How to Declutter Before Moving: A Comprehensive Guide

Published: 05 Apr, 2023

Last Updated: 19 Apr, 2023

Serik Baimoldayev

Serik Baimoldayev

When it comes to learning how to declutter before moving, the process can seem daunting and overwhelming. However, with a well-organized plan and the right mindset, you can turn this seemingly monumental task into a manageable one. In this blog post, we will walk you through an in-depth decluttering guide that will make your big move significantly easier.

By employing our step-by-step method for decluttering prior to relocation, you can save yourself time and effort when the actual move takes place as well as minimize your moving costs by guaranteeing only essential items are loaded onto the truck. From assessing your belongings to donating unwanted items, these tips will help streamline your decluttering process while making room for new memories in your next home.

Table of Contents:

1. Assess Your Belongings

Before beginning to declutter, it is essential to assess your items and determine what you genuinely require in your new home. This step will not only help you save time and energy during move day but also reduce moving expenses by minimizing the number of items that require transportation.

A. Make a List of Essential Items

Create a list of items that are absolutely necessary for your daily life, such as clothing, furniture, appliances, and personal belongings. Be realistic about what should you move and consider whether some items can be replaced or upgraded once you’ve settled into your new home.

B. Identify Sentimental Items

While decluttering before moving house, it’s important to recognize sentimental items that hold significant emotional value for you or your family members. These may include heirlooms, photographs, artwork or special gifts from loved ones – make sure these precious possessions are safely packed away for transport when the big move comes around.

C. Evaluate Your Space Needs

  • Determine available space: Take measurements of each room in your new home to get an idea of how much space is available for storage purposes.
  • Analyze furniture size: Compare the dimensions of existing furniture with those in the new location; this will help identify which pieces can fit comfortably without overcrowding rooms or blocking pathways.
  • Prioritize functionality: Keep in mind how each item contributes to creating a functional living environment – if something doesn’t serve a practical purpose (or multiple purposes), consider letting it go.

D. Consider the Environmental Impact

By decluttering before you’re moving, you can also reduce your environmental footprint. Transporting fewer items means a smaller moving truck is needed, which in turn leads to lower fuel consumption and emissions during transit. Additionally, donating or recycling unwanted belongings prevents them from ending up in landfills and contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Once you’ve assessed your belongings and determined what’s essential for your new home, it’s time to declutter by sorting items into categories as outlined in the next section of this guide.

Evaluating your possessions is a crucial preliminary activity when it comes to tidying up prior to relocating, allowing you to decide what needs preserving and what can be discarded. Now that you have assessed your items, it’s time to sort them into categories for easy packing.

Key Takeaway: As a highly experienced professional, it’s essential to evaluate your belongings and determine what is truly necessary for the move. This includes making a list of essentials, recognizing sentimental items, evaluating space needs and considering the environmental impact before decluttering by sorting into categories.

2. Sort Items into Categories

Dividing your belongings into categories is an essential step when you’re decluttering. Organizing your stuff into groups can help you decide which items should stay and which ones could be given away or thrown out. Sorting your possessions will also make packing and unpacking more manageable on move day.

Create a List of Categories

To start the decluttering process, create a list of categories that cover all aspects of your household items such as:

  • Furniture
  • Clothing
  • Kitchenware
  • Books and magazines
  • Electronics and appliances
  • Toys and games for children (if applicable)
  • Pet supplies (if applicable)

Tackle One Category at a Time

Rather than attempting to sort through everything simultaneously, focus on one category at a time. This approach allows you to concentrate better while making decisions about what stays or goes when you’re moving.

A Room-by-Room Approach

If sorting by category feels overwhelming, consider using the room-by-room method instead. Begin with one room in your house – perhaps the least cluttered – then move onto other rooms once you’ve decluttered each space successfully.

Gather All Items from Each Category Together

This step may seem daunting initially but gathering all similar items together will help visualize how much stuff you have accumulated over time. For example, collect all clothing articles from closets, drawers, laundry baskets etc., before starting the sorting process.

Decide What to Keep, Donate or Discard

Once you’ve gathered all items from a specific category or room, it’s time to decide what stays and goes. Consider factors such as:

  • The item’s condition: Is it still functional and in good shape?
  • Necessity: Do you use the item regularly? Can you live without it?
  • Sentimental value: Does the object hold significant sentimental value worth moving with you?

