Creating A Positive Move

The Pre-Moving-Day Declutter: 5 Tips For Success

Moving and decluttering seem to go hand in hand. Getting rid of items before you move reduces your moving costs and ensures that your new residence ends up a lot less clutter-filled than your current one. However, saying you'll declutter and actually doing it are two very different things. Here are a few tips to follow to made your pre-moving-day decluttering efforts more effective and approachable.

1. Rent a Dumpster

Your trash cans will fill up faster than you think once you start sorting through your closets full of extras. You don't want "the trash is full" to become an excuse for holding onto things you don't need. Luckily, you can often rent a small dumpster for as little as about $300. That's a small price to pay for the ability to get rid of everything all at once, without having to haul it anywhere. If you're doing any work on your home before moving, rent the dumpster while you're doing construction. That way, you can use it to dispose of construction debris and your extra, unwanted things. Contact a residential dumpster rental company to learn more about your options.

2. Look Into Pickup Options for Donations

If you have some unneeded items that are still in good condition, then you should consider donating them. Since packing everything into your car and driving it to the donation center takes time that you may not have in the midst of a move, it's better to have a company that accepts donations pick the items up. Veterans organizations often pick up donations. Generally, you schedule a pickup time with the volunteers, leave boxes of unneeded items on your porch, and wait for them to be picked up.

3. Have a Friend Help You Declutter

Having a friend help you go through your items and decide what to keep versus what to throw away helps keep you honest. You might find yourself tempted to keep that old scarf that has a hole in it, but your friend will remind you that you have ten other scarves in better shape. Carrying things out to the dumpster is also easier with a helper — especially if you're getting rid of things like old and damaged furniture. 

4. Give "Maybe" Items One Day of Thought

If you come across items that you're truly not sure whether you still need or not, put them in a box labeled "maybe." Let them sit in this box for one day, and one day only, while you further contemplate what to do with them. At the end of that one day, you have to decide whether to put them in the dumpster, donate them, or keep them. And if you have not made a hard-and-fast decision, the default is just to throw them away. This procedure keeps you from continually mulling over certain items again and again.

5. Visit Your New Home

If at all possible, you should spend some time walking through your new house or apartment before you decide what to keep and what to throw away. You may think, for instance, that you have no need for the tiny coffee table that has sat in the corner for years, only to arrive at your new home and realize there is a nook that is perfect for it. Try to visualize and plan where certain items will go, and get rid of things you know there will not be ample space for. 

Decluttering will help better prepare you for moving day. By renting a dumpster, enlisting help from a friend, walking through your new home first, and arranging for pickups, you may find the decluttering process easier and more approachable.