Decluttering Tips Before Moving

Moving is a challenging and tiring process, but decluttering before you go can help you start fresh and take accurate inventory of your possessions. You can take stock of all your belongings by systematically going through each room and sorting out items. This lets you distinguish what you want to keep, discard, or donate. Decluttering before moving reduces the amount of stuff you need to pack and transport and provides a clearer picture of what items you will be bringing into your new home. This can be particularly beneficial in planning how to effectively arrange and utilize your new space. Decluttering will make the rest of the move easy, especially when you use Family Moving & Storage to pack and transport your belongings.

Have a Plan

Before you begin packing, dedicate some time to decluttering. Do not try to do it all in one day; it might be overwhelming. Plan accordingly and give yourself enough time to sort through your belongings. A good rule of thumb is to start decluttering at least a month before your moving date. This way, you can tackle one room at a time and avoid feeling rushed or stressed. Assign yourself one room at each decluttering session, and wait to move on to another until the first is complete to avoid lingering messes. Dedicate a few hours each week so you don’t stress yourself out. Planning ahead is the key to success when it comes to decluttering.

Organize Your Possessions 

Decluttering requires a strategic approach, and sorting and categorizing your belongings is a crucial step in the process. Start by sorting your items into four categories: Keep, Donate, Sell, and Trash. The “Keep” category should include items you foresee using. You can either pack them immediately or neatly put them back when you finish sorting. “Donate” and “Sell” are for items that are still in good condition but no longer useful to you. The “Trash” category is for broken, expired, or unusable items. Try to recycle items like cardboard and plastic to help the environment. This methodical sorting technique makes the process more manageable and provides a visual representation of the volume of possessions you own. Furthermore, it simplifies the packing and unpacking phases of the moving later.

Stay or Go

When going through your items, ask yourself questions to help you decide whether to keep an item. For instance, when was the last time you used it? Does it hold sentimental value? Why do you want to keep it? If you haven’t used an item in a year, chances are you won’t use it in the future. You can apply the one-year rule and remove the item to help you decide what to keep and what to get rid of.

Having a friend or family member assist you in decluttering can be immensely beneficial. Their presence makes the task less cumbersome and often speeds up the process. They can provide an objective viewpoint when you’re unsure about keeping or discarding an item, helping you avoid clinging to unnecessary belongings out of sentiment. Moreover, decluttering with a companion can turn a potentially stressful task into a fun, shared experience. Remember, it’s important to choose someone who can be honest with you and understands your goals for decluttering. Their support and guidance will be invaluable in your moving journey. Just be sure to focus on the decluttering and save catching up together until after!

Getting Stuff Out of the House

If you have many items to sell, consider organizing a garage sale. It’s a great way to get rid of items you no longer need and make some money to offset your moving costs. Advertise your garage sale online and post signs in the neighborhood to attract more customers. Here are some tips for organizing a successful garage sale:

  1. Pricing: Price your items reasonably. Remember, the goal is to get rid of items you no longer need, not to make a huge profit. Consider the condition of each item when setting prices and be open to negotiation. Shoppers will likely want to bargain, so be prepared for this and consider it when setting your initial prices. Be sure to have plenty of small bills and change on hand for customers. You wouldn’t want to lose a sale because you can’t break a larger bill. Consider making Venmo, Cashapp, and Zelle accounts to accept payment virtually. Also, ensure all items have clear price tags. People appreciate knowing the price upfront, which can save a lot of time answering questions.
  1. Display: Display your items in a clear and organized manner. Group similar items together and ensure everything is clean and presented in the best possible condition. Properly displaying your items can significantly impact your garage sale’s success.
  • Elevate Your Items: Use tables and shelves to be easily visible and accessible. Customers are more likely to buy something if they can see it clearly and reach it easily. If you are selling clothes, consider creating a makeshift clothes rack. This allows customers to easily browse the clothing items rather than dig through a pile of clothes. Piles of items scattered about or on top of each other can overwhelm buyers. Ensure all items are clean and dust-free before sale day. Buyers will be more attracted to items that look well cared for. Having your items neatly displayed makes them much more attractive to customers.
  • Use Signage: Use signs to guide your customers to different sale sections. This can be particularly useful if you have many items or different categories of items for sale. For example, you can have separate sections and signs for books, clothes, kitchen appliances, etc. If you have unique or valuable items, place them in a prominent location where they will attract attention.

Remember, a garage sale not only helps declutter before your move but also provides an opportunity to meet your neighbors and have some fun!

Donate to Charity

Donating items can be a great way to declutter your home while positively impacting your community. You can donate various items, such as clothes, furniture, kitchenware, and other household items, to local charities or thrift stores. Some organizations even offer pick-up services for larger items, like furniture. Charitable organizations often distribute donated items to people who cannot afford such necessities. This act of kindness can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Additionally, donating can be environmentally friendly. Instead of discarding items and adding to the landfill, donating gives them a new life, promoting a more sustainable approach to waste. Lastly, giving can instill a sense of satisfaction and happiness. Knowing that your items are being put to good use rather than sitting unused can provide emotional relief, contributing to overall well-being.

Local donation centers can be found in various settings, such as thrift stores, community centers, and religious institutions. A simple online search can provide a list of local donation centers. Websites like can connect you with local charities offering free donation pick-up services. You could also consider local homeless, women’s, and animal shelters for donating items like clothing, household goods, and pet supplies, respectively. Remember to call ahead and check what items the centers accept before you drop off your donations.

Consider Using Self Storage

Some items are hard to let go of, even if you know you won’t need them for a while. If you find yourself in this situation, consider using self-storage. That way, you can store your items temporarily until you figure out what to do with them. Self-storage is especially beneficial when downsizing or moving into a smaller space.

Move-Out Ready

Moving to a new home is an excellent opportunity to declutter and start anew. Following our tips will help you make the decluttering process more manageable and make packing and unpacking easier. Remember to start early, sort and categorize, ask yourself questions, consider using self-storage, and sell or donate items you no longer need or use. Once you’ve decluttered and organized your belongings, Family Moving & Storage can pack your items so you can take a well-deserved break. Decluttering before a move can be cathartic, freeing you from unwanted clutter and creating a fresh, clean start in your new home. So, take your time, stay organized, and prioritize decluttering before you move.

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