One of the best ways to simplify the moving process is to declutter your home of unwanted items before moving. Even if you decide to hire a professional moving company to handle the logistics of your move, the task of decluttering years of stuff can seem like a mountain of a chore. But with a bit of planning and a calm headspace, organizing and decluttering before moving can be a less intimidating process.
Should I Declutter Before Moving House?
The short answer is yes. Your future self will thank you for thinking ahead and making things simple on moving day. Decluttering before moving home is a worthwhile use of time and energy and here are some additional reasons to declutter before moving house:
- You’ll Save Money - Getting rid of unwanted household items will save money on your entire move. In simple terms, the fewer items you have, the lower your quote will be. Make sure you have only the items you want to take to your new location included in your pre-move survey.
- You’ll Save Time - Having fewer things to pack up and move means less time loading and unloading the van on moving day. If you choose not to declutter before moving, you could find yourself sorting through your belongings while packing and wasting time deliberating over what stays and what gets purged.
- You’ll Reduce Stress Levels - Anything that reduces your stress levels during a house move is welcomed. Having a minimal amount of items to worry about when moving into a new space means less time thinking about where things will go and whether they will fit into the new space or not.
- You’ll have a fresh start - Your new home will truly be a blank canvas for you to create a new look when you leave behind old clutter. If you’re ready for a minimalistic aesthetic in your new home, then decluttering before you move is the solution.
- You Can Make Money - As the saying goes, one person's trash is another person's treasure and you can sell your decluttered items before your move. Clothes, shoes, household items, and garden tools are just a few of the times you can sell.
What Is The Best Way To Declutter Before A Move?
So, we know why it's helpful to start decluttering for a move, but what is the most effective way to declutter and get rid of the unwanted things we accumulate over the years and how can you get it done without feeling like you’re taking on another daunting task?
Make a plan (and stick to it!)
This step will be the key to successfully moving and decluttering. Create a logical action plan that aims to declutter the house room by room. Be sure to set aside time in your schedule that allows you to break the task into smaller chunks so you can avoid becoming overwhelmed. Create lists as you go along of all the items to be kept so that you have a ready-made inventory to be used as a checklist when it comes to moving day. Gather boxes and bags to store the sorted items temporarily until you decide where they will go (i.e to be kept, donated or recycled.
Set a deadline
Ideally, the deadline for the completion of your decluttering mission should be before your pre-move survey. This way you can be sure to benefit from a lower quote because you will have fewer items to be included in the survey. Setting yourself a deadline will also encourage you to stick to your planned decluttering schedule and avoid leaving everything until the last minute.
Use a sorting system when decluttering your home.
The 4-box method is a great decluttering technique that helps you to separate the items into 4 groups. Label three boxes as Keep, Donate and Storage and use a garbage bag for your trash so that you don’t get mixed up as you declutter each room. A sorting system will help to reduce some of the chaos when going through each room individually. Separate your clutter into the following piles:
Things to keep - be strict with yourself about what you keep, if you’ve not used or worn the item in the last 12 months then chances are you won’t use them any time soon and it’s time to get rid of them.
Things to donate/give away - these things should be undamaged and in good condition.
Things to throw away/recycle- when you can no longer use an item or if it's not suitable to donate then it’s time to take it to a recycle centre or place it with your household recycling.
Things to put into storage - If items are too big to dispose of immediately or you know you will have a legitimate use for them or a buyer at a later date, then use storage services to temporarily store decluttered items.
Declutter room by room
To make things easier, continue with a systematic approach as you tackle the decluttering room by room. When you complete each room, take your 4 boxes (or 3 boxes and one trash bag) and sort them out appropriately by taking them to be donated, recycled or kept for the big move. It is best to do this when you have completed each room to avoid having several boxes to sort out when you finished the whole house.
How to get rid of unwanted items
Now that you have established which items are staying and which you’ll be saying goodbye to, it’s time to do something about the items that didn't make the cut.
Here are a few ways to eliminate the unwanted items highlighted during the decluttering phase.
Donate to charity
Give to family and friends
Selling items online
Websites like Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace are great for selling your unwanted items swiftly. Most sites require clear pictures and descriptions and some sites may take a small fee when the item is sold. Facebook Marketplace is ideal for selling things locally so you can easily arrange a collection for the item to avoid shipping fees.
A yard sale can quickly rid you of clutter and help you to gain extra funds in the process. You may not make as much money as you might selling items online because often people are looking for a bargain at yard sales and may not be willing to pay a higher price.
Donate to Charity
Whatever no longer “sparks joy” with you is ready to be donated and passing unloved items onto someone else is a perfect way to keep unwanted clothes and other items out of landfills. Thrifting is fast becoming a popular way to shop so it’s always good to help add stock to charity shops. Food banks are the perfect way to declutter the cupboards and refrigerator before a move and to help out less fortunate households. Most charities take a variety of unwanted items and here are a few places that accept donations:
The Salvation Army
Habitat for Humanity
The Food Banks Canada
Now that you know how to get started with the task of decluttering your home before moving and how to get rid of unwanted items, the actual task of moving home should be a lot easier. If you want to make the moving day even easier, then consider having a team of professional movers do the job for you. From packing and loading the moving van to unloading and reassembling furniture at your new destination, QMM offers a complete, premium moving service that will do all the heavy lifting for you. If you’d like to know more about our local, cross-country and international moves, then contact our offices to speak with one of our experienced agents or get a free quote today.