Moving to a new house always gives you a novel perspective on things. You will agree that it is an emotional process as much as it is a physical one. While you start packing up your belongings, you might come across several items that you haven’t used in years. We are not saying hoarding is absolutely bad but, what is the use of letting your closets overflow with stuff that you don’t even use?
Objects occupy a lot of space and decluttering is the way to create more space for yourself in your house. The bulkier the move, the more it will cost. It’s best to get rid of the unnecessary stuff and start life afresh. This in turn will also save you a lot of money. Sure, it might seem like a tedious thing to do but, it will feel like a load has been lifted off you once you know how to declutter your home before moving. How to go about it, you ask? Let us tell you that!
What Items to Get Rid Of?
The thumb rule while decluttering is that you have to be absolutely ruthless. When you are faced with the decision of removing some items from your house, you are bound to be in two minds about it. You will always try to find reasons to keep that item but, that’s the first mistake you will make. Decluttering is all about putting on a tough stance and throwing out everything that you don’t need.
You might ask, what do you do with objects after deciding to get them out of your house? Well, the getting rid part of the process is rather straightforward. You could sell the items online or in a garage sale to make some quick money. You could donate them to a charitable organization or give them to your family members or friends. Lastly, if the item is spoilt or broken beyond repairs, throw it in the trash or drop it off at a recycling center.
The first step to decluttering is to create a decluttering list for each room of your house. This will help you keep track of all the objects that you want to get rid of. Let us give you a general idea about what items could be included in your decluttering list.
You will find plenty of items that are extra, broken, or spoilt in your kitchen. Following is the list of items you should get rid of from your kitchen
- Expired Food Items: Things like canned food, sauce packets, etc.
- Small Appliances: Those which are very old, have exposed wires, etc.
- Cookware, Utensils, and Tools: You might have a lot of surplus items in this category. Includes things like bottle openers, spoons, pots, pans, spatulas, etc.
- Water Bottles: You might have accumulated a lot of them.
- Old Cookbooks: Can be stored digitally.
Related: How To Pack Your Kitchen For Moving
This is the room that will need a massive amount of decluttering. There is no limit to what can be removed from here. Let’s have a look.
- Clothes: Those which are never used, torn, or the ones that you have overgrown.
- Shoes: Includes surplus ones, those that are never used, and the spoilt ones.
- Accessories and Jewelry: Excessive items have to be removed.
- Important Documents: Includes birth certificates, graduation certificates, etc.
3. Living Room:
This room is likely to contain a lot of items that belong to the different members of the family. Gather everyone around and make a list of things that need to go out of your house!
- Magazines and Newspaper: You might be getting a new copy of this every day, every week, or every month.
- Books: There might be some that you have already read and don’t like re-reading.
- DVDs, VHS Tapes, Cassettes: In this digital age, most of us have stopped consuming media through the aforementioned items.
- DVD, VHS, and Cassette Players: Get rid of this along with any cables and wires you might have hoarded.
- Old Video Games and Extra Game Controllers: If they aren’t of any use, chuck them!
- Toys for Children and Pets: Once the toy is broken and your pets or little ones no longer need them, it is time to pass them on.
The bathroom is certainly one of the hoarding sites of your house. Items that are kept in the bathroom are generally used in your everyday life and are cheap. You can easily buy new stuff when you go to your new house.
- Toiletries: Includes toothpaste, soaps, lotions, toothbrushes, shampoos, etc.
- Expired Medicines: Ensure that you dispose of them responsibly.
- Beauty Tools: Extra straighteners, dryers, curling irons, etc.
- Old Cosmetics: Over time bacterias tend to start growing in them because of which these products should be thrown out.
Also Read: Things People Forget to Pack while Moving
This is where stuff that cannot be kept in the house is generally stored. Go through all your belongings and decide which ones you don’t need.
- Broken Items
- Gardening Tools
- Tools and Hardware
- Party Supplies
- Car Parts
- Materials for Construction
- Miscellaneous Items
6. Items with Sentimental Value:
Making a decision regarding items that have a sentimental value attached to them becomes a little bit dicey. There are two types of objects that fall under this category. The ones that bring you joy and the ones that bring you pain. For instance, there might be an old sweater that you no longer use. But you might want to retain it because your grandma wove it for you and clinging on to it gives you joy.
On the other hand, you might experience pain or mental distress if you look at some items that were given to you by your ex or a loved one who passed away. Don’t cling to them! Get rid of those items and free yourself. Trust us, this will be a cathartic experience and you will be taking a newer version of yourself to your new house.
