Moving is a hassle for everyone. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first move or your third. A lot of time and energy goes into moving. Not to mention all the paperwork involved. But before you begin packing, before you even buy supplies, I always encourage clients to declutter. When you declutter before moving, you’re setting yourself up for success.

How so? Simple. You’re making the tough decisions now so when the time comes to pack, you know that everything you’re stuffing away is going to be used and loved at your new home. Decluttering before you move is also a great way to rid yourself of anything that no longer serves you. And it brings with it a ton of benefits.

What exactly are the benefits if you declutter before moving?

#1 — You will have less to pack

While you’ll still have plenty to pack, when you declutter before moving, you’re diminishing that number by 10-15%. It may not seem like you have less when you start packing, but you do. Small items are harder to see the benefits. Where you really see them are with larger items.

Imagine you have a large, bulky metal filing cabinet. It’s where you’ve housed your paperwork for years. But since finalizing the move, you’ve learned a new paper filing system that makes the need for the cabinet unwarranted. You can opt to declutter the cabinet. You can choose to leave it behind, sell it, donate it, thus saving you from having to pack it and find a new home for it.

Having less to pack also means you have less to unpack when you arrive at your new home. Even though it might feel strange saying goodbye to something that’s been in your home for years, decluttering items that no longer serve a purpose will leave room in your new home for items that do.

#2 — You will be better prepared

Moving requires equipment. Whether you hire a moving company or do it yourself, you still need supplies. Boxes, tape, markers, sticky notes, tools for disassembling furniture, bubble wrap, etc. When you declutter before moving, you’ll have a better idea of how many supplies you’ll need.

While it’s always a good idea to buy extra, when you declutter you’ll notice you won’t need as much as you initially thought. This will save you money and room in the moving truck. If you’re hiring a moving company, it will even help them. The more prepared you can be with a move, the better.

Yes, there will be unforeseen circumstances. There always are, but the more prepared you are, the better you can handle those situations when they come up. For example, keep all your moving paperwork in a single folder labeled “Moving Day.” This way if anything goes awry, you can find the appropriate paperwork quickly.

#3 — You will bring only what you use and love

I mentioned before that when you declutter before moving you’re making tough decisions. This decision is wondering if an item in question serves a purpose. Is it used? Is it loved? This can be anything from an avocado peeler to a summer dress.

Don’t just declutter certain areas of your home. Declutter every room, every nook, and cranny. Your goal is to do a whole house declutter before you pack a single thing. Make a list of all the rooms in your house or create a category list. For example, your list can include:

  • Master bedroom
  • Son’s room
  • Daughter’s room
  • Garage
  • Attic
  • Kitchen
  • And so on

Declutter each room one at a time. Completely finish one before moving on to the next. One category that’s great to start on is seasonal stuff. If you’re moving in the summer, declutter any winter stuff. Skiing equipment, holiday decor, winter clothes, etc. If you’re moving in the winter declutter your summer stuff first. Always declutter and pack the things you won’t need for a while first.

Make sure you keep track of what you finished so you don’t waste time decluttering rooms twice. And remember to ask yourself these questions when deciding whether or not to keep something:

  • Do you use it?
  • Do you love it?

#4 — You will have a more accurate inventory

When you declutter before moving, not only are you getting rid of things you won’t use. You’re also giving yourself a more accurate inventory. While you don’t need to have a detailed inventory of what’s in each box, it’s always a good idea to label things as thoroughly as possible.

For example, keeping all your mugs in one box is better than mixing them up with niche kitchen appliances. Because if you don’t need that appliance right away, you will need a mug or two. And digging them out of a box that isn’t important can waste time.

After you declutter and start packing, try and keep like-items together. This will give you a birds-eye view of your current inventory. If you have three boxes of just mugs, you might want to consider decluttering again so you’re down to only one box. I love a good coffee mug but three boxes is a little excessive.

#5 — You will set up your new home faster

One of the best benefits of decluttering before you move is that you’ll be able to set up your new home faster. Why? Because you’re not wasting time wondering where to keep something you won’t use.

Every single item you unpack you know has a purpose. While you might not know where its permanent home will be yet, you know it will be used and loved. This will make unpacking a more streamlined experience. And if you properly label boxes as I mentioned earlier, it will really make it easier.

You don’t want to take too long in setting up your new home. The last thing you want is to live out of boxes for months on end. That’s why when you declutter before moving, you’re unintentionally showing your new home how much it means to you.

#6 — You will start fresh before arriving at your new home

This benefit branches off of the previous one. I mentioned that when you fill your new home with items you’ll use and love, you’re truly creating the fresh start this move is meant to be. You don’t want to fill your new home with regrets of your old one.

For example, imagine you have a stationary bike at home. You swore you’d use it at least three times a week. But you never did. Instead, you went for daily walks to get your body moving. The bike has been collecting dust for months. Why bring that with you? If all it does is remind you of broken promises you gave yourself, it’s better to leave it behind.

Don’t bring negative energy into your new home. This is your fresh start. So when you declutter before moving, ask yourself, “Is this item going to make my new home better?” If you’re thinking of the money you spent on it, then try to sell it. You already spent the money. You’re not getting it back. Better to cut ties and continue on with your fresh start.

Moving is a time-consuming and laborious event no matter how well you prepare. But when you declutter before moving, you’re at least saving yourself a ton of time packing things you won’t need.

Your goal when moving is to bring only those items that will be of use to you and that you love. Use this fresh start to say goodbye to anything that doesn’t serve you or your family anymore. And if you’re in need of help, check out the two types of moving services I offer.

I help in both downsizing and senior move management. It’s important to know that you’re never alone when it comes to moving. Contact me today to learn more.

Patricia Ramos

Photo: Erda Stemera

6 Worthy Reasons Why You Should Declutter Before Moving

March 18, 2022

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