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How to Declutter Before Moving

Want to save money on moving costs? Instead of stuffing your dreaded clutter in a box, sort through it, donate it or get rid of it! Moving is prime time to start fresh. Farewell, business suits you haven’t worn since the previous decade! So long, Aunt Gertie’s salmon-colored sofa you just couldn’t refuse! Certified professional organizer Heidi Solomon explains how to simplify the decluttering before moving process.

  • Plan the decluttering.
    Moving is emotional, and you don’t want to make snap decisions about treasured items. Solomon recommends starting the de-cluttering process three months before moving.
  • Evaluate items.
    If you haven’t used an item in a year, chances are you’ll never use it again, unless it’s a special-occasion item or a keepsake.
  • Envision your new home.
    How big is your new home? What’s the layout? Design? The storage capacity? Consider these things before diving in.
  • Schedule decluttering.
    Carve out time for clutter, just like you would a doctor’s appointment or a massage. Set aside time each week so it turns into a habit just like any other. You shouldn’t do it in a day.
  • Chunk it.
    Instead of opening a closet and staring at the mess in an overwhelmed haze, work in terms of rooms and then targeted categories: clothes in the bedroom, old sports equipment in the basement and so forth.
  • Consolidate it.
    Keep important documents like mortgage paperwork and moving information in one, devoted drawer. Solomon has seen many clients accidentally file checkbooks and keys.
  • Sell Unwanted Items.
    Leave more than a month for eliminating items that require care, such as electronics, furniture or tech gadgets. Many electronics stores will dispose of used items and some towns will pick up items like televisions.
  • Outsource decluttering.
    If you’re having a difficult time sorting through sentimental objects, bring in a professional or a friend and put strict time parameters around the process. Set aside an hour or two, then give yourself a break.
  • Memorialize it.
    Agonizing over sentimental items can stall a declluttering process. Store keepsakes or heirlooms in a special container or a box, and then set it aside.
  • Donate unwanted items.
    If you simply don’t have room, donate unwanted items to a charity that you truly care about. You’ll feel better knowing that your beloved items are going to a worthy home.