How to Declutter Before a Move: The Ultimate Guide

When it’s time for a move, packing is the task that will take you the longest to complete, requiring plenty of time and energy. But before you even start to pack, there’s a foolproof way to simplify the process and reduce the time spent packing. Begin your packing process with the most important preliminary step – decluttering! A declutter is exactly what it sounds like, a process in which you remove clutter from a space. This task can also come in handy when you’re putting items in a storage container or if you’re simply looking to do some spring cleaning.

Although it may seem simple enough, decluttering can feel extremely overwhelming and stressful, especially if you haven’t done a deep clean in quite some time. We all tend to accumulate clutter when we’ve been in a place for a while, and even if we try to be minimalistic, sometimes things gather up in our homes regardless. Are you looking for the best ways to complete a successful declutter before a move? Keep reading to discover our eight top tips!

How to Declutter Before a Move?

  • Start with a plan

To prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed, create a plan first. Picking a strategy and a process to commit to will be helpful in allowing yourself to feel properly prepared for the task at hand. Perhaps you want to decide what will be your area of focus. Maybe your kitchen has the most clutter, or maybe your closets are stuffed to the brim and need a good comb-through. No matter what it is, decide ahead of time what your goals are so it can shape and define the plan you create. You may also want to plan to have areas where some things will be stored so you know exactly where you’ll be placing your items.

  • Be honest with yourself

One of the most common difficulties during a declutter is the fact that we may want to keep things that don’t serve much of a purpose in our lives. For instance, you might have a sweater you keep telling yourself you’re going to wear, but it’s been years, and it just doesn’t match anything you own. In these circumstances, our desire to make better use of the item may outweigh the actual frequency we use it or even think about it. It’s best, to be honest with yourself and only keep items that you truly use regularly, rather than wasting energy during the packing process on things that you don’t really need.

  • Enlist some help

If you’re decluttering an entire home, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. In fact, even a room or two can bring up feelings of stress. During this process, you may find it extremely productive and encouraging to have the help of loved ones. By delegating some tasks, you’re much less likely to feel inundated by your declutter. Plus, other people won’t feel the same sentimentality you may experience for some of your belongings. In this case, they will be better suited to help you get rid of those things, encouraging you to get rid of items that may only be kept around due to an emotional pull.

  • Take your time

This is a big task – don’t try to force yourself to have it finished in one day. You’ll only end up feeling frustrated and exhausted. Instead, include a schedule in your plan that features small, manageable goals. You can incorporate this plan into your lifestyle by starting way ahead of your move, that way you can spend even just half an hour a day tackling your declutter. This will make a huge difference in your productivity levels so you can do the best job possible while sorting through your items.

  • Go room by room

Rather than stressing yourself out by bouncing between numerous rooms, work methodically from room to room. You may want to start in one corner of your home, and then move on to the next rooms in order. This will all depend on your goals and priorities during this process, but the rule of thumb still stands: handle one room at a time. You will also be able to see the difference in each room as you move along, providing yourself with some much-needed motivation to keep going. Each room will have its items sorted into one of four categories: donate, sell, trash, or keep. Moving through this process will feel more and more methodical as you begin to get into the groove.

  • Use the 20/20 rule

The 20/20 rule can prove itself to be very helpful when you are debating letting go of an item that you’ve been keeping “just in case” you need it. These types of items are typically not going to be needed by you any time soon, if ever. This rule says that you can get rid of these items if they will cost $20 or less to replace and 20 minutes or less to go grab from a store. This works great for small items, and you’ll find that you may be holding on to more of these items than you think. When they add up, they create a lot of clutter that can be eliminated.

  • …and the 90/90 rule!

Another useful rule is the 90/90 rule. This one encourages you to ask yourself if you’ve used the item in the past 90 days and if you will use it in the next 90 days. If you answer “no” to both of these questions, it’s time to let go of that particular item. You can also adjust this rule to better suit you, perhaps extending the time span to 120 days or whatever else works best for you. No matter how you use it, this rule gives you a great benchmark to assess just how useful your items are in the big picture of your life.

  • Clear your storage spots

Finally, be sure to have storage spaces available for your items. If that means clearing out your closets, cabinets, and drawers first, do that. Once your storage areas have been decluttered, you will have more areas to store your belongings, which will make a world of difference as you clean the rest of your space. When you have more areas to keep your items, your space will feel a lot less cluttered.

Declutter like a pro

With your declutter successfully completed, the packing process becomes much easier and a lot less time-consuming. Plus, when you arrive at your new home and unpack your belongings, you’ll find yourself happy to have less clutter, making your space more organized. Looking for a reliable moving company to make your move stress-free once you’ve decluttered? Find out how Hollander Storage & Moving Co. can help you. With local and long-distance movers, packing services, and storage solutions, Hollander is committed to serving customers and providing high-quality assistance.


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