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Moving houses must be on everyone’s list of the least exciting things people have to do. But shouldn’t it be fun? Like, why wouldn’t you be excited about starting afresh?

Oh, it is the hustle involved in the whole relocating thing that makes it dreadful. Luckily, there’s a way you can avoid the stress. Start by decluttering in advance.

Clearing your house of any non-essential item before you move alleviates the stress and can even save you some change.

The Significance of Decluttering

The moment you decide to relocate to another place, be it two blocks away, or the farthest place in the globe, you’ll realise just how much clutter can hold you back.

The more stuff you take with you from your old place, the greater the bother involved. It not only inhibits packing up and leaving sooner, but also eats up your time and drains the energy out of you.

However, when you cut on the junk before moving, you will be able to pack up easily and head out to reclaim your new home and life.

Benefits of Decluttering Before You Move

Moving is stressful and decluttering is the best thing you can do to make the move easier for you. It saves time and you can even make some money by selling items that you don’t need. Here are other reasons why you should declutter before moving.

Relaxing Atmosphere

There’s no denying that when your home is full of non-essentials, you feel overwhelmed. What do you expect when items surrounding you suck the glamour and choke the life out of your space?

Having lots of unimportant items around makes your house appear too busy and anxious. But when you take your time and do away with unnecessary things, you relieve the tension involved in moving. You also get a sense of relief in finishing a task everyone hates doing.

Less Stress

When you have fewer items to move, there’s less to keep track of, clean, and organise. For this reason, you’ll reduce your stress levels.

Plus, getting your items in order and deciding what to keep and release reinforces your values and helps bring some form of closure.

Reduced Expenses

Although movers offer friendly rates, you can mess it up if you have excess items to move. The reason is that the amount of money charged by the movers usually depends on the total weight or the volume of items needed to be loaded in the moving truck.

Therefore, if you pack less, you’ll have less to move, and less to spend.

Increased Productivity

When you dejunk, you get a feeling of having control over your life. You get to make crucial decisions about what matters and what doesn’t. It also offers the opportunity to dedicate time and space to organise supplies, tidy up, and do away with unimportant items.

Below are decluttering tips to help you before moving

1. Pull Together A Schedule

A schedule is essential when it comes to decluttering. It helps to save time and makes the process more efficient. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to use a huge chunk of your time.

  • Start 5 minutes at a time
  • While it is tempting to leave everything until the last minute, don’t!

    To avoid going through the relocating hell, try to dejunk your home five minutes at a time. Although it won’t make so much of a dent in your pile, five minutes each day will help you gain momentum. Before you know it, you’d have cleared the entire place.

  • Schedule on a weekend
  • Friday is here – purge up already! Don’t wait for Saturday or Sunday because they are closer to Monday!

    Organising is doable on the weekend because it is the time when you are free and available. You might even get helping hands.

  • Create a 30-day list
  • Tackling any project that you stumble on without a plan is a recipe for chaos. Instead, make a 30-day house detox plan and target as many items as you can.

    This plan will help you make out the areas that need extra attention. Apart from that, you’ll be able to create some catch-up days into the list for places that need more of your attention.

  • Commit to a routine
  • Do you want to make the declutter habit stick? Follow a dejunking blueprint. To build a routine, make the 5-minute baby steps and the 30-day list until you turn the habit into a routine. This helps you keep everything neat and tidy in your new home.

2. Sort Every Paper

It’s very easy to lose essential documents when you are moving, that’s why it’s good to sort every paper you have. This process will also allow you to dispose of any papers you don’t need.

After all, we’re all guilty of saving receipts.

  • Designate a spot for incoming papers
  • With the daily influx of bills, school or work documents, and mails, you can find old papers on top of your new papers. Thankfully, you can banish the paper-pile by creating a designated spot for incoming papers.

    For instance, you can get desktop organisers and label them depending on what paper goes where. It’ll help you focus only on the documents you need to address. This, in turn, gives you an idea on any subscriptions you no longer need.

