If you have a move in your future, even if it’s just down the street, it’s best to declutter first so you have less to pack and haul. But where should you start decluttering? And even more importantly, how do you start decluttering?
If you have the luxury of time (i.e. 6-9 months’ notice), start decluttering with the rooms you use the least, such as the guest bedroom or basement. Declutter and pack up the rooms you use most often last. If time is at a premium, start by decluttering the rooms you use most frequently (usually kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms) and pack those up. Continue to pack up the rooms you use the least and plan to do a sort-and-purge of those rooms’ contents when you move into your new home and get some free time.
Gather up empty boxes or even brown bags, and label four of them “donate,” “trash,” “recycle,” and “give to friends/family.” Work from one side of the room to the other, sorting items into one of the four categories, or putting them in an empty box to be packed and moved. (If you are doing the packing yourself, go ahead and wrap the item securely now. If you are hiring packers, simply leave the items to be packed in the box and let them wrap them.)
Can’t decide whether to keep an item or not? Here are the three questions I ask my organizing clients when they are stuck:
- Do you absolutely love it?
- Did you use it in the last year?
- Will you have space for it in your new home?
If you can’t answer yes to at least two of these questions, then the item needs to go. Still can’t part with the item? Try creating a category called “Decide Later,” then vow to decide by the end of the day. Most people are amazed to find how much faster they can make a decision after a whole afternoon spent making similar decisions.
Check back on Wednesday for Part Two: Organizing for a Move for tips to make your move easier!