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Always Declutter BEFORE you Move to a New Home

The Summer moving season is upon us so please carve out enough time BEFORE you move to declutter your home. You will be very happy you did! Here’s a summary of the full article and a room-by-room checklist.

You’re not alone when you start discovering items you’ve collected but no longer need, use or love. It happens to everyone including me, your trusted Professional Organizer, who relocated one block away a few years ago and then to another state. When you declutter BEFORE your relocation, you’ll save time, money and effort and take away some of the stress of the situation. You won’t waste time packing up items that will be confusing and cause clutter if you’re relocating to a smaller home; you’ll save money on the moving company which usually charge by weight; and you’ll have fewer boxes to unpack which will make your unpacking that much easier.

The room-by-room checklist starts with the kitchen. It’s such a good feeling to take everything out of drawers that might be filled with utensils you didn’t even know you had. And clean out cupboards with expired food. And time to do a major inventory on plastic Tupperware you should throw away as you’ll always get more when you do take-out. And consider upgrading to glass which has health benefits vs plastic. You might be like me and use the internet for recipes so you can donate cookbooks which take up a lot of space and are heavy to move.

In the living room, you might have shelves of books. Once again, they are heavy to move and take up a lot of space if you’re moving to a smaller home. I’m a book reader, BUT I read mainly on my Kindle so I got rids of hundreds of books and feel so much lighter with my possessions to not be moving them from home to home. Review whether you have a working VCR or CD player and even if you do, are you watching movies that way given the streaming services on your Smart TV. Time to put them in donate or the trash! You might have kids’ and pets’ toys overflow in the living room to minimize or donate or pass along to neighbors or friends/family who will give a second life to the possessions you no longer need.

Bedroom decluttering is clothes, shoes, boots, purses, jewelry, and excess hangers. Please get rid of dry cleaner hangers which aren’t good for keeping your clothes in tip top shape.

You might have expired medicines and health and beauty products you don’t like any more in the bathroom to get rid of in advance of your relocation to a new home. And maybe you have a lot of hair tools you no longer use. I know I had a flat iron I rarely used so put that in the donate bag when I moved.

People often have too many sheets, towels, blankets, old pillows in their linen closets so now is the time to do a review and refresh of what you own; what you need; what you’ll realistically use and what you can pass along to a pet shelter who takes sheets as donations or to another charity. And you might have excess sewing supplies in the linen closet to only keep a small amount for an emergency if you tend to bring alterations to a dry cleaner or seamstress.

The garage probably has a lot of categories to purge especially if you’re “right sizing” and moving to a much smaller home in an apartment or condo building from a stand-alone home. You might have a lot of tools you no longer need; gardening supplies, camping equipment, sports stuff, toys, clothes, memorabilia, and other items.

Your home office should be reviewed and old documents, files with trip brochures you can easily get again or on the internet, and instruction manuals should be decluttered and purged before you drag them all to your new home.

The article gives steps of:
  1) Starting Early
  2) Prepare by having trash bags, moving boxes, shredder
  3) Divide & Conquer: keep, toss, donate piles
  4) Be Discerning (and don’t take everything)
  5) Keep it Going with round 1 and then do round 2
  6) Wrap Up .

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