  • Set up folders
  • Designating spots for your papers is not always enough. The reason is, you can spend too much time looking for that one bill at a time in a single pile of papers.

    To avoid confusion, purchase folders, set them up, label them, and colour-code for you to be aware of where each paper is. This halves your time rummaging through your desk.

  • Use the filing system regularly
  • Set up a filing system to help keep track of the crucial papers you must have. You can sort your documents and organise them in a file to make them retrievable. However, make it a habit to file any crucial paper that comes in instead of dumping it onto the desk or shelf.

    Categorise them any way that makes sense to you. File everything related to mortgage, utilities, medical records, and school or work. Or set up a filing system for each person in your house. Not only are you clearing up your paperwork, you’ll gain insight on any change of address you need to take care of.

    Learn How To Make Your Move Smoother With Our Change Of Address Checklist

3. Clear Up Space

Clearing up space is a must when decluttering. This process allows you to keep the rooms tidy and also gives you a chance to choose what to keep and what to throw away. A common mistake homeowners make is cluttering up the entire household with boxes, tape, and garbage bags. While this would be expected, there’s still a way to declutter without the stress of things lying around.

Below are some of the things you can do to clear up space.

  • Create a starting zone
  • When dejunking, pick a starting zone, and avoid going from one room to another. Don’t move to another spot until it becomes a junk-free zone. This involves clearing up the space after you’re done sorting out.

    Now, you can expand to other zones until you haul away the not-so-important materials from the whole house. Do this every downsizing time.

  • Clear off a counter
  • Items you rarely use have no place on your counter. You have to be selective and decide which one goes and what remains.

    And if you find the microwave or toaster worthy, find a convenient spot where they can continue serving you until you move. If the counter is clean and everything is at its place, move to the next area.

  • Pick a shelf
  • Any cluttered shelf can be an eyesore. But now that you were successful with the counter, you must have enough knowledge on how to decide on the ‘shelf-able’ objects.

    You don’t have to do the whole shelf in a single go. You can clear level by level until you only have essential items and mementos to pack.

  • Visualise the room
  • Clutter shouldn’t be ugly to look at. You should take time and look around the room. After scanning, you can now visualise what needs sorting and what’s okay to leave as is. It’ll help you decide what you want to sort away.

4. Shape Up The Bedroom

The bedroom can be messy if things are not where they are supposed to be. And at some point, you’ll realise you have too much clothing or you can do away with half of them. But how do you declutter?

  • Pull out clothes you don’t use anymore
  • Are you still not sure where to start? Well, the closet will be a great idea.

    However, you should come in ready because decluttering your old and unworn clothes hold no pleasantries. Begin by taking everything out and then return only those that you’ll need in your next phase.


  • Get rid of socks with no pairs
  • Don’t keep a sock without a family. Do away with those without mates and accept you won’t find them lying around somewhere. You can also purge worn-out pairs or those that no longer fit.

5. Unclutter The Office

Offices, too, can be full of things you don’t need or no longer use. In order to keep your office tidy, here are some of the things you can do.

  • Donate books you can live without
  • If every book in your office is competing for your attention, decide to only keep books you must have. After you evaluate what remains and what goes, consider donating the ones you can live without.

    And, if you no longer need a book because the ebook version makes reading easier for you, there’s no need to keep it. Give it out to people who’ll need them more.

  • Secure cords and cables
  • Admit it: you have boxes of cables, cords, and chargers you don’t use, and might never use again. You may think they might be useful someday. And I’m telling you, you won’t. With our advancement in technology, it’s always out with the old and in with the new.

    Now your cords and cables are in tangles, and their purposes are lost to history, which means you should let go. You can recycle, donate, or sell them for money!

6. Organise The Kitchen

Buying kitchenware is fun but it can be a headache when you are preparing to move and the kitchen is full of unnecessary items. Below are some of the steps you can follow to ensure your kitchen is organised.

