Are you decluttering for a move sometime soon? Know someone who is? Start here.
Check out these helpful hints to get your home decluttered before moving, whether it’s a local move or a cross-country move.
If you are wanting to declutter before moving, start early, if at all possible. This luxury doesn’t always exist, but for many of us, we know at least a couple of months in advance of our plans to look elsewhere.
As soon as you even start to consider the idea of moving, start the decluttering process.
Decluttering before your move will make packing faster AND cheaper.
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Chances are, you have some high value items you’ve been meaning to declutter but they have a higher value, and you simply haven’t had the time or desire to sell them.
Now is your time.
Moving is the perfect motivator to sell items you no longer use but can still earn a little bit of cash for.
One of my favorite outlets is selling clutter on Facebook Marketplace. I have more luck here than with any other online resource.
Don’t outpace your chances for success. You are working on a timeline here. The more you sell, the less you have to move!
On that same note, some items you may be tempted to give away for free could easily sell for $5-$10.
We just had a bunch of used wood leftovers in our home from taking apart an old wooden bar. The wood was useless to us, so we sold it for $10. I couldn’t believe how many people reached out to buy it!
Don’t wait to sell either. If you come across an item, snap a picture with your phone and get it listed immediately.
It’s best to start selling now, before you are busy with all the details of buying and selling a home.
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Consider the last time you used an item
When you are decluttering before a move, it’s the time to be brutally honest with yourself.
When’s the last time you used an item? A month ago, 6 months ago, years ago?
Be honest with yourself.
I think of our scuba equipment. We’ve had this scuba equipment since the year we got married, 15 years prior.
That’s also the last time we used it!
It’s obvious there are no scuba trips in our near future, and if there are, we could probably rent them.
It hurts to let go of things we don’t use, especially when they represent the type of person we hoped to be rather than the person we are now.
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Weigh the costs
Moving can be EXPENSIVE!
If you are decluttering before a cross-country move, it can cost more than a nice, used car.
You must weigh the cost of moving an item with the benefit of keeping an item.
If you are making a cross-country move, items are often charged by weight.
Therefore, if you have an exercise weight set you’ve never used other than that one January four years ago, now might not be the time to decide you will “start working out” as soon as the move is over.
Moving can sometimes involve storage units.
Maybe you plan on selling your house before you find a new one. If this is the case, you might have to put your stuff in storage.
If you plan on being in a temporary home, your stuff may be in storage for quite a bit of time.
Storage units get more and more expensive the bigger they get. Don’t end up paying for a giant storage unit just to store stuff you don’t really need or love.
Related Post: The Invisible Cost of Clutter
Take advantage of your timing
Moving is the perfect time to declutter, especially if you’ve been putting it off for a long time now.
Consider this your fresh start. You are moving into a blank canvas for a home.
Don’t clutter up your next home. Now is the time.
Got too many kids’ toys? Take advantage of the timing.
There’s a good chance your kids may not miss any toys you’ve gotten rid of once they are in a new home.
Moving can be exciting for kids. There are new spaces, and you can give them the gift of a clean space with plenty of room for play!
Check out this post about how to get rid of toys (with your kids help).
Have you always hated that you couldn’t park your car in the garage?
Come up with a plan to get rid of items you store in there or make room for them elsewhere by getting rid of other clutter.
Use the timing of your move to tackle this project, giving yourself and your family a fresh start.
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Declutter and then pack up off-season items
When decluttering before a move, you might want to start with some off-season items.
I can get emotionally tied to my Christmas decorations in November. Surely I will use them all.
However, if you are moving in the summer months, now is the perfect time to declutter those off-season items without all the emotions tied to them.
Better yet, if you declutter now, you may not even remember the items you donated or tossed by the time that season rolls back around.
You will simply know you have more space!
Once you have decluttered these off-season items, pack the remaining ones away for your new home.
Now you have a head start on the packing, and you’ve made space for your new place!
Related Post: How to Stay on Top of Holiday Clutter (and Stay on Budget!)
Create an experiment box
I always think of the time period before moving as a bit like camping.
You start to put all your belongings in boxes, and you learn to love on the bare necessities until you get into your new space.
If you have items you aren’t sure about decluttering, now is the perfect time to create what I like to call an “experiment box.”
Let’s say you have some kitchen appliances or cups or plates you know you probably don’t need anymore, but you are afraid to let them go. I mean, what if?
Go ahead and pack them up in a box. Then, put the box in a corner, your garage, or somewhere out of the way.
Mark the box “experiment box” or draw a giant question mark on it. Then, re-evaluate your need for this box shortly before your move.
Did you miss what was inside? Do you even remember what’s inside?
If you don’t miss it or remember what’s in there, chances are you can move it to the local donation center rather than to your new home.
Related Post: Where to Donate Your Clutter
Move only the stuff you want, declutter the rest
Take advantage of your move as the perfect time to declutter.
Moving is stressful enough.
You don’t want to take a whole bunch of stuff only to realize you paid for it to get relocated and then not want it.
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