what goes and what stays
- Lastly, you may have to be ruthless; for instance, a huge old chair can have many memories, but it will probably not fit into your tiny new city apartment.
Most importantly, don’t rush yourself and try to make some progress daily.
Since you’re decluttering for your move, why not make it easier on yourself? While sorting out your stuff and doing away with the excess, start packing what you can.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you start packing the things you need for your everyday routine. While decluttering the kitchen, for instance, you want to leave the plates in the cabinets for now. However, you may want to do away with certain items in the kitchen, such as:
- Doubles of everyday items you may not need; vegetable peelers, can openers, corkscrews, etc.
- Anything that has a crack and might not even survive the move
- Old utensils that you haven’t used for over a year
- Excess of any item, such as mismatched mugs, cups, old plastic plates, etc.
What to pack?
While decluttering the kitchen, it might be a good idea to pack up the following:
- Fancy dinnerware that will probably not be in use for the next few months
- Extra kitchen towels, tablecloths, etc.
- Canned goods that won’t expire for the next couple of years, at least
- Tupperware boxes, leaving only a few for the last hectic days of your move
Making piles and packing right
While decluttering and packing for your move, keep the following tasks in mind:
- Label the boxes according to the room they’ll end up in
- Dust off the wanted items before packing them
- Think about the most convenient way you can pack the items
- Categorize the items as much as possible. For instance, a box with bedding might contain some sheets on top with decorative cushions at the bottom.
- Make piles next to the boxes and sort the items accordingly. Some ideas for labeling the piles may include: Keep, Throw Away, Shred, Give Away, Store, Recycle/Upcycle, Sell.
You’re probably avoiding specific items due to their emotional attachment. However, there will come a time when you have to sit down and sort them out too.
But this isn’t the time to linger on your memories or start thinking about the past. If you want to tackle the moving process on time, resist the temptation to daydream and bid farewell to nostalgia. Once the packing and decluttering are over, you can sit back in your new home and pore over those photo albums.
Moving is one of the best times to get on a decluttering spree. You want a clean slate for a fresh start, and having a clutter-free home can prove beneficial in several ways. Follow the tips above to save time, energy, and hassle.
Once you declutter your old home, your packing will automatically get easier. The unpacking and setting up processes will also be much smoother. You may even save on moving costs, especially if you’re paying hourly labor. You can even increase your moving budget by selling some unwanted belongings.