  • Ditch duplicate utensils
  • You don’t need to have back-ups for things that may never require back-ups. For this reason, ditch duplicates because you only require one or two of the items.

  • Get rid of stuff unused for a year
  • If you have items that do nothing but gather rust and dust, it means you don’t really need them. Go ahead and weed them out and donate them to people that might appreciate them. And yes, even the cookie cutter needs to go.

  • Clear the junk drawer
  • Every household has that one specific drawer where we dump everything. From plastics to screws, and even batteries- we’re all guilty of having one. If you’re brave enough you can empty the drawer straight into a garbage bag. If not, try to organise and see which items are useful to you.

7. Clear Up The Bathroom

Bathrooms can easily be forgotten but they can also have unwanted items. Here are some of the things you can do to clear them up.

  • Clear out the medicine cabinet
  • The most forgettable place in the bathroom is the drug cabinet. No lie, it’s keeping stocks of dosages you forgot to finish and are no longer useful. Purge out those drugs, and marvel at the beauty of a spacious cabinet.

  • Toss expired products
  • Your bathroom could be drowning in expired toiletries. To be safe and free, only keep the products you use frequently and toss out the rotten junk.

8. Straighten Up The Living Room

The living room is one of the most essential rooms in your house and this is why it deserves special attention. Below are effective ways of decluttering your living room.

  • Clear the coffee table
  • The coffee table is the bed of the living room. For this reason, you shouldn’t have newspapers, remotes, coffee books, and unnecessary décor items robbing the space of your living room.

  • Don’t go overboard with pillows
  • The displeasure of sitting onto a couch full of throw pillows! Honestly, piling up pillows on the couches and floor can overwhelm instead of bringing the relaxing effect. A clean look should do the trick. Get rid of throw pillows you don’t use and donate the rest.

Tidy Up with Your Family

Working together as a family strengthens your bond so why not kill two birds with one stone? Here is how you can tidy up with your family.

  • Teach your kids where things belong
  • To prevent tripping over homework and wheels from broken toy-cars, get your kids into decluttering. They should give everything they have a home. For instance, spare organising labelled boxes for them to keep in the various items they have.

  • Create a landing station
  • Decluttering with your family can be a nightmare. To help elevate everyone’s stress, create a landing station. This means having a designated spot for the whole household. And if you’re a large family, separate stations for donation and junk.

  • Pick up 5 things and find places for them
  • If things are lying all over, ask the kids to pick their battles, and find places for them. To ease them into decluttering, ask them to pick up 5 items and find them a home. If they can’t find a designated place, put it in your designated landing station.

    Not only are you engaging them in decluttering, it also lessens the time you need to spend doing these by yourself.

  • Create a maybe box
  • For items that you don’t have a home for or can’t decide whether to keep or dispose of, place them in the maybe box. Store the box away for awhile and pull it out later to see if you still need to keep them.

  • Separate one box for donation
  • Your trash could be a treasure for another person. Therefore, keep a donation box where your family can stash in items they no longer require. You can give them to the less fortunate by taking them to charity organisations, churches, or nearby community centres instead of tossing them away.

  • Take before and after photos
  • Do you lack the motivation to declutter? Take photos of your home before dejunking. Then aspire to make it outstanding. And, after you go through the junk successfully, take an after photo. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ve accomplished and how much you’ve hoarded through the years.

Everything Needs A Home

Get rid of non-essential material in your house and watch your world get smoother and peaceful. While at it, ensure that everything you decide to keep is essential. You must find a place for each one of the items you decide to keep. And if it doesn’t fit, then you’ve fished out junk just to keep it again!

Decluttering is easy and fun when you are helping with another person’s clutter. There’s no such excitement, however, in tackling your mess. But still, clutter has to go!



Decluttering is just the start.
Check out our post on 6 Reasons You Should Donate Clothes Before Moving.