The longer we live in one place, the more we tend to accumulate and fill all available space.. The junk drawer, that oddly shaped space under the stairs, the back corner of the basement, and the closet in the spare room will inevitably fill up with those things that just don’t have their own space. Moving to a new house is a great opportunity to take inventory of those collections of clutter, pare down what you don’t need, and step into your new space feeling lighter and more organized. As an added bonus, it’s proven that decluttered homes sell faster and command a higher price!
Here are some of our tips for paring down before your big move.
A smooth move depends solidly on good planning and getting an early start. Sorting through your possessions and deciding what’s staying and what is better off finding a new home should be your first step! Start this process at least two to three weeks before your moving date to allow yourself a comfortable amount of time to get it done. There’s going to be a lot on your ‘to do’ list!
Call a Professional Mover For Help
As you start thinking about decluttering, it’s also a great time to call a professional mover to see how they can help! The team at MaineMoving can assist with your declutter process in a number of ways. We can help rearrange the big furniture for you, we can prep and pack items that you may want to put in storage, and for those items you want to keep, but need to “tuck away” for a while, we can even put you additional furniture and items in storage. We operate a climate-controlled furniture storage facility and can maintain safe, clean, secure, and controlled storage of your household goods until you’re ready to move.
Did you just stumble across a stock of extra toiletries in the bottom bathroom drawer? Now is a great time to use them! Odds and ends of products, materials, and overstocked items can easily be consolidated and used instead of thrown out or packed into a box. This will save time and space both in your transition and in the new home.
Collect Essential Items
Set aside a designated box for the first week you’ll be in your new home. This may include toilet paper, a box cutter, hammer and nails, toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, a can opener (why do they always end up being so essential in a new place?), coffee maker and coffee, etc. Mark this box clearly, keep it separate from the others, and make sure it travels with you personally on the big day!
Save The Sentimental Stuff
When decluttering, sorting through nostalgic or meaningful items can often be difficult. For the sake of efficiency, set aside sentimental items and save them for last, when you’ll have a better grasp on the number of boxes you’ll already be bringing, your timeframe, and remaining storage space in your destination. This will help you to make good decisions about prioritizing the special pieces when it’s time!
Use Three Boxes
Break down packing by room, and when you start each room, bring three boxes. The first box is for items you’ll keep, the second is for what you decide to throw away, and the third is for donations or selling. For every drawer, closet, or corner you empty, categorize possessions into one of these three categories!
Think About Practicality
Instead of asking yourself “could I use this?,” try asking “will I use this?”. If you’re teetering on the edge of donating or keeping something, imagine a realistic scenario in which that item would actually be of use. We often keep things based on perceived value, without factoring in how long it’s been since we’ve actually used them, or if they will be relevant again in the near future. For example, if you haven’t worn the blue sweater from Aunt Sally in the last three years, it’s probably time to let it go to find a new owner. Household essentials like pans, silverware, sheets, and towels are necessary, but not in sets of 10. Try limiting yourself to a primary set and one backup set to save space!
Check Expiration Dates
One of the easiest ways to speed through kitchen decluttering is by checking expiration dates and doing a quick “sniff test.” Old spices may have lost their luster, and chances are a good amount of your canned and boxed products have expired. If there’s a question, it’s best to start fresh. Give yourself a chance to restock your new pantry with all new products! You could also consider donating any non-perishables and dry goods to a local food pantry!
This principle also applies to the bathroom. Did you know that you’re only supposed to use the same mascara bottle for three months? Old soaps, makeup, and personal care items often sit on the shelf long after expiring. Now is the time to fix that!
Donate? Sell? Share?
Once you’ve completed the sweep of your whole house, take designated donation items to a local charity dropoff – and don’t forget to ask for a receipt for tax purposes! You may also choose to list specific items online for sale (Facebook Marketplace and online groups are often great platforms for this!) and share some items with friends and family.
Congratulations, you’ve done it! Enjoy moving into your new home feeling lighter and more efficient. And when you’re ready for an exceptional, stress-free moving experience, call MaineMoving! Let’s get moving (and decluttering) together!