How to Declutter Before a Move

Relocating to a new place can be an exciting journey, but it can also be a difficult undertaking, particularly when packing up years’ worth of possessions. Among the mayhem that frequently follows a relocation, decluttering may be a tremendous help. How to Declutter Before a Move is essential knowledge; taking the time to declutter your belongings before packing everything into boxes will speed up the moving process, reduce stress, and create the ideal environment for a fresh start in your new location.

How to Declutter Before a Move

Assessing Your Belongings

Before diving headfirst into the decluttering process, it’s essential to take stock of your possessions. This step involves surveying every corner of your home and making a comprehensive inventory of everything you own. It can be helpful to break this task down room by room, starting with larger areas like living spaces and bedrooms before moving on to smaller spaces like closets and cabinets.

Determining What to Keep, Donate, Sell, or Discard

Once you’ve taken stock of your possessions, the next step is determining what to keep, donate, sell, or discard. This can be one of the most challenging aspects of decluttering, as it requires making tough decisions about what to let go of and what to hold on to.

One helpful approach is to categorize items based on their usefulness and sentimental value. Items that are frequently used or hold significant sentimental value should be prioritized for keeping, while items that are rarely used or no longer serve a purpose may be candidates for donation, sale, or disposal.

Strategies for Evaluating Sentimental Items

One strategy is to set aside a designated space for sentimental items and establish criteria for what qualifies as truly meaningful. For example, you may choose to keep items that evoke positive memories or have been passed down through generations, while letting go of items that no longer hold significance or are associated with negative emotions.

Another approach is to take photographs of sentimental items before parting with them, allowing you to preserve the memories without the physical clutter. Ultimately, the goal is to strike a balance between honoring cherished memories and creating a living space that feels comfortable, organized, and reflective of your current life stage.

Setting a Timeline

Consider factors such as your schedule, any upcoming events or commitments, and the deadline for your move. Aim to start decluttering well in advance of your move date to avoid feeling overwhelmed and to allow yourself ample time to sort through your belongings thoroughly.

Organizing Supplies

Before embarking on your decluttering journey, it’s essential to gather all the necessary supplies to streamline the process. Key items to have on hand include:

  1. Boxes: Collect a variety of sturdy boxes in different sizes to accommodate various items. You can often acquire boxes for free from local stores, or you can purchase them from moving supply companies.
  2. Labels: Invest in adhesive labels or masking tape and a marker to clearly label each box with its contents. This will make it easier to identify items during the unpacking process.
  3. Packing Materials: Stock up on packing materials such as bubble wrap, packing paper, and packing peanuts to protect fragile items during transport.
  4. Storage Bags: Utilize storage bags or bins to group smaller items together and keep them organized.
  5. Packing Tape: Ensure you have plenty of packing tape to seal boxes securely and prevent items from shifting during transit.

Tips for Labeling Boxes and Keeping Track of Belongings

Labeling boxes is a crucial step in the decluttering process, as it ensures that you can easily locate specific items when unpacking in your new home. Follow these tips for effective labeling:

  1. Be Specific: Clearly label each box with its contents, specifying the room it belongs in and providing a brief description of what’s inside.
  2. Use Color-Coding: Consider using a color-coding system to differentiate boxes belonging to different rooms or categories. For example, use blue labels for kitchen items, red labels for bedroom items, and so on.
  3. Create an Inventory: Keep track of your belongings by creating an inventory list that corresponds to each labeled box. This will make it easier to verify that all items have been packed and accounted for.
  4. Keep Essentials Handy: Pack a separate box containing essential items that you’ll need immediately upon moving into your new home, such as toiletries, medications, and a change of clothes. Label this box clearly and keep it easily accessible during the move.

Room-by-Room Decluttering Guide

A. Kitchen: Streamlining Utensils, Cookware, and Pantry Items

The kitchen is often a hub of activity and can accumulate clutter quickly. Follow these steps to streamline your kitchen belongings:

  1. Start with Utensils: Go through your utensil drawer and assess which items you use regularly. Donate or discard any duplicates or items you haven’t used in months.
  2. Pare Down Cookware: Evaluate your pots, pans, and bakeware. Keep only the essentials and consider donating or selling items you rarely use.
  3. Organize Pantry Items: Check expiration dates on canned goods, spices, and other pantry items. Discard anything past its prime and organize the remaining items by category for easy access.

B. Bedroom: Sorting Through Clothing, Accessories, and Linens

Your bedroom should be a peaceful retreat, free from clutter. Use these tips to declutter effectively:

  1. Closet Cleanout: Take stock of your clothing and accessories, keeping only items you love and wear regularly. Donate or sell items that no longer fit or suit your style.
  2. Declutter Dresser Drawers: Sort through your dresser drawers, folding clothes neatly and removing any items that are stained, torn, or no longer worn.
  3. Linen Check: Evaluate your collection of sheets, towels, and bedding. Keep only what you need and donate any excess to declutter linen closets.

