How to De-Clutter Before Moving Day
Moving an overstuffed junk drawer or closets full of stuff you didn’t even know you owned doesn’t make sense. If you move yourself, you’ll have to pack and schlep all those extra things; and if you hire a moving company, you’ll pay more to move junk you won’t want in your new place.
To keep moving day as inexpensive and stress-free as possible, de-clutter your life before you start packing.
Give Yourself Time
Don’t wait until the day before the movers arrive to decide what to pack and what to get rid of. Instead, plan at least two weeks in advance. Mark out a few hours a day to tackle a different room or closet in your home. By working in smaller chunks, you won’t be tempted to just throw it all in boxes and be done with it.
If you stockpile household goods and toiletries such as toilet paper or shampoo, start using up the excess now so you’ll have less to bring with you. If you run out, buy a smaller size to get you through the move.
Start a Necessities Box
A necessities box includes everything you’ll need the day you move in, such as a roll of toilet paper, a box cutter, a hammer and nails. Mark the box and keep it with you while you move so you can dive right in without digging through all your boxes looking for a necessity.
Leave the Mementos for Last
It’s easier to get rid of a set of sheets you never liked than something with sentimental value. Leave the harder decisions for last, such as what to do with unused but sentimental gifts, so you don’t get frustrated with de-cluttering.
Use Three Boxes
For every room you tackle, bring three boxes – one for stuff you’ll keep, one for stuff to throw away, and one for stuff to donate or sell. As you go through closets and drawers, drop each item into one of the three boxes.
Employ the Practicality Test
If you’re not sure you should keep or donate something, ask yourself – honestly! – if you’ll use it. For example, set a time limit for clothes. If you haven’t worn something in a year, you probably won’t wear it again, so put it in the donate box. With sheets, towels or kitchen utensils, check for duplicates. While it might be nice to have three sets of sheets, one or two will do. Same goes for hand towels and spatulas.
Check Expiration Dates
Odds are good your bathroom or pantry contains a few items past their prime. Before you pack anything, check for an expiration date or think back to when you bought it. Spices can last for years but lose potency after six months or so. If you’ve have had that spice jar for a while, open it and smell the contents. If you don’t get a strong whiff of the spice, the jar can be tossed. In the bathroom, many makeup products such as mascara and concealer expire after a year. While it won’t harm you to use old makeup, this is a good time to toss products you haven’t worn in years.
Donate or Sell
Once you’ve finished digging through every room in your home, either sell what you don’t want or donate it to charity. You’ll finally be rid of that clutter and you’ll make a little bit of cash (or a tax deduction) to help offset your moving costs.