How to Declutter Your Home Before You Move
People tend to regard packing as the top moving-related task, but decluttering is also essential to a successful move!
If you’re preparing your home for sale, cleaning and decluttering your home allows you to put your best-put foot forward as you try to attract buyers’ interest and command the highest offers. If you’re renting or have already sold your home and plan to move in the next few months, decluttering can be beneficial as the less clutter you have, the easier it will be to pack! It’s also worth considering that the less clutter you have, your move will be more cost-effective. If you have decluttered your home before moving, unpacking and getting organized after moving day tends to be much easier.
This article outlines some of the many benefits of decluttering before your move and highlights practical tips for decluttering your home.
Benefits of Decluttering before Your Move
*Less to Move. Decluttering removes items you no longer want, need, or use. By purging your home of unneeded belongings, keepsakes, and even furniture and appliances, you decrease the number of items you need to move. If hiring a professional moving team, it makes sense not to pay to move items you have no space or use for. Even if you’re planning on a DIY move, you’ll appreciate not having to haul boxes of items you will never use or carry heavy furniture or equipment you don’t love, or that doesn’t fit your new living space.
*Less to Store. Purging unwanted and unneeded items also frees up storage space. This is especially important if you are moving into a new home with limited storage space, where every inch counts and will be put to use. (Even if you have plenty of storage space, there’s no sense in keeping belongings that serve no function in your life in storage forever!). Removing unwanted or unnecessary furniture and belongings may save you from investing in secure storage.
*Generate Cash Flow. The decluttering process allows you to determine items you no longer want or need. Often, belongings you no longer have use for can be sold, generating cash that can be saved for a rainy day or used toward your move. You may be surprised what people are willing to buy! Items can be sold in an online marketplace such as Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist or at a traditional garage or yard sale.
*Donate Unwanted Items to Those in Need. Items that don’t sell can be donated to organizations that benefit those in need, in which case you can also help from the tax write-off. Items in good condition can be dropped off at Goodwill or the Salvation Army. You can even make an appointment for a charity like AmVerts to pick up certain items.
*Give Unwanted Items to Friends and Family. Belongings of sentimental value – and any other items you don’t want to keep – can be gifted to a friend, family, and neighbor. Again, be sure to leave yourself time to part with belongings you no longer need in the way you see fit. Think about who would appreciate the items you’re giving away most. You can also post pictures of your belongings to your social media to see who might be interested.
*Improve Home Appearance. A clean, decluttered home makes your home look bigger and more spacious. A decluttered space can make a home easier to sell and even command higher bids in a competitive market. When buyers see a clean, decluttered home, it gives the impression that the house has been well maintained, which is essential when considering purchasing a new home. When space is clutter free, it is also easier for buyers to imagine themselves living in a new home.
*Get Organized for Your Move and Beyond. Organizing your belongings is central to the decluttering process. If you know that you’ll be moving to a new home soon, seize the opportunity to organize your belongings sensibly. Organize your belongings strategically, carefully considering which room or area they will be stored in at your new home. This will make unpacking and settling in your new home more accessible and efficient.
How to Master the Art of Decluttering
Resist the temptation to dive into a decluttering mission without a plan. Doing so can quickly lead to burnout and a chaotic, unmanageable mess. It’s essential to devise a realistic, sensible decluttering plan. If you have amassed many belongings, don’t try to declutter your entire home in one weeknight or even over one weekend. Instead, give yourself adequate time to move methodically room by room at a pace that won’t leave you completely exhausted.
As you move from room to room, sort items into the following categories: keep, sell, donate, give away or throw out. Get rid of damaged, outdated, or ugly items you know no one will ever want; sell, donate or give away duplicate or unused items; and store or thoughtfully gift items of sentimental value you have no space for in your new home.
For items, you intend to throw away, contact your local waste management company to find out their policies for picking up furniture and other more oversized items. Also, be sure to always dispose of hazardous chemicals appropriately.
You may declutter books, DVDs, and knick-knacks in your living room. You may declutter dishes, glasses, cutlery, utensils, storage containers, and even small appliances in your kitchen. In your bathroom, you may declutter towels and expired makeup and medications. By decluttering one room at a time, you will feel more confident about the task at hand and gain momentum.
After You’ve Decluttered: Next Steps
Once you’ve decluttered your home, several necessary steps help ensure a successful move. First, hire a professional moving company. Moving professionals have the equipment and expertise required to execute your move safely and efficiently. Knowing that your home and belongings will be safe due to your movers’ knowledge and experience will give you much-needed peace of mind. This is especially true if you move with an insured moving company.
Next, secure your moving dates ASAP. The spring and summer months are the busiest seasons for moving, so reputable, reasonably priced professional movers are in high demand and fill up quickly. Book them as soon as possible if you want to secure a specific professional moving company that has come recommended or has an excellent reputation. This is even more urgent if you want or need to move on a particular date.
Lastly, don’t leave packing until the last minute. In addition to hiring professional movers, if you want to ensure a successful move, make it a priority to begin packing as early as possible. Like most people, you have probably accumulated many belongings over the years. Please do not underestimate how long it will take to pack these belongings in an organized manner. Packing early will help you avoid the stress of scrambling to get ready for your move.
Mark Quinn, All Jersey Moving & Storage, and Board of Director of NJWMA.
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