C. Living Room: Simplifying Furniture, Electronics, and Decor

The living room is a space for relaxation and entertaining. Use these tips to declutter and create a welcoming atmosphere:

  1. Furniture Assessment: Evaluate your furniture layout and consider whether each piece serves a purpose or adds value to the room. Sell or donate any furniture that is worn, outdated, or no longer needed.
  2. Electronic Cleanup: Untangle cords and cables, discarding any that are damaged or obsolete. Consider donating or recycling old electronics that are no longer in use.
  3. Decor Downsizing: Assess your decor items, keeping only those that bring you joy or have sentimental value. Streamline shelves and tabletops to create a clutter-free environment.

D. Bathroom: Discarding Expired Toiletries and Minimizing Products

The bathroom is a space where clutter can accumulate quickly. Follow these steps to keep your bathroom organized:

  1. Check Expiry Dates: Go through your toiletries and skincare products, discarding any items that are expired or no longer used. Streamline your collection to essentials only.
  2. Minimize Products: Evaluate your collection of haircare, skincare, and grooming products. Keep only the items you use regularly and donate or discard any duplicates or unused items.
  3. Organize Storage: Utilize storage solutions such as baskets, shelves, and drawer organizers to keep bathroom essentials neatly contained and easily accessible.

E. Miscellaneous Areas: Attic, Garage, and Storage Spaces

Miscellaneous areas such as the attic, garage, and storage spaces can easily become dumping grounds for items that don’t have a designated home. Use these tips to declutter these spaces:

  1. Declutter Attic: Assess items stored in the attic, keeping only those that are necessary or have sentimental value. Donate or discard any items that are damaged, broken, or no longer needed.
  2. Garage Cleanup: Sort through tools, outdoor equipment, and seasonal items in the garage. Donate or sell any items that are no longer used, and organize remaining items for easy access.
  3. Storage Space Optimization: Maximize storage space by utilizing shelving, bins, and hooks to keep items organized and off the floor. Label storage containers to make it easy to find specific items when needed.

Practical Tips for Decluttering

A. Starting Small and Tackling One Area at a Time

When faced with the overwhelming task of decluttering your entire home, it’s essential to start small and focus on one area at a time. Here’s how to approach it:

  1. Choose a Starting Point: Begin with a small, manageable area such as a single drawer, closet, or countertop.
  2. Set a Timer: Limit your decluttering sessions to a specific amount of time, such as 15 or 30 minutes, to prevent burnout and maintain momentum.
  3. Celebrate Progress: Acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments as you declutter each area, no matter how small. This will help keep you motivated and inspired to continue.

B. Enlisting Help from Friends or Family Members

Decluttering can be a daunting task, but you don’t have to go it alone. Enlist the help of friends or family members to make the process more manageable:

  1. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Divide and conquer by assigning specific tasks to each person or tackling different areas of the home simultaneously.
  2. Provide Clear Instructions: Clearly communicate your decluttering goals and expectations to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  3. Make it Fun: Turn decluttering into a social event by playing music, sharing stories about sentimental items, and rewarding yourselves with breaks or treats along the way.

C. Staying Motivated and Focused Throughout the Process

Decluttering can be a lengthy and sometimes challenging process, but staying motivated and focused will help you see it through to the end:

  1. Visualize the End Goal: Keep your ultimate vision of a clutter-free home at the forefront of your mind to stay motivated and focused on the task at hand.
  2. Take Breaks as Needed: Listen to your body and mind, taking breaks when necessary to recharge and prevent burnout.
  3. Stay Flexible: Be prepared to adapt your decluttering plan as needed and embrace imperfection along the way. Progress is progress, no matter how small.

Finalizing the Decluttering Process

A. Conducting a Final Walkthrough to Ensure Nothing is Overlooked

Before you consider the decluttering process complete, it’s crucial to conduct a final walkthrough of your home to ensure that nothing has been overlooked. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  1. Systematic Approach: Take a methodical approach to your final walkthrough, starting from one end of your home and working your way through each room.
  2. Check Every Nook and Cranny: Open drawers, closets, and cabinets to ensure that no items have been left behind. Don’t forget to check less frequently used areas such as attics, basements, and storage closets.
  3. Verify Storage Spaces: Double-check storage areas such as under beds and behind furniture to ensure that no items have been inadvertently left behind.
  4. Make a Checklist: Create a checklist of items to review during your final walkthrough to ensure thoroughness and accountability.


Prior to relocating, decluttering is a crucial step that can make things easier, less stressful, and enable you to start over in your new house. You may greatly reduce the stress of moving day and your burden by carefully going through your possessions and selecting what to keep, donate, sell, or throw away.

You can guarantee a more seamless transition, reduce the time and expense of moving, and make your new home more organized by decluttering before you move in. With this planning, your relocation will be easier to handle and the transition to your new home will be more organized and stress-free.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

× Get a quote via chat.