Relocation to a new home is exciting and stressful at the same time. You’ve been planning a move in advance: spent time choosing a trustworthy local moving company, informed a bank and a landlord, and even began packing. Inevitably, you get overwhelmed with how many things you own. As time goes by, our homes are getting filled with an immeasurable number of things, including interior design pieces, clothes, books, appliances, toys, and all sorts of objects we keep home for various reasons. All accumulated items do seem necessary and useful until you have to box them for moving. When you request a moving quote you can realize that the moving size is in direct correlation with the cost. How to lower the costs? Declutter before moving.

In fact, decluttering is beneficial for many reasons apart from lower moving costs:

–          You clean up your home and free space by getting rid of broken or unwanted items.

–          You free additional space.

–          You can make a contribution to charity organizations. There are several for your help. One example is Salvation Army Houston.

–          You can even earn some money from selling unwanted items in good condition.

So, below we will consider various approaches to how to declutter your home before moving.

Tips to Declutter before Moving

When it comes to decluttering, there are multiple methods to follow. Additionally, you’d better be practical and consider the size and design of your new home, your new lifestyle, the condition of an item and its sentimental value, and practical use of an item.

·         The 20-minute approach. Well, this method might work better for smaller apartments. Dedicate 20 minutes a day to decluttering and organizing/packing a small space, for example, kitchen cabinets or bedroom drawers. You can also contact professionals like movers in Midlothian VA for guidance and safely moving.

·         Reverse hanger. Ok, this approach works well only for decluttering a closet. Hang clothes in the opposite to the current order. Every time you wear something, hang it normally. After a while, you will see what items you don’t use. This way of decluttering takes some time but doesn’t require any additional effort on your side.

·         Box & banish. This is one of the simplest methods to declutter before moving. Prepare a box and fill it with items you consider unnecessary or unwanted. Keep the box in a hidden place far from your eyes. After a specific period (for instance, 2 weeks or a month), if you don’t use items from the box, you can give them to charity or throw them away. However, this method takes time and doesn’t apply to seasonal clothes.

·         4-box method. In fact, one of the most efficient and fast ways of decluttering. You will need 4 boxes which you label “Trash”, “Sell or Give Away”, “Storage”, and “Put Away”. As experience shows, you will need extra boxes for each category. Then move room by room, sorting out the things into boxes. Once a room has been filtered, throw away items from the “Trash” box right off the bat. Put the “Sell/Give Away” box next to the door and do not delay putting items for sale or schedule a pick-up time for a charity organization. Then, move on to other rooms, one by one.

·         KonMari method. Developed by Marie Kondo, the method is based on filtering belongings by categories, not rooms. The filter is “joy”. Contrary to other decluttering approaches, the KonMari method implies that you set aside (to donate, sell, or send to garbage) items that “do not spark joy anymore”. So, you can start with books or clothes. Definitely, there are items necessary but there are so many things we don’t need anymore and they “do not spark joy”. The downside of the KonMari method is that it is time-consuming and might not work well for large families.

While decluttering a house, you should trust your common sense:

–          While sorting clothes, put aside items that don’t fit anymore or out-of-fashion ones.

–          Set aside duplicates. All of us have been in a situation of receiving gifts or purchasing items that duplicate some of our appliances or décor items. Pack the favorite one and put aside the duplicate.

–          Throw away destroyed and out-of-service things, like appliances, electronic devices, and furniture that you haven’t gotten down to earlier.  

–          No longer used or expired cosmetics and medicines should instantly go to the garbage.

–          Old papers. All no longer valid documents (over 7 years), bills, statements, and so on, should be shredded and thrown out. Ask your children to filter their school stuff and get rid of old school books, notebooks, and sheets. Add here old newspapers, magazines, ad brochures, CDs & DVDs, and old posters – they can be discarded with no regrets.  

–          Unwanted gifts and souvenirs occupy space, so filter them. Keep items you like and put aside all the rest.

–          Old and broken toys, old hobby supplies, and useless instruments from your garage — discard them.     

Decluttering is a tedious procedure that pays off in terms of lower moving costs, shorter unpacking time, and a more spacious new home.    

Now that you have filtered your stuff and thrown away broken items, you can decide on what to do with the unwanted and unnecessary things you set aside. You have several options:

·         Sell. A garage sale is a good idea. Inform people in your neighborhood about the upcoming sale, invite friends, and have fun.  Optionally, you can list items in good condition on Craigslist. Actually, if you put for sale some furniture or home décor items, you can realize a hefty sum of money to cover a part of your moving costs.

·         Donate. Check online for local charity institutions or branches of the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, or any other of your choice. Many people would be grateful for getting warm clothes or appliances they cannot afford. Quite often charities provide pick-up services if you are too busy to deliver the goods. When you declutter before moving, remember that you can do good for those who are in need.   

·         Give away. Organize a moving party and invite friends, neighbors, and colleagues. First of all, you can use some food items for the party instead of transporting or throwing them. Second, you can offer guests to take items they like from those that you do not plan to move to a new home. As you see, decluttering can be fun. Maybe your neighbor has been dreaming of having that coffee machine you wanted to leave behind.  

Now that you know how to declutter before moving, it’s high time to get busy with actual decluttering. Move room by room or by category – it is up to you. Once you have filtered all the stuff, you can see how the size and costs of your move shrink, debris disappear, and the space increases. Good luck!