If an item doesn’t meet these criteria, consider donating or discarding them. By doing so, not only will your move date become more manageable but also reduce moving expenses associated with transporting unnecessary belongings.

Sorting items into categories is a great way to begin decluttering before moving. With an organized plan in place, creating a moving plan will help ensure that everything goes smoothly on the big day.

Key Takeaway: This article provides a comprehensive approach to decluttering prior to moving, including creating a list of categories, tackling one category at a time, and deciding what items should be kept or discarded. This technique makes it simple to quickly accomplish the task – just “push yourself beyond your limits” and you’ll soon have your residence prepped for packing.

3. Create a Moving Plan

Constructing a comprehensive plan before relocating is essential for ensuring that the transition goes as smoothly and stress-free as possible. Creating a moving plan will not only help you stay organized but also save time and reduce stress during the decluttering process. Here are some steps to follow when creating your moving plan:

A. Set Your Move Date

Determine your move date as early as possible so that you can schedule necessary tasks accordingly. This will give you ample time for packing, organizing, and coordinating with moving companies.

B. Make an Inventory List

Create an inventory list of all items that need to be moved after you’ve decluttered. This list should include furniture, appliances, clothing, books, and other belongings that you should move.

  • Note down any special requirements or instructions for handling delicate or valuable items.
  • Consider taking photos of important possessions for insurance purposes.
  • Update this list throughout the when decluttering if new items are added or removed from the move.

C. Allocate Tasks Among Family Members

To make sure everyone is involved in preparing for the big move, assign specific tasks to each family member according to their age and abilities.

  1. Kids can sort through their toys and clothes while deciding what they want to keep or donate.
  2. Pets may require additional care during this period; designate someone responsible for ensuring their needs are met (e.g., feeding them).
  3. The adults should handle more complex tasks like contacting utility providers at both old and new locations, organizing moving truck rentals or hiring a professional moving service.

D. Create a Packing Timeline and Schedule

Establishing a packing timeline will help you stay on track when you declutter. Break down tasks into manageable chunks to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

  • Start by packing non-essential items that won’t be needed before the move date.
  • Create deadlines for completing each room’s packing.
  • Schedule time for disposing of unwanted items through donations, recycling, or trash collection services.
  • Ensure all essential belongings are packed and ready at least one day before move day to avoid last-minute stress.

By creating a comprehensive moving plan, you can optimize your resources and minimize stress while transitioning to your new home. This will ultimately save you time, money, and reduce stress during this significant life event.

Creating a moving plan is essential to ensuring your move goes smoothly. Utilizing storage solutions can help you declutter and make the most of your space during this transition.

Key Takeaway: This article outlines the steps for creating a successful moving plan, including setting your move date, making an inventory list of items to be moved, assigning tasks among family members and scheduling time for packing. By taking these measures you can ensure that all necessary preparations are taken care of before “hitting the road” on move day.

4. Utilize Storage Solutions

When you’re moving, it’s essential to consider the available storage solutions for your belongings that won’t fit in your new home or need temporary housing during the transition. There are various options available, from renting a storage unit to usin a moving and storage company. Let’s explore some of these options:

a) Renting a Storage Unit

Renting a storage unit is an excellent option if you have items that require long-term storage or if you’re decluttering before move day but still want to keep certain possessions. Many facilities offer different sizes of units, climate-controlled spaces, and flexible rental terms so that you can find one suitable for your needs.

b) Using Moving and Storage Services

If renting a separate storage unit seems like too much hassle, many moving companies also provide storage services. These services allow customers to store their belongings in secure warehouses while they settle into their new homes or wait for move-in dates. This can be particularly helpful when there’s limited space at the destination or when unexpected delays occur.

c) Portable Storage Containers

A popular alternative to traditional self-storage units is portable containers such as PODS (Portable On Demand Storage). These containers are delivered directly to your doorstep where they can be filled with items before being transported by professionals either locally or across the country.

  • Pros: Convenient; Can double as both transportation and temporary on-site storage solution;
  • Cons: May not be as cost-effective as other options; Limited access to your belongings while in storage;

By utilizing the right storage solution, you can make the decluttering process and move day much more manageable. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your possessions are safely stored away, allowing you to focus on settling into your new home without unnecessary clutter.

Utilizing storage solutions can help make the moving process much easier and less stressful. By donating unwanted items, you’ll be able to lighten your load before packing up for a move.

