5 Tips for Decluttering Before Your Move

Moving box with cluttered family photos and trinkets during move from East Bay San Francisco, CA.

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Ramping up for a big move to a new place can be exciting, vomit-inducing, stressful, and bittersweet all at once. The idea of packing up everything you own? Not exactly the most thrilling endeavor. You probably bought 50 boxes only to realize that you actually needed 100 just to fit all of your belongings. However, we’re here to remind you that just because you own something doesn’t mean it has to go into your new home, where it will wind up as just another unused object that takes up precious space.

What if, instead of trying to take everything with you, you decided to declutter before your move? Decluttering and getting rid of items you don’t regularly use will allow you to more effectively appreciate your new home, giving it the opportunity to be the stress-free space you’ve always known your home could be.

1. You really don’t need all those clothes

Have you been holding onto your prom dress from 1992 because it’s just so pretty and one day you’ll fit into it again? Do yourself a huge favor and just get rid of it. A) someone else will enjoy it more, B) how often are you really going to wear a prom dress, honestly? C) even if it does fit you again one day, it’s probably not your style anymore. The same rules go for other clothes in your closet, too. Are you hanging onto a pair of jeans because they USED to be your favorites, or you MIGHT use them one day if you can just add a few hems and tucks? You shouldn’t be keeping any clothing that makes you feel frumpy or unattractive. Just put it in the “do not keep” pile and look forward to a decluttered closet in your new home.

2. Make rules and stick to them

Set up some guidelines for yourself before starting the decluttering process. What determines whether or not you keep something? If you have a kitchen appliance that you’ve never even opened or haven’t used in years, get rid of it. Give it to a friend who has been wanting one and takes satisfaction in knowing that it will be put to good use.

3. Don’t wait until the last minute

Don’t wait to declutter until two weeks before your move. Start the moment you decide that you want to move to a new place. Why? If you declutter at the last minute, one of two things will happen: 1) you won’t have time to declutter, and you’ll just end up bringing all your garbage with you, or 2) you’ll declutter too quickly and will actually end up getting rid of things you meant to keep. No one likes regret, especially if you got rid of that antique heirloom that Aunt Mable handed down to you. Give yourself enough time to make responsible decluttering decisions.

4. Make it funDecluttering belongings while packing boxes for a move from East Bay SF.

If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed at the thought of decluttering, find ways to make it fun. Invite some friends over. Have them help you stick to your decluttering rules and, at the end of the night, tell them they can pick out things that they want to keep for themselves. It’s a win/win!

5. Donate what you don’t want

One of the reasons we hang onto things is because we have a nostalgic value attached to it. We hold onto objects that, at one point in time, were dear and precious to us. However, that way of thinking becomes cumbersome and just means you have in your possession a lot of things which are no longer useful to you, take up space, and clutter your home with distractions that keep you from living in the present. To make yourself feel better about the decluttering process, donate the items that you do not want – either to a charity, a thrift store, to your friends and family, or otherwise. The knowledge that some lucky person is going to find your stuff and value it will make you feel good about letting it go.

If you need to free up some extra space around your home or office UNITS Moving and Portable Storage offers portable storage in the entire East Bay Area including portable storage in Richmond, portable storage in Lafayette, more.

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