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Americans have a problem, and it’s about time we admit it. One in four of us has a problem with clutter. We go through life, picking up nick nacks and random odds and ends.
We tend not to be concerned about this little habit until it becomes a problem. That is when we go to move and realize we have a ton of stuff that we now have to pack.
Instead of spending hours packing items you don’t need, use these nine tips to declutter before moving to your new home.
1. Start Small
When you look at your entire home and think about decluttering it, the project will seem huge and overwhelming. This leads people to give up before they even start.
Instead, give yourself 5 minutes. This could be spending your 5 minutes creating a designated spot for incoming mail and papers. This will clear up the random pieces of paper throughout your home.
You could spend your first 5 minutes creating a starting point. It doesn’t have to be a big zone, the couch, kitchen counter, or dining room table will work.
Once you create your starting zone, nothing can go there if it isn’t currently in use. This will help prevent the area from becoming cluttered again.
2. Give It Away
Don’t try to sort through too much as once. What ends up happening is you get stuck in a rut. Then you will donate/sell/throw away more than you intend. It can also be traumatic as your brain isn’t ready for the sudden disappearance of all of your things.
Instead, pick out one item every day to give away. This small change over time will allow you to adjust so that you don’t notice the difference.
3. Commit to One Trash Bag
All you have to do is commit to filling one trash bag. You can do this as quickly or as slowly as you like.
If you are starting your decluttering journey, it will be easy to fill your bag with trash. As you get further along in your decluttering journey, you can convert to filling your bag with items meant for donation to charity instead.
4. Flip Your Hangers
Work your way through your closet and hang all of the hangers one direction. Then as you wear an item, turn the hanger around to face the other way.
After six months and then again at a year, you can quickly sort through your closet. Items that you haven’t worn in a year can get taken out and sold or donated.
5. Play the 12/12/12 Game
You can turn this into a game for the entire family. Each member needs to find 12 items to throw away, 12 to donate, and 12 to put away.
Whoever finds their 36 items first wins. Your home then benefits by having 36 items per person picked up, further moving you toward a decluttered home.
6. Get a New Perspective
Sometimes we go blind to the things right in front of our face. You think you’ve picked up the clutter, but in reality, there is still a ton around.
Address this by taking a new approach to how you view your home. You could take a picture of the different rooms in your house.
Or invite your friends over that have a toddler. They will get into everything and will find all of the clutter.
If you struggle to get a new view, hire a home stager. They will come in with a professional eye and tell you everywhere that you need to clear out.
Don’t try to cheap out and ask a friend to come over. Your friend may have the same clutter problem as you, or they may be too nice to tell you how cluttered your home really is.
7. Get Creative and Imagine
At some point, you will begin to struggle with the clutter that you have left. Now is the time to start playing the imagination game.
Pick up an item and ask yourself a few questions. This will help you determine the value of the item to you and if it is worth keeping.
- How much would I pay for this today?
- Could I photograph this item and keep that instead?
- If didn’t already own this item, would I rebuy it?
Asking these questions will help you get over the roadblock of nostalgia and the emotional connection you have with the item.
8. Store Some Stuff
If you have some things that you simply can’t get rid of because they mean too much, you can find another place to store them. These are items that you do not use regularly, but they mean too much to get rid of.
In this case, look into getting some more info on your local storage facility. This way, you can keep the things that are important to you without cluttering up your home with items you don’t use.
9. Use Four Boxes
With this method, you will get four boxes and work your way through an entire room. Label your boxes with trash, give away, keep, and relocate.
Work your way through every single item in the room until it is in one of the four boxes. Then sort through the four boxes.
Donate everything in the giveaway box. Trash everything in the throwaway box.
Put everything back in the room that is in the keep box. Finally, find a new home for everything in the relocate box.
Declutter Before Moving
By using these tricks to declutter before moving, you can reduce the amount of work you have for yourself. Less clutter means less packing, fewer boxes to move, and fewer items to unpack.
Trying to tackle your entire home in one day is overwhelming and discouraging. Instead, use these tricks to declutter one small step at a time.
Explore our blog for other tips and tricks to making your home clean and beautiful.