The time has come to move or stage your home, and as you look around, you are overwhelmed by how much you’ve accumulated. Is it better to declutter now or just throw everything in boxes and sort when you get to the new location?
Provided you have enough time in your packing schedule to sort through your things, you will find that the moving process is made much easier when you declutter first.
Since getting rid of your things right before a move will likely mean making extra trips, get started now! You may want to ask friends or relatives if they want to go through your things before you donate them, hold a garage sale, or make trips to drop off donations. Starting early will reduce the stress and rush of waiting until it’s time to move to declutter.
Look for Signs You Should Let Go
As you accumulate items from sales, birthdays, holidays, and more, it’s easy to start drowning in the stuff. We often bring in a lot without even realizing it, but we rarely think to discard it, give it away, or sell it. Here are some easy signs for you to look for first:
• It’s Stayed in the Box: If you’ve had something in storage for over a year and it’s not a small collection of your most valued sentimental keepsakes, then when will you actually need it again? Chances are, if you’ve forgotten about it in the last year (through every holiday and season), then you won’t need it next year, or the next.
• It’s Just Not Me: People give us gifts all the time and we feel a strange obligation to keep them. If you’ve been given a gift that you just haven’t used, pass it along and don’t let it clutter your home any longer!
• I’ll Probably Need This . . . Someday: Okay, so we all have those things that just don’t really fit, aren’t our style, or we just (for whatever reason) haven’t gotten around to wearing or using. Ditch them. We change our tastes, size, and needs as we go, and that’s fine, but don’t hold on to something in the process and think you will come back to it.
• It’s Getting Old: Expired food or medicine? Yep, look for these prime items and throw them out—they won’t be any good to anyone now. Got extra canned goods or nonperishable items? These are often bulky and heavy to pack, so hand them over to a local food pantry and don’t include them in your move. This also includes burning or shredding paperwork that is more than seven years old and no longer needed for legal reasons.
• I Won’t Read It Again: Really clear out books and magazines; they are very heavy and will add to your load quickly. The ones you are willing to part with or won’t read again can be donated to a local daycare, after-school center, or library to give back to the community.
• But, It Was Such a Good Idea: Those projects we start are real space suckers. We plan on sewing, scrapbooking, building, or refinishing, and if it hasn’t happened, then now is really the time to let go.
Break Down the Process
Think of clearing out like a scavenger hunt. Take a box and fill it completely with things you don’t need that can go to the same place (the food kitchen, a friend’s house, etc.). Repeat until you don’t believe you have anything left that you don’t use, need, or love.
Next, begin to pack boxes of the things you are keeping and label them clearly. Mark the room you want them put in after the move and a very basic list of what’s inside, in case you need something as soon as you get there (books, lights, kitchen utensils, etc.). Keep a box ready for more items you realize you don’t need as you go, because there are bound to be stragglers.
Take your items to their designated new homes or hold a moving sale (especially if you have large items that could accumulate value quickly). Items can be taken to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, given to friends, or dropped off at a local community shelter or community center.
Now, you are pared down, boxes are labeled, and you are ready for a less-stressful move! Congratulations! Now all you have to do is call us at Midwest Moving to schedule your move.