Preparing for a move takes a lot of organization. Before you mindlessly toss everything into boxes, take the time to sort through your belongings. Do you really need three different sets of Tupperware with mostly missing lids? Or the box of expired coupons that’s been sitting on your kitchen counter since last summer? Probably not.Download Week 5 Checklist
“Decluttering on the front end of moving is crucial. Moving is the perfect time to go through all of your belongings and decide if you'd like to donate, consign or toss anything. Before you pack it, be sure to evaluate whether or not it's something you really want to bring to your new home. If you do not, set it aside in a pile for donating. If you don't need it, it’s time to let go of it.”
If, for instance, you’re moving from a large four-bedroom house into an apartment or condominium, you might be wondering how to start decluttering. Parting with certain items is understandably difficult, but it’s almost inevitable when organizing for a move. Follow the downsizing tips below to make the process easier.
Start by decluttering the areas of your home where the most stuff accumulates. Kitchens and closets tend to be the most common culprits. Sort through one drawer or cabinet at a time, and remove what you no longer need.
When decluttering your closet, begin a sorting system. After washing clothes, put them back into your closet with hangers facing the opposite direction. After a couple weeks, you’ll begin to see what hasn’t been worn. Sort through these items and decide which items to keep, to toss or to donate.
Start a "maybe box" to organize for your move. As you're decluttering before the move, throw the things you're not sure about in there. This includes items that you don’t use now, but might see yourself using in the new home. After you’ve made your way through the rooms, take a final look at this box and decide what to keep and what to toss.
“Schedule your decluttering sessions like you schedule a lunch date or a doctor’s appointment. Give yourself a finite amount of time that is reasonable to accomplish the task while considering your busy schedule, your stamina, and any help you may be receiving.”
Now’s the time to part with items that you no longer use or don’t fit your taste anymore. We’re talking about the boxes that you never unpacked from your last move. If you haven’t picked it up or even looked at it in the past few years, odds are it’s time to let that stuff go. Try to see how fast you can fill a single trash bag with items to toss or donate.
If you have a tote or box in your home, and you don’t know what’s inside, chances are it can all be donated/trashed. Bring what you love and honor what you have. Everything else can be left behind.
Bonnie Joy Dewkett | Founder, The Joyful Organizer
This is also the time to collect your packing materials. Having all of your packing boxes and other moving supplies on hand will speed up the packing process.
Boxes of various
sizes (see below!)
Box cutters and/or
Bubble wrap, paper
Gloves and knee
Download our color-coded packing labels to stay organized during your move.Printable Box Labels
You’ll obviously need plenty of boxes to pack up your whole home. While some experts recommend buying boxes with the same dimensions, allowing for even stacking, the price of boxes can add up along the way. So where can you get free boxes for moving? Simply call or visit any of the below places to have boxes set aside for you.
Be sure to wrap each item individually to ensure that everything will make it from point A to point B in one piece. Bubble wrap is the most protective insulator for the most fragile items. Just like boxes, bubble wrap can become pricey and wasteful. Instead, you can opt for more environmentally friendly solutions.
You can even take the sustainable packing a step further and use towels or blankets to safely wrap up your delicate items.
By the end of Week 5, make sure to lock down your moving company if you’ve chosen that route instead of DIY. Make your final decision and sign the contract. Getting this decision out of the way early will save you the worry later on.