You’re moving out of your old house or apartment and heading to a new location which means it’s time to pack up your belongings! As you gather your boxes and go through each room, you begin to realize you’ve collected a lot more junk than you imaged throughout the years. You’re about to get a fresh start in a new home, so you wonder whether you really want to haul all that excess stuff with you as you transition. Do you really need to keep those pieces of clothes hanging at the far end of your closet that you haven’t even considered wearing in months? Will that old hand-me-down couch collecting dust in the basement really have a purpose in your new place? Decluttering will be beneficial in saving you time and money, maybe even make you money, during your moving process. Kill two birds with one stone with these tips on how to declutter as you pack for a time-saving, cost-effective move.
1. Declutter Room By Room
Don’t create more of a mess for yourself by jumping around from one room to next. Taking on the task of packing your house for a move is best done by finishing one room before moving on to another. Doing so will keep you organized and can also help in decluttering in categories by keeping similar items together. Each room will come with its own pile of stuff that needs to be decluttered. Start big and get the room you know is a clutter jungle out of the way from the get-go or begin with the room you know will take longest. For many, this might be the basement, garage or kitchen. To get the process moving, it’s smart to set a goal or plan a time limit for yourself to get each room packed and decluttered, so that you don’t let the mess overwhelm you. Set aside a week or two for decluttering larger projects like the garage or living room, three days to a week for bedrooms, and one to three days for smaller rooms such as bathrooms and closets.
2. Pack, Sell, Donate
Another tip to keep as you maneuver from room to room is to use a three-box method. One box should be packed with things you’ll be keeping and taking to your new residence or putting in storage, the second should be designated for the items you decide you want to sell, and the third should be for old belongings you’d like to donate or throw away. Having these designated boxes in front of you as you pack will make it easier for you to decide on the spot whether things are worth keeping or getting rid of. Some things to consider for items that are going in the pack box are how recently the item was purchased, its value and worth to you, if you have duplicates, and how much use it’s gotten in the last year you’ve had it. Answering these questions will put into perspective exactly how useful or not an item will be for you in your new home. When deciding on things to either sell, donate or throw away, you should think about whether it functions if it’s a toy or electronic, the amount of damage or wear to the item and if it’s repairable, and whether it’s anything of value such as collector’s items or jewelry. With this three-box method, you’ll be on your way to taping up those packed boxes, setting up a garage sale with the sell boxes, and driving the donate boxes to a local charity organization.
3. Commit to Letting Go
Some things, like that rickety, stained office chair, are easy to say goodbye to. Then there are other possessions that are heart-wrenching to part ways with. We understand some belongings hold sentimental value which are fine to hold on to, especially items such as gifts from loved ones and family heirlooms. However, when you’re torn about material things such as clothing, electronics or décor, you risk taking unneeded clutter with you as you move. To prevent this from happening, you must commit to letting go and tell yourself it’s simply just stuff. Mentally prepare yourself to make those tough decisions, and if you find you’re struggling with deciding on a particular item, sleep on it and come back to it the following day. The three-box method gives you options with those items you find challenging to let go of. Knowing that they’ll be going to a new home and getting use from a new family might ease your mind about having decluttered them.
Your move is the beginning of a new chapter in your life and it shouldn’t start with your old, unnecessary clutter. Though it may be difficult to let go of some of your belongings, following these tips will help in the decluttering and packing process. Once you’re settled in your new home with a lightened load, you’ll be glad you made the decision to declutter.