Your house is full of clothes, trinkets, and heirlooms that you’re probably not even aware you own. But once the time comes to move, suddenly all those things will come to the surface, and you won’t know what to do with them. What do you bring with you, and what do you get rid of? And how do you organize everything in time for the move that’s looming close?

Believe us, you’re not the only one struggling with these questions. In fact, everyone faces this issue at one point during the preparation stage of moving. Luckily, you don’t have to deal with it alone — we’ll be glad to share a few decluttering tips with you.

1. Give Yourself Time

The worst thing you can do is start decluttering and packing only a few weeks before the move. That’s basically asking for disaster — you’ll constantly be racing against time and feeling stressed. What’s worse, in your rush to get everything done, you’re sure to misplace things and make mistakes. And with the moving day right around the corner, you won’t have time to go back and fix them.

So, start your moving preparations at least two months before the big day. That way, you can take things slowly and work at your own pace. Moving is still bound to get stressful at some point, but it won’t be nearly as big of a nightmare.

2. Choose What to Bring With You

Before you start sorting the items and packing, you need to go through the house once and take note of everything you own. You don’t have to decide what to bring along yet — just take your time and be thorough. Once this part is complete, you’ll have a clearer picture of your belongings, and you’ll be ready to proceed to the next step.

And the next step is, of course, deciding what to bring with you to the new house and what to throw away or donate. Start from the necessities — what items could you not function without? Usually, those include utensils, furniture, and other things you use almost daily.

When it comes to your other belongings, you’ll need to do a bit more thinking. Will you ever wear that dress that’s collecting dust at the back of your closet? What about those books you got on a sale years ago? Will you ever actually read them? If the answer is I don’t know, it might be better to give them away or donate them.

Also, some of the things you own might be old or already expired. That’s especially true of products in your bathroom or pantry, which you often buy and entirely forget about. Thus, when you make your rounds, check all expiration dates and throw out everything close to expiring.

3. Get Three Types of Boxes

Once you finally go through the entire house, it’s time to bring some moving boxes and plastic wraps into the mix. For convenience, bring three types to each room you tackle — one for things you’ll keep, one for those you’ll throw out, and one for stuff you’ll donate. Label each box accordingly and start putting your belongings into them and you can use chalkboard labels for tiny things.

And don’t feel pressured to decide about all items right away. Begin with the things you’re sure about, and then as the moving day approaches, slowly start adding more to the pile. We suggest leaving heirlooms and items with sentimental value for the end. After all, having to get rid of something that means a lot to you might make you emotional, and you don’t want that to affect your whole moving experience.

4. Label Everything

Once you actually start packing stuff, things can get a little confusing. All of a sudden, you’ll find yourself surrounded by boxes of all shapes and sizes. Trying to memorize which contains what is futile — everything will surely get jumbled during the move. So instead, make sure to label every box, no matter how big or small.

And most importantly, group together the items you’ll need as soon as you arrive at your new home. Label those boxes with “open first” and make them easily accessible. That way, you’ll have no trouble finding them and unpacking them as soon as you need them.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Rid of Things

We get it — throwing things out can be difficult. You get attached to them, some remind you of good moments in the past, and others are remnants of hobbies and passions you swear you’ll go back to but never do. But think about it — is there a place for such items in your new home? Or would you rather make room for new belongings that may bring you just as much joy?

Don’t be afraid to let go of some items you own, no matter how much they might have meant to you. If you haven’t used them for years, you’re unlikely to start once you get to your new place. On the contrary; these remnants of the past will probably end up in the attic, collecting dust.

So, instead of dooming your belongings to such a fate, donate them. Someone else might find a better use for them, and you’ll get plenty of space to fill with new things.

In Conclusion

No matter how well prepared you are, moving is always stressful. There’s always so much to organize, arrange, and sort out. For at least two months before the move, you’ll feel like the work is never-ending.

Still, with some planning and decluttering, the whole process can be at least a little easier on your nerves. So, go ahead and use these few tips to prepare your home for the big day. They are sure to make a difference!

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