How to Declutter Before Moving

If you’ve looked for tips on how to get ready for a move, you’ve probably read that it’s a good idea to declutter your home before you start packing.

This piece of advice makes a lot of sense. Getting rid of the stuff you don’t need means you have fewer things to pack, making your move easier.

But how do you do it, exactly? How can you efficiently declutter your home?

It’s time to learn how to declutter before moving so that packing the stuff that matters to you can be done faster and more easily.

how to declutter before moving

1. Remind yourself of the benefits of decluttering

Decluttering can be difficult, especially if you feel attached to many belongings. To make this emotional and overwhelming task easier, remember why you want to declutter in the first place.

Fewer things to pack, move and unpack will save you time and energy. It allows you to have a fresh start in your new home, and it could even save you some money.

In case you didn’t know, portable storage containers are a great option for those with a lot of decluttering. You can simply rent a portable storage container, deliver it to your driveway, and pack it at your own pace.

This means you will have all the time you need to go through your belongings and decide what you want to keep. Your packed container will be delivered to your new home when you move.

2. Start decluttering long before your move

You certainly own more stuff than you can imagine, so it’s best to start decluttering as early as possible. If you have to declutter in a rush, you’ll probably bring most of your clutter to your new home.

So, take all the time you need to carefully review your belongings. For example, you could start six months in advance and dedicate at least one hour to decluttering each day. If you’ve had a problem with hoarding, you’ll want to get a head start and use a hoarder cleaning checklist to guide you.

3. Stop buying new things for your home

When you get serious about decluttering before your move, one of the most helpful things you can do is stop buying new things. If you need a new kitchen gadget or furniture, wait until you get settled in your new home to buy them.

Any item you don’t buy right now is another item you won’t need to pack and move.

4. Use up as many products as possible

You should also avoid buying dry goods, personal care products, and cleaning supplies in the weeks before your move.

Instead, try to use up what’s in your pantry and inside your bathroom cabinets. You don’t want to pack a box of almost empty cereals or a bottle of shampoo that only contains enough shampoo to wash your hair twice.

5. Decide what to do with everything you get rid of

As you go through your belongings, you must decide what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of.

When it comes to getting rid of stuff, you have different options. Any damaged or broken items can be thrown away or recycled. Things in good condition can be sold online or at a garage sale.

You can also donate some of the items you don’t want anymore.

6. Get rid of anything you don’t love or don’t need

As you go through your belongings, ask yourself if you use, need, and love each item you own.

There are some items you’ll instantly know you want to get rid of. Throw them away, or put them in a box so you can sell or donate them later.

There are items that you will want to keep. But what about the things you’re not too sure about? Ask yourself if they’re worth the time and effort it would take to pack and move them.

7. Consider decluttering by category

When figuring out how to declutter before moving, you can either declutter one room at a time or by category. The second option might be more effective.

Assemble all items in the same category, no matter where they’re located in your home. This will make it easier to notice which items you have too many.

Do you have things you keep just in case you need them someday? You will probably never need them, so get rid of that clutter.

8. Consider the space available in your next home

Finally, if your next home will be smaller than your current one, remove some of your furniture as you declutter. Don’t bring two-bedroom sets to your new home if it only has one bedroom.

About the author

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Brad Smith

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.

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