Help, I’ve Got Too Much Clutter!
7 Ways to Declutter Before You Move
So, you’re moving, and you’re equal parts stressed and excited. In front of you lies a new home along with a fresh start. There’s something exhilarating about un-boxing and putting all your belongings in their new places, but there’s no denying the stress that comes before your move actually happens. Before spending the first night in your new home, you’ve got to declutter the one you’re in to prepare for your move, and nobody really loves doing that, right? But there are some tips and tricks to make it easier, and The Junkluggers wants to help!
We’ve dealt with more junk and clutter than you can shake a stick at, so we understand how overwhelming decluttering can be. If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of decluttering, or simply need a couple of strong, willing, dependable helpers, we’re here!
Knick-knacks, books, toys, and mementos all accumulate throughout everyone’s lives. Some items you’ll never part with; you’ve made a lifetime commitment to certain mementos, like photo albums, your wedding dress, or your college love letters. But when it comes time to declutter, there are many items in your home you’re hanging on to that you don’t need, never use, and need to let go of in order to have a calm, organized move. Experts suggest we use a fraction of the items kept in our homes, and the rest constitutes, you guessed it: clutter. Clutter takes up precious physical and mental space; research from UCLA suggests clutter increases stress and markedly reduces efficiency.
At Luggers Moving, we understand packing up your home is a process involving physical and emotional work. And from experience, we’ve learned the best time to declutter is well before your move. Here are seven practical decluttering ideas to keep clutter from taking over your move and your life.
“Later is the best friend of clutter” – Peter Walsh
1. Get an early start:
Before you start your decluttering process, have your supplies ready: boxes, bubble wrap, packaging tape and garbage bags so you can decide what to keep, donate, and throw away. You’re one step closer to an organized, de-cluttered move already!
Above all, don’t wait until the week before moving to start packing. When you’ve got your moving date, take a stroll around your home and get a basic idea of what you own. Don’t forget about all the nooks and crannies you stick things in then forget about! Mentally prepare yourself to get rid of things you see that you haven’t paid attention to in years. Ask yourself, as you’re wandering, if you really need any of these things, why you’re keeping them, and whether they will make a good fit for your life, lifestyle, or new home.
“Clear clutter – make space for you” – Magdelena Vandenberg
2. Sort it out:
Whether you have a lot or a little clutter, sort what you have into categories. Mark boxes and bags for garbage and donation, and designate another area for items you’re going to keep. What can you get rid of, throw out, sell and take with you? The best advice for this process is to repeat it, room by room, until you’re completely finished. Don’t look at your entire home as a project; start small so you’re not overwhelmed. Then break things down even further by decluttering one section of a room at a time.
The four-box method works for many people: one box for donations, one for selling, one for keeping, and one for garbage. Also, be sure to label each box so you know what’s going and what’s staying. Break that down even further by marking the box clearly so your movers will know exactly what room it’s destined for.
“If you’ve had something for more than six months, and it’s still not repaired, it’s clutter.” Gretchen Rubin
3. Let it go:
That chair, the one with the wobbly leg that you haven’t had repaired despite the fact that it broke more than two years ago? Do yourself a favor and let it go. If you need another broken chair to refinish, you’ll be able to find one! And those items still boxed up from your last move? If you haven’t thought about them or even opened the box, it’s probably wise to donate the contents. Someone else will make good use of whatever’s been languishing inside. One way to think about letting go of clutter when it starts to feel overwhelming is by asking yourself (over and over): Have you, in any way, used the item in the past year? If the answer is no, the item very well may be cluttering up your life. Do you really need 300 coffee mugs and 62 different sets of plates? Sure, that’s a pretty sweater, but if you haven’t worn it in 6 years, donate it to someone who will wear it! Make unpacking as easy as possible by letting things go before you ever hit the road.
Decluttering and packing aren’t easy or fun. They definitely aren’t tasks that are simple to do on your own. If you’ve got a friend offering to help, take them up on their offer (but be prepared to repay the favor down the road!). When you’re feeling overwhelmed or pressed for time, consider enlisting the aid the professionals! Where there is a need, there is a service. At Junkluggers, we offer a full range of ‘junk’-lugging and junk removal. We are a full-service, eco-friendly company that will help ease your burden of clutter removal. And, with it comes peace of mind, you can rest assured we won’t send your unwanted belongings to the landfill. We strive to recycle, donate, or reuse the vast majority of what we haul away.
If you’re moving from a larger home to a smaller space, it’s critical to cut down on items you own, and make room for the things you can’t live without. With less room in your new place, you’ve got to carefully think about every item you are moving. It’s best to make decisions about what’s coming and what’s going before moving day. Then, make the appropriate arrangements; whether it’s with a rental storage space, donation pick up like Salvation Army, or through selling off of sites like Craigslist. Also, consider donating to one of Junkluggers Charity Partners.
6. Don’t sweat the small stuff:
We accumulate A LOT of things. It’s part of just about everyone’s life experience. Travel souvenirs, antiques, pictures, CD’s, DVD’s, collections. The list goes on and on, and all these things add up. To organize CD’s, DVD’s and even images, to digitize and store them to the Cloud. Old pictures, while you may still want to keep them, they will be better preserved through digital storage where you’ll never have to worry about them fading or tearing. If and when it’s possible, transferring these items to digital storage is liberating!
7. If at first you don’t succeed:
Once you’ve decluttered, packed and moved, it isn’t necessarily the end of decluttering. You can always decided to get rid of things you were on the fence about or couldn’t let go of once you’re in your new house. Go through the same line of questioning from tip 3; do you really need these things, why are you keeping them and do they truly still fit into your life? Once you’ve gone through that process again, Junkluggers will be happy to help with the removal of your items.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo Da Vinci
Decluttering isn’t just for moving. It’s an ongoing lifestyle. However, when you’re moving, decluttering takes on a certain amount of urgency. If you take the time to tackle your stuff, you’ll move into your new space with a clear head, heart, and mind.