Declutter Your Home Before the Big Move

When it comes to moving to a new home, less is more. Don’t misunderstand—we’re not advising you to downsize the size of your house. By less, we simply mean the less you have to pack—and unpack—the more time you’ll have to manage the other things associated with your move.

So how do you make it so there is less to pack? Prior to moving, consider having a good old-fashioned decluttering session.

What is decluttering, you ask? Well, Merriam-Webster defines declutter this way: to remove clutter from a room, an area, etc.

While that definition is pretty straightforward, how the word “clutter” is defined will vary wildly from person to person. After all, one person’s clutter is another’s treasure. For the purpose of this Moving Tips article, we’ll consider clutter to be anything in your house that doesn’t add meaning to your life. In short—if it doesn’t matter, you don’t need it.

Think about all those trinkets and nicknacks on your shelves that you sigh at when you’re dusting. Those things are in the deep, dark recesses of your closet. And, of course, the long-forgotten items packed haphazardly inside beat-up boxes that are stacked in your attic. Some of those things certainly matter to you—but do they all?

What about your clothes? Perhaps clothes are not traditionally thought of as “clutter,” but we all have those old T-shirts or socks that have slowly shifted to the back of our drawers over time. Or those hanging clothes that do exactly that—hang—and are never worn.

Some people find the process of decluttering to be cathartic. If you’ve ever moved before, you know it can certainly have its stressful moments. So why not take the opportunity to embrace this catharsis and lower the stress of your impending move.

The reality is, however, that decluttering will involve some work. You’ll have to throw some things away, which could mean a few extra trips to the curb on the dumpster. There might be some things you want to sell, so that will require time to make trips to the post office, meet buyers, or organize a yard sale.

But whether you decide to go hard at decluttering or just spend a couple of hours downsizing your Pez collection, remember: any progress is progress, no matter how small—and less is more!


  • Declutter on a room-by-room basis. Stay focused!
  • Not all clutter needs to go to the bin. Think of those less fortunate than you and donate items when you can.
  • Sort the items you decide to do away with: trash, recycle, resell, donate, storage.
  • If something is broken and you haven’t fixed it in months or years, it’s time to say goodbye.
  • Involve your family or roommates. Don’t discard any joint-owned items as clutter unless you are sure the other party agrees.

If you’re still not convinced, consider that there may never be a better time for you to declutter your home than before a big move. You’re going to be going through all your stuff anyway, right?

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