If you’ve lived in a house for years, it’s likely you’ve accumulated lots of memories. It’s only proper to honour the memories before moving to the next phase of your life.
There’s no better way to go about it than decluttering. Yes, doing away with the stock of clothes you no longer require. It’s even better if you donate the piles to charity before you move.
After that, you’ll discover that you’ve not only been making a mark but also easing your relocation. What a way to say goodbye!
Importance of Decluttering
If you’ve ever come across any reliable moving checklist, you’ll discover that packing for a move is crucial. And yes, nothing beats starting the packing process as early as possible.
While you’re at it, however, there’s one vital task you should do even before buying moving boxes. The must-do task is decluttering before you move houses.
Do you know what makes little sense? – Moving a glutted drawer or wardrobe that’s jammed with items you had forgotten even existed. Unless you’re a pathological hoarder who needs help, it’s not worth it at all!
As tempting as it might be to throw everything in boxes and leave it to the hired movers to save packing time – try the satisfaction that downsizing offers.
And to be honest, dejunking for a move is nothing close to your typical clutter-free cleaning weekend.
But why is letting go of non-essentials hard? Blame it on a few well-woven excuses.
Why We Can’t Let Go
We’re all guilty of hoarding at one point, but there’s an underlying reason why we can’t let go of our possessions.
Decluttering sounds like a good idea until you hold your most valuable possessions in your hands. Although you might not have used it for a while now, the guilt of tossing away something you worked hard to get can be consuming.
Unsurprisingly, it’s not so pleasant to think about how much high-quality accessories, costly tools, and gifts cost. Whatever the item, it’s inevitable to feel a pinch of guilt when decluttering.
And if you pay attention to this voice of reason, you’ll get tempted to keep items you’ll never use. Reason? Their monetary value.
However, if you understand that the item might not have the same dollar value at the moment, you’ll learn that the price does not befit the calmness and satisfaction you get after you dispose of it.
One common stumbling block to purging a closet is our fluctuations in weight. We all have that one shirt we can’t toss out because someday it might fit again. Sound familiar?
Change in weight can make you purchase new items- whenever you come across a clothing that seems to work best for you.
Unfortunately, this uncertainty can push you to keep the clothes you’d rather get rid of now. There’s a tendency to hold on to it just in case it becomes difficult to decide what to wear.
You can, however, choose to keep what fits now. You’ll find you’re eager to dress up in the morning knowing that your closet holds clothes that fit you instead of rummaging around.
Everyone has that one item they keep for a specific occasion. Who doesn’t have Sunday bests and dinner dresses awaiting the next invitation? Or a suit tucked in the corner of their closet saving them for the next party?
Unfortunately, hanging onto an item of clothing can make weeding out the closet hard when times demand so.
There’s a solution to this problem- adopt versatility in your dressing. For instance, find a few “fit-all-occasions” pieces you can wear in your everyday hustle and even in the special functions.
Another thing that hinders letting go of items is trying to make an item available whenever you might want it. What allows this to happen is the “what if” and “keeping this just in case” scenarios you replay in your head whenever you’re arranging your closet or furniture.
And in most cases, you don’t need as much as you think. For instance, you don’t need two sets of pots and pans if you always eat out. Or keeping your first born’s baby clothes for your future grandchildren.
Chances are, you won’t use these and they’re only accumulating dust. Take a look around the room and check whether you’ve used them in the past months.
If only human beings weren’t such sentimental creatures! Decluttering would come easy for all of us then. Sadly, people struggle with letting go of non-essential items because they think it’s too soon to get over the memories the items represent.
Are you also struggling with holding onto materials for nostalgia’s sake? If yes, then select only what is remarkably dear to you and find a purpose for the others. For instance, you can transform them into valuable crafty items.
Apart from that, take a photo and store it in your gallery. Better yet, honour the memory by giving it to someone who needs it the most.
4 Signs You Should Declutter
At times we don’t know it ourselves when it’s time to let go of items. But there are little signs out there and if you don’t know where to start, then this may just be the guide for you.
1. You Haven’t Worn It In A Year
To be honest, even the full-fledged minimalist has a problem with decluttering their homes – especially clothes. No one buys clothes planning to toss them away someday.
However, there reaches a time when the situation speaks for itself. For instance, the clothes you haven’t worn for a while now scream one thing- space! If you want to know that it has been long since you donned it, check for the musty smell it bears.
It is only prudent to get rid of the clothes you haven’t worn for a year, chances are you won’t wear them in the future.
2. It No Longer Fits Your Style Or You
Although decluttering is easier said than done, it’ll be easier done if you discover that an item no longer represents the person you’ve become in recent days.
The reason is styles and preferences change with significance, circumstances, or the shifts in the phases of life. For this reason, there’s no reason to hold on to materials that no longer resonate with your current stage of life.
This also applies to items in your home. Say you’ve switched to drip coffee, there’s no reason holding on to your coffee maker if no one else in the household is using it.
