Tips for Decluttering Before Your Move

If you're planning a move, the time to start decluttering is now. Decluttering before moving is slightly more complicated than your typical spring cleaning process. Unless you're one of the few (lucky) people who love to clean and organize, you are probably dreading the decluttering process. However, tackling it now will save you time and money – not to mention giving you a tremendous sense of relief and accomplishment. Here are some tips to make it easier.

Remember how much money you're saving

To stay motivated, keep in mind that decluttering after your move is the more expensive option. Decluttering first will save you money in a couple of ways. First, you’ll have the opportunity to make some money to help with your move by selling unwanted items (or you can make a charitable donation). You’ll also spend less on your move itself because you’ll be taking less with you. That means fewer packing supplies, a smaller truck, and less time the movers will spend on your job. If you’re moving long-distance, you’ll also save money on the weight load.

Start with heavy things that are easy to pack

For many people, books are an excellent place to begin the decluttering process. Even if you have shelf after shelf laden with books, this is still an easy category to get through and completing it will motivate you to do more. Pack up all the books you most likely won’t reread (and be honest). Donate or sell them, and you’ve instantly made your move that much easier.

Think category - not room

For example, when you’re paring down your book collection, check every corner of every room in your house for unused books. Look in the attic, the basement, all the closets, the bedrooms, and so on to find every book you own. Then, decide which ones to keep and which ones to let go.

Organize your belongings into labeled boxes or piles

You’ll figure out which categories you need, but in general, you can use groups such as keep/pack, sell, donate, and toss. As you go through all your categories of things you own, sort each item into one of these boxes or piles. Make sure to keep a record of all the details you donate for tax purposes. To sell items, take photos and post them online or plan a garage sale. Pack as many of the objects you’re keeping as possible, leaving out enough clothing and personal items to get you through the next few weeks or months.

Need help letting go? Retrain your brain

If you’re finding it hard to part with your things, rephrase your mental wording. Instead of asking yourself whether you should get rid of something, ask yourself whether the item is something you want to pack, move, and unpack in your brand-new, spotless home. Of course, you should keep items that have great sentimental value or that make you happy. If you don’t love it or use it, though, there’s no reason to drag it from house to house (or from state to state). Only take the things you need and the things that will make you happy when you see them in your new home.

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