Key Takeaway: This article outlines the various storage solutions available for those who are decluttering before a move, including renting a separate unit, using moving and storage services, or utilizing portable containers. By taking advantage of these options it can make the process more manageable and ensure your belongings stay safe during transit.

5. Donate Unwanted Items

Once you’ve decluttered and sorted your belongings, it’s time to consider donating the items that didn’t make the cut for your upcoming move. Donating unwanted items not only helps others in need but also reduces moving-related expenses by minimizing the number of things you’ll be transporting on move day. This section will guide you through various ways to donate or give away your excess possessions.

a) Find Local Charities and Nonprofits

Donating to local charities and nonprofits is an excellent way to ensure that your excess possessions find a new home. These groups often accept gently used furniture, clothing, books, toys, and other household goods which can then be sold at their thrift stores or directly given to those in need. Some popular national organizations include Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity ReStores.

b) Utilize Online Platforms for Giving Away Items

In addition to traditional donation centers, there are numerous online platforms where you can list your unwanted items for free pickup or drop-off. Websites like Freecycle allow users to post available items within their community so that others may claim them if they’re interested. Social media platforms such as Facebook Marketplace also offer an easy way for people looking specifically for free stuff in their area.

c) Organize a Garage or Yard Sale

If you have a large number of items to get rid of before your move date, consider hosting a garage or yard sale. This can be an effective way to declutter while also making some extra cash for moving expenses. Be sure to advertise the event on social media and local community boards so that potential buyers are aware.

d) Offer Items to Friends and Family Members

Before donating or selling unwanted items, check with friends and family members who may need them more than you do. Offering up items to your loved ones may be a great option, particularly if the piece has emotional value and is still in good condition.

Incorporating these donation strategies into your decluttering process will not only make packing easier but also contribute positively towards the environment by reducing waste generated during moves. By taking the time now to sort through your belongings, you’ll ensure that everything worth moving finds its place in your new home – leaving behind only fond memories as you embark on this exciting journey.

Key Takeaway: Decluttering before moving can be a daunting task, but with the right strategies in place it’s possible to donate or give away your unwanted items while also reducing packing expenses. Think of those close to you who could benefit from items you no longer need, and offer them up before donating elsewhere. A garage sale is another great way of getting rid of excess possessions while making some extra cash for moving costs.
FAQs in Relation to How to Declutter Before Moving

FAQs in Relation to How to Declutter Before Moving

How do you start decluttering before moving?

Start by making a list of items you need to declutter before moving. Begin with the least used items first and work your way up, including those that are no longer necessary or have outlived their usefulness. Sort through each piece, evaluating if it should be kept, donated, recycled or discarded. Use boxes to organize similar items together such as clothes, kitchenware and books so they can easily be moved when ready. Finally make sure all hazardous materials like paint cans are properly disposed off in accordance with local regulations.

What is the 20 20 rule for decluttering?

The 20/20 Rule for decluttering is a simple but effective way to help you organize your space. Decide whether the item has been utilized in the past 20 days or will be employed within the next 20; if not, discard it. This helps keep clutter at bay by ensuring only items with purpose are kept around. Following this guideline will help create a neat and organized environment both physically and digitally.

What is the first rule of decluttering?

The first rule of decluttering is to start small. Begin by tackling one room or area at a time, setting aside items that you no longer need or use and sorting them into categories such as donate, recycle, sell or trash. To maintain the newly decluttered space, regularly sort through your belongings and discard any unnecessary items. This will help ensure that clutter doesn’t accumulate again in the future.

How do you decide what to get rid of when moving?

Deciding what to get rid of when moving can be a difficult task. It’s important to take the time to assess each item and determine if it is worth taking with you or not. Start by creating a list of must-haves for your new home, such as furniture, clothing and appliances; then move on to less necessary items like decorations or keepsakes. Consider whether an item will fit in your new space or if its value outweighs the cost of transporting it before deciding whether or not to keep it. Finally, ask yourself how much emotional attachment you have towards each item – this will help make sure you don’t regret letting something go later down the line.



To make the moving process as stress-free and efficient as possible, it is important to declutter beforehand. Taking time to assess your belongings, sort items into categories, create a moving plan, utilize storage solutions, and donate unwanted items can help you save money while also reducing your environmental impact. By decluttering prior to packing up for a move, you will be able to enjoy the new home without any unnecessary clutter or excess baggage weighing you down.

Take the stress out of moving and declutter before you go! Let SEKA Moving help make your transition easier with our moving and storage solutions.

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