Do the honour of creating space for the new you into your life by releasing the old.
3. The Trend Has Passed
Clothing styles are forever transforming and evolving. For this reason, be mindful lest you put on something that makes you look like you’ve walked out of a theme party.
Take a look at your closet. Several of your clothes lie in your wardrobe because you’ve not confronted the fact that the piece of cloth no longer fits in the current trend. If it’s an item you wouldn’t want to be caught dead in, toss it out.
And that applies to home trends too. Furniture and design fads pop up, fizzle out, or resurface in later years. We’re talking about the Eames chairs back in 2009, the modern farmhouse of 2013, and the industrial shelves of 2017.
If you look at your home with a trip down the memory lane, it’s a sign you need to let go.
4. It’s Uncomfortable
If you are running out of hangers and shelf space, it is because you are keeping several ill clothes. Now might be the time to distil your wardrobe. They include items that are too tight, scratches, or cause itching.
There’s no need to suffer in fashion. Furthermore, such pieces can make you look unattractive and frumpy. Don’t hold onto an item of clothing that makes you feel uncomfortable physically and emotionally.
That goes the same for couches, face towels, or other items in your household that discomforts you or your family
Although you have the option of tossing them out, donating them to individuals that need it is a far better option.
Below are some of the reasons you should donate your items instead of throwing them away.
Make Your Move Less Expensive
Moving companies charge depending on the hours they take to pack and transport your items, or the weight of your items. So, by decluttering, you’ll move less stuff and save on the expenses on weight and time.
Lesser Time To Unpack
Unpacking costs as much effort as packing. Fewer items means less time to unpack. You don’t want to end up unpacking your stuff only to realise you have nowhere to place them or you don’t have the need for them.
Purging Clutter and Starting Anew
If organising isn’t innate in you, take a shot at dejunking. The intention is donating your non-essentials. It offers safe passage to new beginnings and more space wherever you relocate to.
Save Money on Storage Units
Gifting your materials can help prevent the need to rent up space in storage units to keep your excess clothes. Although the spaces are inexpensive, they are additional expenses that’s possible to avoid. Though the monthly rent may seem trivial, the accumulating amount could have been put to better use.
Help a Good Cause
Choosing to donate your excesses to the less fortunate is better over tossing them away. The reason is, you’ll be contributing towards a good cause by being able to put a smile on someone who has less to smile for. Not only that but you can rest easy knowing that it will be under a new home serving its purpose instead of sitting on a shelf and earning dust.
How To Start Decluttering
Unknown to many undertaking decluttering can be time consuming and exhausting if you’re everywhere.
Dejunking takes time. Therefore, if you’re doing it by yourself, ensure that you give yourself plenty of time to do the task before your due moving date.
The reason for the early preparation is that you need enough time to scour through your items and decide the ones you want to give away.
Unfortunately, sorting through all of your stuff can’t be done in a day. But with lots of time on your hands, you’ll have enough packing time and more time to focus on what-next for your new home.
Prepare Boxes On Hand
When you start dejunking, items you didn’t know you owned suddenly surround you. The chances are that more will surface the closer you keep looking.
You should, therefore, remain expectant of such a scenario. By expecting – it means you should gather supplies like moving boxes or trash bags. Keep them on standby in case there are items you need to discard.
Having supplies ready gives you more time to focus on the task at hand. This is also handy as you don’t want to have items pile up in corners or staircases as you go through items.
Create A “Keep,” “Toss,” And “Donate” Pile
After you’ve waded through the items in your home, you can proceed to sorting your belongings. If you’re unsure which goes where, try having three piles.
This part should be the most enjoyable of them all. You can even do it with music in the background. The reason is that by this time, you will be well-acquainted with your pieces.
Ensure that you go through every piece and separate them in piles of four: keep, toss, donate, and sell. Sectioning will help the charity organisations to know where each item goes.
Dejunking has to start from a place of making informed decisions. The decisions should provide an insight into the things to keep and those that you no longer require.
Keep in mind that any cloth you didn’t don in the past year needs to get out, no matter how tempting it gets to keep some. The same goes for your household items.
Be discerning with items you want to keep. Know that while items may hold sentimental value, it doesn’t mean you need to keep all of them.
Where Can You Donate Your Belongings?
Congratulations on reaching here! You just beat the sentimental syndrome. And now, the next part is finding recipients for your items.
No doubt, trying to find the recipients on your own will bring you close to tossing off the times. You can avoid the hustle by checking into the websites that connect you with organisations that handle donations. A perfect example of such a site is Charity Bins.
Or, you can check into the donation centres around your community. It could be your place of worship or the local community centre. Most importantly, remember to pick your donation receipt.
Ready For The Move?
After decluttering, you’ll be surprised how light you feel and how you should’ve done it sooner. You’re ready to relocate now. That should give you plenty of actionable steps to get you ready to find the movers who will offer the best relocation experience toward your lovely, new home.