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15 Ways to Declutter Before Your Move

15 Ways to Declutter Before Your Move

1 new year new home 15 things to declutter

Decluttering before the move can save time and energy for both homeowners and a moving company. Moving companies charge by the hour, so the more you have to move, the more you’ll pay. Plus, when you get to your new place, you’ll have a chance to decorate and organize only the most loved items that made the cut, so you’ll have a chance to start fresh and finally get around to organizing all the things as seen on Pinterest. What are things homeowners can purge to get rid of excess items that don’t need to make the move? Here are a few places to start.

READ MORE: Where to Find Free Packing Boxes

1. CDs and DVDs

When you get ready to make the move, one of the first places to begin declutter is your CD and DVD storage area. With the abundance of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Spotify, Pandora, and others, there’s a good chance any movie or song you’ll want to hear can be accessed on your phone or television within seconds. If you’re a collector or want to keep your CDs and DVDs for sentimental reasons, consider getting rid of the cases and switching to a more space-friendly form of storage that can free up bookshelves and other spaces.

READ MORE: 4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Hire a Moving Company

2. Unwanted Clothing

Do you utilize all of the items in your closet. What about that sweater you haven’t worn in five years or the top you bought last spring with the tags still on? Take some time to purge unwanted clothing and you may even make some quick cash. Facebook Marketplace and resale groups offer a chance to make some of your investments back in a much more convenient and safe way than Craigslist. If you don’t have time to wait for a buyer, or if you have a lot of items you’re not interested in selling, consider donating your unwanted and unused clothing and other items to organizations that utilize them for those in need, including:

  • Dress for Success
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Salvation Army

3. Unwanted Furniture

If you have pieces of furniture in your home that are no longer being used or that take up too much space, now is the time to have a yard sale, add them to resale sites, or donate them. This includes any furniture that will not fit in your new space or any broken or outdated furniture you can update or replace. We also recommend waiting until you’re in new space to buy new furniture and set up DIY assembly pieces like bookshelves from IKEA.

READ MORE: Tips for Moving IKEA Furniture

4. Unwanted Books

Books are another type of household item that we can neglect to keep tabs on. If we have room on our bookshelves, we may not consider how many books we actually own, but when it comes time to move those heavy boxes of books, you’ll really wish you had taken time to donate those you don’t plan on reading again or those you didn’t enjoy.

READ MORE: 4 Tips for Moving Your Couch Like a Pro (Hint: PIVOT!)

5. Paper Clutter

Before the move, take some time to declutter areas of your home that have accumulated unnecessary paper clutter. This includes items like:

  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Junk Mail

If you’re starting your own collection of unread magazines, now might be a time to watch a few episodes of Hoarders and handle that situation as soon as possible. If you have newspapers lying around, save a few that can be utilized for wrapping dishes during the move, but recycle or throw away the rest.

6. Mismatched Coffee Mugs and Dishes

Unless mismatched whimsical items are part of your overall decor, donate those coffee cups and dishes that don’t match. Fragile cups, mugs, bowls, and dishes are just one more thing you don’t want to have to move unless you really want to. In case you need an excuse to head to Target, invest in a new set of dishes or mugs that complement your style.

7. Old Towels

If your towels are fraying on the edges or you can’t remember what color they were when you bought them, it might be time to invest in some new ones. Moving is a great opportunity to invest in new towels, but don’t throw them away just yet. Old towels can be utilized to help protect glass and other fragiles during a move.

8. Old Toys and Stuffed Animals

Old toys and stuffed animals are one more item that can be a hassle to move, and if you don’t need it, donate it! Donate unwanted or unused toys to Toys for Tots or friends with kids who can enjoy these items more than your family. Before your kids have a meltdown, create a game from the decluttering process. How many items can they donate to a family in need? For every 5-10 items donated, considering offering a small prize in the form of a special dessert or snack or a new, smaller toy that can be easily transported to your new home.

9. Expired Toiletries and Cosmetics

Clean out bathroom closets, drawers, and cabinets before a move to get rid of any expired or unwanted toiletries and cosmetic items collecting dust. These items have a short shelf life and often include chemicals that can cause breakouts and irritation if used beyond their expiration date.

READ MORE: The Moving Timeline You Need for Your Next Move

10. Unwanted Canned Goods and Food Items

It’s best to try to use up as many items in your fridge, freezer, and pantry as possible before a move. If they’re not expired, donate to food pantry or local shelter. If expired, go ahead and toss them.

11. Seasonal Decor and Knickknacks

Unless you’re keeping those holiday-themed place settings for a good reason, such as if they’re family heirlooms or have sentimental value, get rid of them now! How often do you really need an entire place setting of dishes with Santa’s face on them? This is also a good time to clear out, purge, and donate or throw away unused or unwanted Christmas, Halloween, and other seasonal decorations. Unless something brings you joy, has worth or value, can’t easily be replaced, or is important to someone in your family, chances are you don’t really need it! Looking at you giant inflatable Snoopy. Sorry, but you’ve got to go. Also, who needs 14 strands of unused Christmas lights? No one.

READ MORE: 4 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Moving Company

12. Your Attic or Garage

These places are not always seen daily and clutter can pile up unexpectedly. Tackle these areas before the move so you don’t underestimate how much you have when you set food inside the attic for the first time in 5 years. Clean out attics, garages, junk drawers, and other storage spaces around your home and get rid of anything you haven’t used in the last 2 years, including tools and items that can be easily replaced if needed.

13. Items a Friend Could Use

There’s no need to wait until Christmas rolls around to give your loved ones small treasures. If you find an item that has no sentimental value that you completely forgot you had, chances are you don’t need it and will never use it again, so why not give it a good home with a friend or family member who could enjoy it. This includes your growing collection of feather earrings and notebooks you’ve never written in.

READ MORE: Can I Really Hire Movers to Help Pack and Unpack My Home?

14. Opened Liquid Containers

What’s the best advice a moving company can ever offer? Throw away any open containers of liquids before a move. We’ve encountered numerous instances in which clothing, furniture, and other fabrics were damaged due to an unopened bottle of windex or other easily replaced liquid container that leaked during a move. Save yourself the hassle and dispose of these items beforehand, or package them together and move them in a truck or other vehicle separately.

15. Unused or Unwanted Kitchen Gadgets and Appliances

Kitchen gadgets and small appliances have a way of multiplying on their own without us realizing the extent of our collection until it’s time to move them all to a new location. If you purchased a vegetable spiralizer or a blender five years ago when you were on a health kick but haven’t used them since, donate them to someone who will and save yourself the trouble of having to carry more boxes.

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