How To DeClutter Before A House Move
Before you can start afresh in your new home, you’ll still have to face the nerve-racking task of packing. Placing all your belongings inside boxes can be quite a dreaded chore. However, it is also a wonderful opportunity to declutter.
When moving to a new home, it’s best to have a fresh start and make sure to dispose of clutter. This will not only make your relocation process easier but is also a great way to create extra space.
Here are some expert tips from a company called Aussie Move on how to effectively declutter your home before your move.
1. Start ahead of time
Whether you’re relocating in a few days or in several months, an early start will make your move less stressful. To ensure a good start, consider doing the following:
- Set a date – Decluttering will take more than one day, depending on how much you own. Make sure you set a particular date for your move and no unnecessary distractions are present during the days you intend to declutter. You can be more productive when you have your full focus on the task at hand. Try to schedule your decluttering session weeks or a few months ahead of your planned move.
- Create a to-do list – A house move can become quite overwhelming for one person to handle. Make a list of the things you have to do to. This will serve as your point of reference to make sure you don’t leave anything behind.
- Separate items – Collect four boxes and label them as “keep”, “donate”, “sell”, and “rubbish”. Then, segregate all your household items according to these four labels by going through one room at a time.
- Take an inventory – Create a detailed inventory of your items. This will help you know where to find what you’re looking for without the need to dig through every box when the time comes.
- Set a deadline – By having a deadline, you get to manage your time well and avoid procrastination. Setting a deadline to finish decluttering a few weeks ahead of your move date will give you some spare time to relax or deal with problems in case something gets out of hand.
Before you start decluttering, give yourself at least 30 seconds or a minute to do absolutely nothing. The best way to begin a task is to start with a clear head. Breathe, focus and then get to work.
2. Be objective
During the decluttering process, you should be objective and ask yourself if you truly need each item you are considering to keep.
A general rule would be to throw away anything that you haven’t used for a year. Although it’s natural to hold on to things with sentimental value, you will feel much better once you’ve decluttered your items and discarded anything that isn’t important or no longer useful to you.
Keep in mind that things that are no longer useful to you may still be useful to someone else. Donating unwanted items (or giving them away to friends or relatives) will help make it easier for you to let go. By knowing that your belongings will be supporting a good cause or benefit somebody who is less fortunate, you can overcome some of your psychological bias of keeping the item.
Keep in mind that once you’ve decided to declutter, you need to detach yourself from your possessions and look at them objectively. Otherwise, you’ll find your new place cluttered from day one.
3. Organize the paperwork
Unlike other items, important documents aren’t something you can get rid of easily. However, you still have to get rid of unnecessary paperwork for they can still affect your moving costs. Important documents that you should hold on to include:
- Birth certificates
- Financial documents
- Insurance documents
- Active warranties of appliances and the like
- Property deeds
If you want to be cautious, you can scan documents to your computer so that you will still have a digital file. As much as possible, you should run paperwork that is over six years of age through a shredder.
4. Use storage
If you’re in doubt and out of time, you can take advantage of a storage unit. Your main goal is to remove items from your old home; unfortunately, you don’t have the luxury of time to go through it all. If there are items that take too much time to consider, place them in a storage unit and keep them for a while.
Once you have spare time to declutter after your move, see if the items you placed in your storage unit are something you can live without. If you can finally let go, you can throw or give them away, and create more space in your storage.
5. Take everything out
You can save time and get a better grasp of what you’re dealing with by taking everything out and doing a survey of your possessions. Make sure to empty out every possible container to carefully declutter every nook and cranny of your current home. This will help you sort through everything so that you don’t bring any clutter into your new home.
6. Arrange boxes as you pack
Look for an area in your home where you can stack up packed boxes. Every time you get a box packed, labeled, and taped, move it to the stacking area. Doing so will keep your workspace clear, and it will be easier for you to move around.
When you label boxes, make sure to do it in big letters so that it’s clear for the movers or removalists. Also, write down the category of the items inside the box for easy unpacking later on. You should also have the following basic packing supplies ready in advance to ensure that you stay organized as you pack.
- Bubble wrap – Use this to wrap any fragile items to ensure they don’t get damaged during the move.
- Boxes – Prepare boxes of various sizes to store all your belongings.
- Permanent marker – Use this to label each box so that you can distinguish them easily. Buy a king-sized one or one with a broad tip so that you can write labels clearly.
- Packing paper – This paper comes in handy when protecting glasses, plates, and other fragile items. Use this to wrap all your delicate items to ensure safe transport. If there’s space inside a box, you can simply crumple this paper and use it as a cushion.
- Packing tape – This will help secure your box and keep it from flipping open. Make sure to invest in a good quality packing tape that will stick to your boxes all throughout the moving process.
- Plastic wrap – For items you need to protect from the elements, this stretch wrap will be useful. When you wrap this tightly around an item, the plastic sheeting will keep dirt, dust and water away. Because of its stretchable feature, it’s also great for bundling odd-shaped items.
- Ziploc bags – To keep small items like brackets, screws, and batteries together, place them inside labeled Ziploc bags.
7. Ask for help
If decluttering your home is something you can’t handle alone, don’t hesitate to ask for help. You can always ask your friends, neighbors, or relatives for assistance. You may even hire a cleaning and packing service to help you deal with clutter.
It’s never a bad idea to seek help. What’s wrong is trying to do everything on your own, stressing yourself out and ruining your health in the process. After all, the success of your house move depends on you.
Make decluttering an everyday routine
Having fewer belongings will give you a peace of mind since you’ll have lesser things to worry about, clean, and maintain. This ultimately leads to less stress and, in a way, more free time to do the things you love.
So once you arrive in your new place, ignore the temptation to fill it with unnecessary items to create a homey vibe. Make sure that you’re not adding extra clutter that you will only throw away in the future. As you start your new life in your new home, make decluttering a part of your day-to-day routine to manage your space well.
Craig Jones is the Managing Director at Aussiemove, Australia’s largest independent moving alliance. With 23 years of experience at Aussiemove, he has the skills and the highly trained team to move families safely and reliably, in Adelaide, across Australia and around the world.