Preparing for a Decluttering Experience
Decluttering your home takes rigorous planning. You cannot get up suddenly and decide to declutter your house. This will lead to haphazard and ineffective decluttering. Let us help you get prepped for a thorough, well-planned decluttering!
1. Decide on a Date:
Don’t you think it will be too messy if you started decluttering your home just a couple of days before you move? If you don’t want your move to turn chaotic, ensure that you decide on a date to declutter that is at least a month or so before the day of your move.
2. Give Yourself Time:
Most of us tend to be super indecisive, especially when it comes to throwing out stuff. Don’t assume that you will be able to make quick decisions when you declutter your house. Give yourself enough time to ponder upon and be fully convinced about what all you want to throw out. After all, decluttering isn’t about throwing everything out. If you and need a certain item, don’t throw it out.
3. List it Out:
Want to make sure that you are working systematically? Don’t worry, lists will save you from chaos. All you have to do is list down all the rooms from your house and then name all the items that need to be thrown out under the respective rooms. Make a list before you start with the process, and then you can keep adding item names as and when you need. You can use digital tools like Spreadsheets or Apps that help you with Task Management in order to maintain a comprehensive list.
4. Stop Accumulating Stuff:
You will most probably know exactly when you are set to move. Stop buying unnecessary things at least a couple of months before you plan to move. For instance, you might buy canned food and toiletries that will last for up to 3 months. Stop doing that and buy stuff that you need right now. This will be super helpful in the long run because it will make your decluttering process less tedious.
5. Crank Up the Pressure:
How many times have you decided to do something and then ended up in procrastination mode for a long time? The best way to get the job done is to set deadlines for yourself. By doing this, you will be able to ensure that the decluttering gets over before a certain date.
How do you declutter before moving: Tips and Advice
1. Assembling the Boxes:
How to make the decluttering simple? Well, find a corner in your house that can be used to stack up the boxes that contain the items that you need to get rid of. While you declutter your home, you need to make a decision regarding what has to be done with the items. Set up 4 boxes and label them as Sell, Donate, Recycle, and Trash. This will simplify your work as you will be able to segregate your objects as you declutter.
Read Also: Guide To Best Cheap Moving Boxes
2. Label it All:
Once you have put your stuff in your boxes, label them properly. You don’t want to end up sending the donation box for trash and the trash items for donation, do you? If you want to have fun during the process, color code the boxes. For instance, the donation boxes could be blue, the Recycle Box could be green, etc. Then, label all your boxes so that you know what exactly has been packed inside each of the boxes. You could put the name of the room and the names of all the objects contained in that box.
3. Hit the Storage Spaces First:
Your storage spaces like the attics and garages are the ones that contain most of the items that you might want to throw out. We assure you that making decisions regarding the objects kept in these places is the easiest. Once you get into the groove, you will also be able to declutter the rest of your house in a flash.
4. Choose Categories Over Rooms:
Going to each room and removing all the objects from that room is generally what everyone follows. But do you want your efficiency train to go faster? You could start decluttering according to categories instead of rooms. Let us explain this using an example.
Consider that you want to throw out some books and newspapers. Ideally, these would be found in the living room. But most of us tend to take them to the bedroom to read before sleeping or after waking up. You might find some old cookbooks in your kitchen. The funniest part is that some people also keep books in their washrooms to read while they go for number two! All that we want to say is, going categorically is better because you are less likely to miss out on an item while decluttering.
5. Mop and Broom to the Rescue!
You will most probably find a lot of dust while you clear out objects that you haven’t used in a long time. You can use decluttering as an excuse to clean out spaces like closets, kitchen cabinets, attics, garages, and so on if you haven’t cleaned them in a long time.
6. Ask for Help:
Why do you want to struggle while making decisions when you can ask someone for help? If you are someone having a hard time choosing items that are to be removed from your home, don’t shy away from asking for help! Ask your parents or a couple of friends to come over and help you out. After all, it is always better to have a fresh pair of eyes and brains when making important decisions!
7. Declutter, Recharge, Repeat:
Remember this, you can’t do everything in one day. Don’t rush through things and end up doing a bad job. Work for a couple of hours and then take a break. Hydrate yourself, eat something, or do anything else that you like. This will give you a physical as well as a mental break. Call it a day when you are tired. Don’t overdo it!
Simple Techniques to Declutter your Home
All we want is to make the decluttering process easy for you. For this, we have listed down a bunch of techniques that can be used by you while decluttering. Read on to know more about the techniques!
1. The Practical Approach:
This is one of the easiest techniques to employ. You just have to pick up an item and ask yourself whether you have used this item in the last year. If you haven’t, then you most probably don’t need it and won’t use it any time soon.
