How to Declutter Before a Move

How to Declutter Before a Move

Decluttering: you either love it or hate it! For some, it’s refreshing to pare down on old or unused belongings to make room for new and better items. But for others, it can be difficult to get rid of items that hold practical or sentimental value. Either way, when you’re planning a move, you’ll want to take the time to declutter your home. That’s why the team at Andrews Installation Group was happy to put together this short guide to give you some tips on how to declutter before a move. 

First, we’ll go over why it’s so important to declutter and then give you some tips on how to make the most of this process.

Why It’s Important to Declutter Before Moving

Decluttering can feel like a daunting task. And in a lot of cases, it is! After all, we spend years collecting clothes, items, and equipment that can pile up without us realizing it. But when it comes time to move, you’ll save considerable stress if you declutter first. Here are just a few reasons why it’s important to declutter before moving. 

How to Declutter Before a Move

Now that we’ve gone over why decluttering is so beneficial, let’s review some tips for starting the process. 

Get Motivated

Let’s face it: most homeowners don’t look forward to decluttering. After all, it takes a considerable amount of time and energy. So don’t be ashamed if it takes a little bit of motivation to keep going! Remind yourself how great it will feel to clear out old belongings and save some money. 

Start Early — and Give Yourself Plenty of Time

We can’t stress this enough: don’t procrastinate! It’s far better to have too much time than not enough. You’ll be surprised at how much more you own than you think you do. Giving yourself plenty of time can help you get organized and break the process down into manageable portions. Plus, the more time you have to declutter, the less stressful the process will be (which is a great thing for everyone involved). 

Schedule Times for Decluttering

It can be hard to stick to a plan if it doesn’t have a schedule or timeline. So, to make your decluttering process more organized, create a routine where you dedicate a certain amount of time per week to declutter. Schedule one to three hours of dedicated time on a specific day of the week—preferably the same day of the week. This will create a routine that you can stick to so that you can make progress. 

Start with Unused Items First

It can be tempting to start decluttering rooms that we are most familiar with or use every day, such as bedrooms and kitchens. However, we recommend starting with the rooms you use the least often. This way, you’ll avoid being overwhelmed when making decisions, especially concerning potentially sentimental items. 

For example, start with a room like the basement or garage. Are there old tools, toys, or other items that you can quickly discard? This will train your brain to think about the purpose and value behind each object. By the time you get to the more important rooms, you will already be a pro at determining what stays or goes!

Don’t Get Swept Up in Memories

Eventually, you’ll end up sorting through items with sentimental value. Although there is no way to avoid feeling the flood of memories that surface when you see certain objects, do your best to pull yourself back into the present. Dealing with strong memories can cause us to become distracted as we recall fun trips, past birthday parties, and more. If the emotional urges are strong, keep the item to revisit at a later date. 

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Piles!

Decluttering doesn’t just involve deciding what items you want to get rid of. The other half of the battle is figuring out what to actually do with those items. One of our favorite ways to get organized is to sort items into piles to determine what you want to do with them. Here are a few examples of the piles you can set up during the process:

Involve Your Kids

This may take a little bit longer, but it can be extremely rewarding to involve your kids when it comes to decluttering their possessions. Not only will this save you from making a mistake (like throwing away a favorite toy), but it will also teach your child some emotional skills, and they will learn how to declutter later in life. 

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

Decluttering is a long process, and it can be stressful to do by yourself. Find ways to involve your family, friends, or even coworkers (if you are moving to a new office). You can even consider hiring a professional to help you organize your belongings. No matter what you decide, there’s no shame in asking for some help!

Go Through Everything!

Yes, we mean everything! You’ll have to pack for the move anyway, so you might as well go through everything you own to potentially save some space on the moving van. The payoff will be well worth the effort. You’ll be starting in a new space with only the items that you need and love the most. So take the time to do this decluttering right!

Decluttering Checklist

Let’s go over some of the most common items to sort through in each room so you have an idea of where to start. 

Living Room/Family Room


Bedrooms and Bathrooms

How to Declutter Before a Move

We hope this short guide has helped you feel a little more comfortable with the decluttering process. If you have questions or want to know more moving tips, feel free to contact us or view our other resources here. We are happy to help with your next moving project!