Moving into a new house, apartment, or townhome is an excellent opportunity to simplify your life and free your space of unnecessary clutter. The tricky part when reducing your household bulk is deciding what to move into your new home – and what items should be donated, given away, or discarded.
Tips for Decluttering
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Go through your current home one room at a time. Start with the least used room and pack the items inside this room first. Tape the bottom of a few different size cartons based on the contents in the room. In your notebook, write down each room’s name, number each box, put the number in your notebook with a list of contents, and write that number on the box with a brief content list.
Pack everything you know you want. You’ll know what those items are because you won’t have to ask yourself if you really want to take them. When a carton is full to the top, seal it with tape.
When you have packed all the things in that room that you know you want in your new home, leave the room and close the door.
Repeat this process with every room in your home, including the basement, attic, shed, and garage.
When every room has packed boxes in it, start the process over again. Go to room one. Look around. If there is something you really want, pack it. If you’re on the fence, leave the room and close the door
A few days before move out day, contact friends and in exchange for pizza, have them pick a room, and take whatever is left inside to the donation station or to the trash bin. Provide large trash bags.
If you’re packing yourself, buy supplies from a professional long-distance mover.
Professional movers buy from suppliers who adhere to specific and strict guidelines. Cartons are tested, inspected, and rated to hold the amount stamped on the bottom. This means they won’t crush when stacked levels high inside a moving van and driven across the country. They will withstand being stacked and placed into a wood container and shipped by van, or loaded into a warehouse storage vault.
Buy the packing paper and tape from the professional mover as well because they buy in bulk and will charge you a few cents over cost.
Follow the 6-Month Rule
There are exceptions to this rule, of course, but get rid of things you haven’t used in the past six months. Usually, if you haven’t used an item in six months, you’re probably never going to use it.
As noted, this does not include the obvious things like seasonal clothes, holiday decor, and momentoes with sentimental attachment.
Instead, eliminate items that are unnecessary, duplicates, broken, or just not used anymore.
You might find that you have a couple of oversized items that are logistically tough to get rid of. Tell your move estimator which large items you don’t want to take and ask if the company will dispose of them for you. Often, if there are a few items, the movers will take and discard at no cost. But if it’s an old solid oak baby grand piano and you live on the third floor without an elevator — that may cost you!
Lessen Your Stress
Moving is stressful enough without the additional pressure of having to make tough choices about decluttering and downsizing. There is no need to stress yourself out further by struggling with whether or not to take something you own and love with you or toss it out.
Give yourself a break. When in doubt, pack the items and take them with you. It’s okay to keep your belongings until you truly know and are ready to part with them. Timing is important. Give yourself all the time you need. When the time is right, you’ll know what to do.
Moving Made Easy
Whether you’re downsizing or moving to a larger space, it’s good to have a friend look at what you own with a critical, non-emotional eye to help.
Moving into a new home can be a fresh start. You will want to keep the things that bring joy or purpose to you or your family.
Are you still looking for moving help? Contact us for a free quote today.