Decluttering Before Your Move
No matter how long you’ve been in your home, the chances are that you have some clutter.
Seasonal items, old furniture, boxes of memorabilia, food storage, and who-knows-what-else are probably stowed in out-of-the-way places in your home. You may not be a hoarder, but you’ve probably accumulated a fair number of things you no longer want or need.
A move is a perfect time to declutter your home and your life. Here are some steps to follow to lighten up before you move.
Go through your home room-by-room and identify what you want to bring with you. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is the item broken?
- Is it still useful?
- Does it have sentimental value?
- Can it be sold or given away?
- Will I really miss it if it’s gone?
- Does somebody else in my family consider it valuable?
- Does my new home have room for it?
- When did I use it last?
If your items no longer meet your needs (physically or emotionally) or that of your family, you should use the move as an opportunity to lighten your load. If you can’t answer these questions yourself, make sure you review them with other family members, so you don’t inadvertently throw away something someone else considers valuable.
Once you’ve decided on what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of, then make an inventory of what’s left. A detailed inventory list is a great way to determine what you have, what’s essential to you, and what you want to take with you.
Make an inventory room by room, keeping track of furniture, breakables, knick-knacks, antiques, and so on. Post the inventory in the entrance to each room and add to the list when you realize you’ve forgotten something.
Lighten Your Load
Now that you understand what you have and what you want to take with you, then start moving out what you don’t want. Get boxes and fill them with things you no longer want or need, and bring them to people or organizations who can use them.
You may want to organize a yard sale to raise money for the move, or for another worthy cause.
Recycle items that are unwanted, and be sure to follow all laws for disposing of hazardous chemicals and waste (like old paint and household chemicals).
Pack Only What’s Left
Now that you’ve lightened up a bit, you can begin to pack things in preparation for your move. While not complete, the following is a list of the basics you’ll need to gather before you start packing your remaining items:
- Permanent markers – Stick with black markers for easy visibility.
- Labels – Colored labels allow for those helping with the move to identify which boxes go in which rooms.
- Tape – Packing tape, masking tape, painters tape, and duct tape will all be useful in serving various purposes.
- Garbage Bags – Get a good number of large disposal bags and kitchen garbage bags. Kitchen size bags are a more manageable and lighter solution than larger bags for some items. Label the outside of all bags with duct tape and a description of its contents.
- Ziploc bags – Get gallon, quart, and sandwich size bags. Use tape to secure bags containing cables, brackets, screws, and nails to the back or inside of your items or boxes. This will save set-up time when you arrive.
- Boxes – Gather boxes in various sizes. Use your inventory list to decide how many boxes and what sizes you will need.
Moving Should Be a Breeze
Good luck with your decluttering!
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