How to Declutter Before Your Home or Apartment Before You Move

When it comes to moving, organization is key. Set yourself up for success by decluttering your home prior to moving into a new space. Purging and pitching makes cleaning easier and saves you money during your move since you won’t be moving unnecessary things. Organization not your strong suit? We’ve got you covered. Follow the tips below to help you declutter before moving. (Pro tip: we can help you with storage if need be, too.)

 

Sort Your Belongings by Category (Not by Room)

Rather than sort everything in your bedroom, start by sorting all your clothes. Go through bedroom closets, hallways closets and even those boxes in the basement to make sure you’ve gathered your entire wardrobe. Then, survey what you’ve got and get rid of what you don’t — and truthfully won’t — wear. 

Repeat this process for shoes, books, toys, toiletries, cooking spices and more.

 
Pack & Donate Piles

As you sort your belongings, decide what you want to keep and what you want to donate. Ask yourself these questions to help you determine if it stays or goes:

 

When was the last time I actually used it? 

If you haven’t worn those jeans in the past six months, you might consider donating them, along with that pile of sweatshirts stuffed into a dark closet corner. Trust your instincts and donate items you haven’t used in awhile.

 

Is it worn out and time for a replacement?

Does it have holes? Is the fabric unraveling? Whether it’s linens, towels, clothes or toys, resist the urge to hold onto items that are on their last lifeline. 

 

Is this something that I would buy right now if I saw it in the store?

If the answer is yes, then keep it. If the answer is maybe or no and you’ve hardly used it, it’s time to give it the heave-ho. What we couldn’t live without a year ago might be very different from what we value today, and that’s okay.

 

Do you have more than one of the same item?

While having multiple sets of spatulas, blenders and blankets might seem harmless, are they taking up unnecessary space? Odds are, the answer is yes.

 
Books

What’s your relationship with your books? Whether you’re holding onto college textbooks or children’s books that haven’t been opened in years, take time to evaluate their purpose — if any — in your new home. Library collections are intentionally curated and your personal collection should be treated no differently. Consider these questions to help decide their worth.

  • Will I read this book again?
  • Am I keeping this book because it has sentimental value? 
  • Does this book add value or meaning to my life?
  • Could someone else benefit from this book?
 
Tackle Your Storage

Your attic, garage and basement are probably full of things you don’t really need. From old moving boxes to bins that haven’t been opened in ages, chances are you’re holding onto things you’ve forgotten about. Sort through holiday boxes, get rid of worn out suitcases and discard random items that you tossed in storage because you couldn’t figure out where they belonged in the first place.

 

All told, a good pre-move decluttering will enhance daily life in your new digs. By getting rid of unused items, you eliminate allergens, dust and straight-up junk, while freeing up space for things you actually need. And since moving is already hectic, we recommend decluttering in the weeks before you start packing. The result? You’ll pack more efficiently because you’ve already identified keepers and weeded out things you want to donate or sell.

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