Whether you're building a smaller footprint or adding
much-needed space, it's probably safe to say you have some clutter that needs
to be addressed before you can move. According to the National Association of Professional
Organizers, more than half of Americans are overwhelmed by the amount of
clutter they have. So,
if you feel like the piles of files and of closets of clutter are out of
control, know that you're not alone. (And keep reading!)
same study shows that 61% of Americans believe moving is the best
opportunity to declutter their home. That means you can consider this move
and this moment as a gift. Use this time to let go of the things that aren't
serving you, simplify your life, and get a proper fresh start.
on ultra-practical terms, decluttering means you won't waste time packing
useless things. You'll use fewer moving boxes, take up less space on the truck,
and require less time unpacking on the other side.
All About Timing
you'd start the decluttering process as soon as you know you'll be moving. It's
a lot less stressful to be able to take your time in each room. You'll also be
able to make better decisions about your things. Otherwise, you could end up
throwing everything in a box to take to your new house simply because you ran out
the very least, start a few weeks before the move and methodically work your
way through the house. We'll talk details in a moment. For now, here's a list
of supplies you might find helpful.
- Timer or
- Heavy Duty Trash
- Moving Boxes
- Packing Paper
- Labels &
- Empty Bins/Bags
- Paper Shredder
Step by Step
When you break
things down into smaller tasks, it's easier to stay motivated and keep from
feeling overwhelmed. With that in mind, here are four steps to help you clear
the clutter and move into your new home feeling lighter and more organized.
Start with small
spaces or rooms before you take on huge projects like the garage or attic.
You'll eventually need to clear these areas, but it's good to get a few easy
and early "wins" under your belt. So, choose a reasonably small clutter hotspot
in your home and move along to Step 2.
Decide how long you're going to give yourself to declutter
the space. Smaller areas should take 30 min or less. When you're ready, set the
timer and get to work.
Pick up one thing at a time and use the "one-touch" rule,
meaning you only touch it once. Immediately sort the item into three piles:
trash, keep, and take action. (Take action consists of items you plan to sell
or donate. If you're sorting paper, these are things you need to handle in some
way, like paying a bill or shredding.)
Start with the easy stuff you know you're going to keep
or get rid of before deciding on the more sentimental items. As you sort, put everything
into labeled containers or bags.
🌟 Pro tip: Considering this process precedes a move, have moving
boxes on hand. Put as many "keepers" as you can directly into a box. That way,
you're starting to pack as you sort. Use packing paper, tape, and labels as
needed during this step.
Once everything is sorted, here's a checklist to divvy up
your piles. If you can't do everything in one day, give yourself a hard
deadline for each task:
- Take out the trash.
- Make plans for your donation items.
- Take pictures of anything you plan to sell and post them
- Handle any paperwork (shred if needed).
- Store your moving boxes in the garage or somewhere out of
tip: If your "keep" pile is significantly larger than your
donation/sell pile, it might be time to have an honest conversation with
yourself. Here are five helpful questions to ask:
- Why am I keeping
- When was the
last time I used it?
- Do I already
have something similar?
- Can I buy
another one later if I find that I truly need one?
- Would someone
else benefit from this more than me?
It might also
help to make a list of local charities, family
members, neighbors, or others you know in your community who could use some of
your excess stuff. When you think of people in your life that could put
something to good use that is simply taking up space in your current home, it
can be easier to let go.
Now that you've mastered smaller spaces keep going! Go
through each room, closet by closet, using the method of touching once,
sorting, and taking action with each pile. Keep in mind your goal is to lighten
your load, so be discerning as you go along.
you've decluttered every room, feel free to keep making piles as you pack. You
may change your mind about certain things or find items along the way that you decide
you don't want to take with you after all.
these tips are helpful as you prepare for the exciting adventure of moving. For
more moving and packing advice, follow our Pinterest account. If you're still in the market for that perfect new spot
to call home, we'd love to help you build a life you'll love.