Moving isn’t something that you should take lightly, especially if you have a lot of possessions to pack up. You can lighten the load and save some money by decluttering your home before you move. If you don’t know what you are doing and you don’t have a system, organizing and decluttering can turn into a very time-consuming task. Even worse, if you don’t have a good system in place, you might end up getting rid of things you need and keeping stuff you don’t need.

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Unpakt asked customers and moving companies to tell their best tips on how to declutter your home. Here’s what they recommended:

Table of Contents

Mentally prepare for the process

Almost every item that you have had for a long time likely has some sentimental value attached to it. If you are not mentally prepared, you will find it hard to get rid stuff you don’t need anymore. Once you have decided to declutter your home, detach yourself from each item and look at it objectively. Otherwise, you will find your new home cluttered from day one.

Start early

Decluttering can take a lot of time. Ideally, you should start decluttering and organizing your home six weeks before you move. This will allow you enough time to sort through the items you want to keep or get rid of, so you have time to make arrangements for them before you start packing. If you don’t start early, you may be left with a lot of things that you don’t know what to do with and end up taking them to your new home.

Sort out your possessions into three categories

Separate your items into three categories: throw away, donate, or sell. If you don’t separate them, you may mix them up. So, designate three areas in your house to keep the different categories of items organized. If the items can be placed in a box, clearly label the box “Donate”, “Junk”, or ”Sell” so they don’t get mixed up. If the item is too large to be placed in a box, place several sticky notes on the item that labels what to do with it.

Stay focused

Have you ever started cleaning one thing and ended up cleaning half the house but not an actual entire room? It happens all the time, even to the best cleaners, but the best way to get the job done without getting overwhelmed is to stay focused! Start and finish one room before you move to the next. Yes, we know this tip sounds like common sense, but it’s extremely easy to get distracted and end up with a bunch of uncompleted rooms. Starting and finishing one job will give you a sense of accomplishment and help you stay motivated to finish the entire job.

Get rid of unwanted items as soon as possible

Do not to let your unwanted items gather dust until the day you move. Get rid of them as soon as you sort them out. Pack the things you have deemed junk and throw them away the next time the garbage man comes. Then find a charity (many will pick up the items for you!) or a recipient for the things that you no longer need but might be useful to someone else. If you’re going to sell the items by having a garage sale, plan to have it at least 2 weeks before your move day. If you plan on selling your items online, take pictures of the piece the day you decided you no longer want the item and start posting the information online.

Ask for help

When you’re organizing and decluttering your home, you may start to feel overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Ask your relatives, friends, or neighbors to help you and give them first dibs on the stuff you no longer want.

This post was contributed by Unpakt.