2. One Thing a Day
This technique was devised for those who find it difficult to let go of stuff in a bulk. In this, you have to get rid of one item every day till you declutter your entire house. This approach might not be the ideal one to use before moving unless you start doing this at least a year before you move. However, it certainly is one of the best decluttering techniques.
3. Visit the Flat Surfaces:
Flat surfaces like countertops, tabletops, etc., in your home, are a breeding ground of clutter. You most probably toss things here when you are not in the mood to be tidy. Clear everything and make space on these surfaces. One way you could do this is by clicking a before-after picture.
Click a picture of the surface before you clean it. Then, immediately clear away everything and click a picture of the surface again. The second picture is how you want your flat surfaces to look at all times. You could also take pictures of a variety of locations in your house. For instance, your closet, drawers, and so on. The picture can serve as a reference point whenever you are decluttering your house.
4. The 12-12-12 Rule:
This technique is as simple as its name. You just have to find 12 objects that you want to donate, 12 objects that you want to sell, and 12 items that you want to put into trash/recycling. In this way, you will be able to rid of 36 objects in one go!
5. The Day-by-Day Plan:
Make a schedule and decide what you want to do on each day. In this way, you will be creating deadlines for yourself and you will have to strictly and diligently stick to them. Group the tasks that are similar and get the work done as fast as possible.
6. Using Storage Units:
You might realize that you want to declutter your home but you don’t exactly want to get rid of certain belongings. This is okay as long as you have thought it over and have firmly decided to hold on to these objects. If you need to remove certain items from your home without throwing them away, you could simply rent out a storage unit. This will help you store your stuff out of your house and use it whenever you need it.
Related: Best Storage Unit in America
How to Get Rid of Items?
Say that you are done packing up the items that you want to do away with. What do you do next? As we said before, you could either sell them, donate them, drop them off for recycling or throw them in the trash. Here is how all this works.
1. Selling Stuff Online:
Online portals like Craigslist or eBay let you post pictures of stuff that you might want to sell. All the stuff from your home that is in good condition can be sold online. You simply post information about the item that you want to sell, find a buyer and then finish the transaction.
2. Garage/Yard Sales:
This is one of the best things to do. Not only will you be able to sell your stuff, but you will also be able to meet and catch up with your neighbors and practice your bargaining skills as well. Select a day, choose how to display your objects, and put a price on them. Make sure that everyone knows about your garage/yard sale so that they show up on time and buy stuff.
3. Donate to a Charitable Organization:
Many charitable organizations like Salvation Army and Goodwill will accept your stuff as long as it is either new or in a good condition. Arrange for a donation pick-up or drop off your items by yourselves at the local office of the charitable organization. You should also know that the items that you donate are tax-deductible.
4. Help Out Family Members or Friends:
We know that the cost of living is increasing steadily. Things are becoming more and more expensive and our pockets are becoming emptier by the day. If you have things that are new or are in great condition, consider giving them to your family members or friends. You will be doing them a favor by giving them the things that they might want while simultaneously decluttering your house. Isn’t this a win-win situation?
5. Recycling for the Win:
Most of your household stuff can be recycled. Everything from clothes, paper, glass, metal items, etc., should be sent for recycling instead of being thrown out in the trash. This will ensure that the landfills aren’t getting filled up and the stuff can be used up to its full potential. Find a local recycling center and drop off your items at the center whenever it is convenient for you.
6. Trash It:
If your stuff is completely spoilt, ruined beyond repairs, and isn’t accepted by the recycling center as well, you will have to put it in the trash. The trash removal companies will then take care of these items and dispose of them responsibly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I start decluttering when overwhelmed?
Decluttering can get overwhelming, there is no denying that. First of all, breathe! You got this. You can methodically break down the process so that you don’t get stressed while doing the job. The first thing to do is getting rid of the biggest and the easiest objects to spot. Have some extra chairs and DVD players in the living room? Get rid of them.
Then, pick up one category of objects or one room and create a checklist. Tick off the objects from the checklist as you remove them. You can also divide your room into smaller corners and work on each corner. Once you notice that the work is getting done, you will feel like a load is being lifted off your chest and you will feel better.
How do you minimize when moving?
You should know that moving will cost you a fortune if you are trying to move a lot of objects. In order to downsize your move, you should start getting rid of stuff that you don’t need to carry to your new house. The items that you don’t need can either be sold, donated, recycled, or put into the trash. Your move will automatically get downsized if you get rid of all your unnecessary stuff.