When moving to another home, one rookie mistake you might make is to pack up and move all your belongings without first reducing their number. Decluttering your home before moving is a crucial step that you should not skip for a number of good reasons (see below). And since you’re supposed to start packing your things as soon as the house move is confirmed, you should pare down your possessions even before the initiation of the packing process.
If you tend to think that you’ll manage the packing task faster by simply throwing all your stuff into random boxes, you should think again. In reality, packing up your house without decluttering will only increase the total time you’ll spend on the task and will inflate the final moving bill as well due to the extra weight added to the shipment.
Read on to learn the best way to declutter your home before moving out. Remember that taking fewer items with you is often the preferred way to move to a new home.
Why do you need to declutter your home before moving out?
The very first thing you should do is try to understand why it’s so important to inventory your belongings and then choose to move only the things that are really worth the trouble. Basically, moving any items that you don’t plan to use in the foreseeable future will be a total waste of your valuable time and your hard-earned money.
So, why should you declutter before moving out?
- Choosing to move everything you own without sorting out your things and picking only the ones you like and will use in the future will increase the cost of your move. Long-distance moving companies charge by weight, so the fewer things you have for moving, the less money you will have to pay for their transportation.
- Decluttering your home prior to packing will save you time when you do get down to packing your things. Fewer things to pack will basically mean you’ll be able to complete the job of packing faster.
- Packing fewer items thanks to a successful decluttering job will save you a bunch of packing materials, which in turn will lower the overall packing costs for you.
- Moving fewer items to the new home can be pretty beneficial when it comes to space management in the destination place. This aspect of moving is especially relevant when you’re moving to a smaller home – that is, when you’re downsizing.
- Taking only the things that are worth moving will help you keep the stress of moving within normal values simply because you know you’ll be saving time, money, effort, and space by hauling fewer possessions from your current home to the new place.
What items should you get rid of before moving?
Now that you are aware of the advantages of decluttering before moving house, it’s time for you to get a better idea of which items you should not take with you to the new apartment or house.
The thing is that you just have to know what to look for during the decluttering process – otherwise, you would move everything you own minus a few totally useless items, most often broken beyond repair. The idea, of course, is to be able to identify the possessions you don’t really need to take with you for one reason or another and then to leave those behind with the purpose of saving time, money, and space.
These are the items you should consider leaving behind when moving to another place:
- Worn out or broken items. If any of your things is just too worn out or partially (or maybe complete) broken, then they should be the ones you surely don’t move with you. Ask yourself if you’re most likely to have to replace an item due to the fact that it’s already beyond its usable life cycle. If the answer is yes, then it’s time to throw away such things – clothes, shoes, toys, appliances, and even furniture pieces – for proper recycling.
- Useless clothes and shoes. If you do find any pieces of clothes or pairs of shoes that you know you won’t wear anymore for one reason or another, then you should definitely not pack them for moving. And in case those clothes or shoes are still in good condition, then you should consider giving them to charity.
- Duplicate items. You don’t really need to move any duplicate items, do you? If you find out that you’ve got more than 1 set of anything, assess the necessity to pack and transport both items provided that they have an identical use. Moving two sets of bath towels is perfectly fine but hauling two blenders may seem like a bad decision.
- Books. If you’ve got books that you know you won’t ever read again, then packing and moving those books will be a true waste of your time and money. Remember that while books are not too complicated to pack safely, they are rather heavy when packed into boxes and therefore will increase the moving cost.
How to declutter quickly and easily before moving
Now you are familiar with all the benefits of decluttering your home and know which items to get rid of before packing for a move, it’s time to learn how to declutter efficiently before initiating the packing task:
- Step 1. Start early. Packing for a move takes forever to complete and you should do the decluttering task even before you can fill up your first box. Don’t underestimate the time you’ll need to sort out your belongings.
- Step 2. Declutter one room at a time. What you want to do when you’re trying to figure out what to take and what to leave behind is to go from room to room and inspect the items found there. In other words, you should always declutter one room, then go into the next one and do the same.
- Step 3. Use the 3-box method. To be able to declutter your home efficiently, you’re going to need a system that’s been proven to work – namely, the 3-box decluttering method. Use 3 boxes when decluttering each room: 1) for the things you’ll move with you, 2) for the things you’ll sell or donate, and 3) for useless or broken things you’ll just throw away.
- Step 4. Use your sound judgment. Sometimes it’s difficult to know whether you should keep something or not. In such cases, use these 5 factors to help you decide: 1) monetary value, 2) sentimental value, 3) practical value, 4) aesthetic value, and 5) current condition. When stuck, give yourself more time to think by leaving the hard choices for last.
- Step 5. Stay focused. Don’t put off decluttering your home for later and make sure you stay focused on the task. Remember that decluttering proceeds packing, so you have to get it done as soon as possible so that you can then focus solely on packing up your things for the upcoming move.
What should you do with all unwanted items?
Once you manage to declutter the entire house before having to pack up your things, one important question is what you should do with all the items that you won’t move with you. Basically, you’ve got several good options when it comes to getting rid of all unwanted items in the home you’re about to leave:
- Sell them at a moving sale or online. Selling some of your unwanted stuff is an excellent way to earn some money – fresh cash that will go straight into your moving budget. Keep in mind that you’ll need time to organize a successful garage sale before moving or to set up your things for sale online.
- Give them away to friends and family. Maybe some of your friends or family members will want a few of the things you’ve decided not to take with you. And if that’s the case, then you know exactly what you should do next.
- Donate them to charity. You can do the right thing and donate your unneeded things to various charitable organizations in your area. Whenever you can, it’s always a praiseworthy act to help a stranger in need.
- Recycle them. Some of your unwanted things will only be good enough for proper recycling – any items that are too worn out, too broken, or simply too useless to serve anybody any good. So there’s only one thing left to do – throw them away for proper recycling.