Moving can be a stressful and overwhelming process, and one of the biggest challenges is figuring out what to keep and what to get rid of. It’s easy to accumulate a lot of stuff over the years, and it can be tough to let go of certain items, especially if they have sentimental value. However, the more clutter you have, the harder it will be to pack, transport, and unpack your belongings. Plus, removing unnecessary items before a move can save time, money, and effort. Here are 14 tips on how to get organized before your move:
- Make a plan: Before you start decluttering, make a list of areas you want to focus on. This will help you stay focused.
- Start early: Don’t wait until the last minute to start decluttering. Give yourself plenty of time to go through your belongings and decide what to keep and what to get rid of. Start a month or two before your planned move. This will help you avoid feeling rushed and overwhelmed.
- Start with hard-to-reach areas: Clear out hard-to-reach cabinets, upper shelves, and corner units, etc. This is likely where a lot of our clutter lives. Do you know that corner unit in the kitchen where you hide your once-a-year appliance? Start there.
- Be honest with yourself: As you go through your belongings, be honest with yourself about what you really need and use. If you haven’t worn or used an item in the past year, chances are you don’t need it. Hiring an accountability partner for this part of the process can be helpful.
- Be selective: As you go through your belongings, be selective about what you keep. Don’t hold on to items just because they were expensive, because you might use them one day, or because they were gifted to you. Things are only useful if you are actually using them.
- Donate or sell: Instead of throwing away items that you no longer need or want, consider donating them to a charity or selling them. (If you’re hoping to sell them, be sure to start even earlier than you think to allow time for the sale to happen.) This will not only help you declutter, but it’ll also benefit someone else.
- Be realistic: It’s important to be realistic about what you can fit in your new home. Don’t hold on to items that won’t fit or work with your new place. Know that each home is unique and you may need new furniture or organizing solutions for your new spot.
- Work within your home's constraints: Whether you’re downsizing or just losing storage when you move, work within the constraints of your home. Use the 80% rule. No drawer, cabinet, or closet should be filled by more than 80%. The idea here is you’ll be able to maintain organization if it’s only filled 80%.
Wondering what things you should get rid of before the move? Read on.
- Duplicate items. When I moved in with my now husband, I discovered we had accumulated four can openers. I kept our favorite and donated the rest.
- Outdated or broken items. This includes the old phones you have stashed in a drawer somewhere. Recycle your old electronics at Best Buy, free of charge.
- Unused or infrequently used items. For example, during my most recent decluttering session, I decided it was time to donate my home gym equipment I purchased during the pandemic and no longer use. Can you think of any items like this you’re ready to part with before the move?
- Sentimental items you don’t have room for. It’s natural to have sentimental attachments to certain items, but if you don’t have room for them in your new home, consider getting rid of them. If this is tough for you, remember the memory is not tied to the physical item.
- Excess and tattered linens and Tupperware. As a professional organizer who’s seen the insides of many homes, I’m fairly confident you don’t need all those linens, towels, or Tupperware.
- Expired or unused food. Quickly scan the expiration dates in your pantry and rejoice to know you’re not moving a bunch of old food to the new spot.
Remember, the goal is to declutter and eliminate items you no longer need or use. It’s important, to be honest with yourself about what you need and be selective about what you keep. Hiring the right moving company will help you have a smoother and more organized move. We hope you found these 14 tips for getting organized before a move helpful!