How to Declutter Before a Move


How to Declutter Before a Move

Remember the last time you moved, and you swore to yourself that you’d be better prepared next time? Well “next time” is here, and this post will save you from feeling totally overwhelmed and ready to quit before you even start. In fact, we’re going to show you how to make this move your best, easiest, and maybe even cheapest move yet! How, you ask? By showing you how to declutter!

And when we say “declutter,” we don’t mean throwing things out as you pack to move. We mean intentionally getting rid of the unnecessary stuff ASAP.

(Seriously! Think of all the boxes you can avoid packing!)

If you aren’t yet convinced on why decluttering before you move or even pack is quite that important, we’ll tell you all about it here. OK, so now you’re ready to get to clearing out the unnecessary, right? Perfect!


Here are 7 tips for effectively decluttering before you move.


  1. Start early. Like, right now. You pretty much can’t declutter too soon, especially if you’ve never done it before, or it isn’t a regular habit for you (yet). The key is making this one of the first things on your moving to-do list. To declutter well and without the stress of a moving deadline looming, start it before it’s time to pack.
  2. Start small. With any big challenge, it’s helpful to break it into smaller, more manageable parts. The same is true for decluttering. Instead of burning yourself out by trying to go through everything in your home in one day, start with a linen closet or even a drawer and expand from there. You’ll feel more accomplished when you can check each space off your list. A bonus is that your home won’t look like it’s torn apart as you go.
  3. Ask the right questions. A question as simple as, “Do I want/need this?” suddenly feels complicated when you ask it about every item you own. A better question is “Do I want to pack and move this then find it a home in my new home? Is it worth the effort?” Or think about how what kind of energy and feelings you have when you think of that item. Do you want to bring that energy into your new home?
  4. Set the parameters. Create piles of items that are trash, donations, recyclable, sellable and to keep. Know what will go in each and how you will decide. Anything that is broken or unusable needs to go into the trash or be recycled — not stay in your house. If clothing is stained, ripped or worn out, trash it (unless you know of a clothing recycler) but do not donate it.Decide where you will draw the line on items and clothing that you will get rid of. A good rule of thumb for clothing is that if it’s been over a year since you’ve worn it, it should go. This way you know you’ve had the opportunity to wear items that span all the seasons.
  5. Decide what will go where. For items that you will donate, recycle or sell, determine how you’ll go about accomplishing each. Your city recycling center may not take many electronics, but stores like Staples and Best Buy For donations, find a local donation center for clothing and other items like Goodwill. For things that you want to make money on, put a call out to friends on Facebook or list it on Facebook Marketplace. You should also consider selling on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, or clothing resellers like Thread Up. Plus, don’t forget the good ’ol-fashioned garage sale!
  6. Know your weaknesses — and enlist help. If you’re a sucker for the sentimental (no judgment here!), you might be tempted to keep things that, somewhere deep down, you know need to go. That giant teddy bear from your first boyfriend? A sophisticated kitchen appliance you got as a wedding gift five years ago — and still never used? Get help from that ruthlessly pragmatic friend or a professional organizer who can help you rationally decide what should stay and go.
  7. Yes, food should be part of the process. Spices and pantry items are easy to overlook when you declutter, but it’s smart to include them. You might find items that you totally forgot about and have long-since expired. Toss them. For food and ingredients that are almost past their prime, make it a point to cook with those items before you move. This is also a good time to take inventory of perishables that you wouldn’t take with you and make a plan to use them up before you move too.


Now that you’re taking the first steps to simplifying your move, contact Binefit Storage and Moving today at 313-312-9815 to see how we can help you keep the momentum going as the moving date approaches.

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