“I’ll deal with this after moving!” This is the most common statement made by overwhelmed people faced with sorting through decades of things to relocate.
Moving is the easiest time to face our clutter head-on and deal with decluttering because we are already sorting through thing anyway to pack them in boxes.
Moving offers not one, but two separate times to organize our belongings—1) while will pack up (pre-move) and 2) after we unpack (post-move).
Top Pre-Move Decluttering Tips & Tricks
Ride the wave of change because you may not be as open-minded about letting go of stuff nor have the time to do so once you are settled into your new place.
You are already organizing when you are correctly packing. The best packing strategies:
· Fill individual cardboard boxes with similar items—for example, all your everyday dishes in one box and bath towels in another.
· Get rid of duplicates. Most of the time, we are too disorganized to know if we have another one like it. But it’s easier to let go of stuff when you can see all of a particular grouping of like items. For example, when you can see that you have fifteen pair of black pants, it becomes easier to justify parting with the five pair you do not like and three pair that do not fit.
· Declutter while you pack. Besides boxes labeled with their category and room, have boxes labeled trash, donate, sell, seasonal, off-season, and recycle. Trust your instincts: if you even suspect you don’t need something, get rid of it before bringing it to your new place.
· Pack your garage, basement, or any unused room in your house first. Then use this space as a storage center where you will start to accumulate filled and sealed moving boxes.
· Mark one box with a question mark. This box should be reserved only for those items that you are so confused about letting go. Usually, these are sentimental items or things that once held a high monetary value such as designer clothing. If an article derails you from the decluttering process by sabotaging the momentum and creating a distraction in your mind, toss it into the box marked with the question mark, place a date on this box, and move it to a remote storage location in your new home. In your calendar, write down a time to revisit this box. A month or two is good—that’s long enough to realize whether the items are even missed or needed.
· Use mostly medium boxes because they hold the right amount, and big boxes are too heavy to move. Large boxes filled with many small things are hard to search through. Do not worry about having three boxes of the same thing; they will wind up in the same place.
· Use small boxes for all your valuables and expensive items such as jewelry. Don’t pack them in with other things; plan to take these items on your own, so you can only blame yourself if you cannot find them.
· Label boxes at the tops and sides. Color-code them by room with labels or permanent markers. Do not number them because no one wants to put 100 boxes together in order and count them. Instead, count how many you have per room and log them in a digital or manual notepad. You can number them under the color code according to the total number in the room.
· Articles you use daily, such as makeup, toiletries, clothes, food, and so on, are the last ones to pack and the first to open when they arrive at your new home. Mark their contents accordingly.
Gather these must-have moving supplies:
· Vertical wardrobe boxes
They have hanging rods for hangers.
This product holds your drawers and doors in place during transit.
· Makes a great outer shell for furniture legs and tops of furniture that scratch easily
· Color-coded moving labels
Make each room a specific color! This strategy will help locate boxes in their respective room while unloading the truck.
· Bubble wrap
This product is the most universal of all packing materials.
· “Fragile” stickers
Buy big ones.
Start Well in Advance
Six months ahead is not too soon to begin packing before a move. Here are the top items to get started on as quickly as possible:
· season items (sporting goods, clothing, footwear, coats, outdoor/patio belongs)
· holiday items and decorations
· keepsakes and photos
· excess toiletries
· excess bedding and linens
· hobby and craft items
· archival items, paperwork, and collectibles
· Pack all your decorative items and art early because they are fragile and oddly shaped, requiring a reasonable amount of time to cushion them properly.
Post-Move Decluttering Tips & Tricks
A well-planned pre-move organization equals a successful post-move operation because ultimately, the pre-move plan lays the groundwork for a smooth move-in transition.
There are a couple of post-move tips worth mentioning:
· Take advantage of the time spent emptying your boxes by preparing them for more rounds of decluttering. Second time around inventory reducing process may be the time you behave more ruthlessly because you may be more particular about keeping things when you are standing in your new environment.
· Tackle one box and one room at a time. As you begin to unpack, you should already have a box or two in each room that contains some daily used articles to get you by for a while, so take your time with unpacking.
· Plan your space wisely. When your budget allows, consider closet systems, storage essentials, and better furniture pieces with organizational features in mind. The key to continued home organizational success is a place for everything that is logically placed and easy to use.
Successful decluttering of belongings that move from one home to another is greatly determined in the packing stages. It is worth the extra time to reduce your clutter while you pack your moving boxes since you are already sorting things anyway. After you move well organized, fully decluttered boxes, you are in remarkable shape to start with arranging your items in the new home. As long as you pack a few small boxes with your everyday needed items, you’ll feel less stressed and pressured to find the perfect places for things in your new home.