Tips for Decluttering Your Stuff Before a Move

Moving can be a daunting task — you have to move your whole life’s worth of stuff from one place to another. To make things a little easier, consider going through your things and getting rid of unnecessary items before a move. Not sure where to start? Read on to learn our best tips for decluttering your home!

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The Decluttering Plan

These tips will help you create a foolproof plan for decluttering your home, stress-free!

  • Start early. You want to give yourself as much time as possible to declutter your home. Decluttering can be a huge project, so you don’t want to try to do it all in one week.
  • Set aside 1-4 hours a day to declutter. Don’t overwhelm yourself by spending an entire day going through your things. Start with small chunks, and the process will go much smoother.
  • Place everything into one of four categories: DONATE, SELL, TRASH, or KEEP. Mark boxes or piles with these labels and categorize your things as you go to keep things organized.
  • Donate and sell items as you go. As soon as you finish going through your things for the day, immediately take your donate items to a donation drop-off site. For the items you want to make a few bucks off of, snap a photo right away and post it for sale online.
  • We know it sounds weird, but consider skipping the garage sale. Many times things are set aside for a future sale that never happens, and you end up moving everything anyway. However, if you know you can pull off a sale before moving day, go for it!
  • Get help from a “tosser.” If you tend to be sentimental person, enlist the help of a friend or family member who doesn’t hold onto things. They can provide some perspective.
  • Avoid renting a storage unit because you think you’ll go through everything later. This project will likely get put off and you’ll be paying for the unit for months, if not years. Moving is the perfect time to tackle this decluttering task!
  • Donate food that you don’t want to Move For Hunger, which delivers the food to families in need. Little Guys Movers will pack up and deliver the goods for you.


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Questions to Ask Yourself When Decluttering

How do you know what to keep and what to toss? Ask the following questions about any item you’re not sure about.

  • Have I used this in the past year? If you haven’t used or thought about something in a year, chances are you don’t need it.
  • Do I love this? Maybe you like it, but do you really love it? “Like” is not the same as “love!” If you tried to tell someone about how much you loved the item, would it be sincere?
  • Would I pack this in an emergency situation? This goes back to the old question, “What would you grab in a fire?” There are lots of things you need that you would never pack if you suddenly had to leave your home, but figuring out where an item falls on your “emergency packing” priority list can help you gauge how much you really care about it.
  • Do I want to pack, move, and unpack this item in my new (clean!) home? Think about how much work it is to pack, move, and unpack things. Think about your spotless new home that is totally clutter-free. Is this item worth moving and adding to your new space?
  • Where will this be used in my new home? If you think you do want to move something, visualize it in your new home. If you know it would go in the back of cabinet somewhere (or something similar), you probably don’t need it.


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Items to Toss

If you run across any of these things in your decluttering process, they can be tossed or donated right away!

  • Anything that is still in a box from your last move. Clearly, you didn’t need it! Skim through these boxes quickly to make sure you don’t miss anything super important, and get rid of the rest.
  • Clothing that doesn’t fit. Maybe you’ve been hoping it will fit again one day, but moving is the perfect time to get rid of old clothes that are just taking up space.
  • Old paperwork. Go through all of your old forms and records and keep what’s truly important. Put the papers you need in an organized expanding folder, and shred the rest.
  • Books that you won’t re-read. Books are heavy and difficult to move, so if you know you’ll never open it again, donate it.
  • Duplicate items. It’s time to ditch that random second coffee maker that just sits under the sink. If you have two of something you really only need one of, pick one and get rid of the other.
  • Anything that is broken and hasn’t been fixed for months. You probably aren’t going to get around to working on it, so just let it go.
  • Outdated electronics. Old chargers, dead PC’s, ancient video cameras, and other obsolete technology doesn’t need to make the move to your new place.

If you are moving soon, contact your local Little Guys Movers location to get a free, no obligation quote. We even offer packing and unpacking services!