If there is one project you will be thankful for taking on before a move it’s a giant declutter session. Or even sessions. It doesn’t matter how many it takes you, getting rid of the stuff that just sits around taking up space and collecting dust feels liberating.
Because stuff is more than just stuff. Everything comes with a reason or attachment that is keeping us from letting go. Even your cell phone from 2012 that you’ve been planning to recycle responsibly for years.
Sometimes the “junk” we collect in drawers and boxes has a lot more to say about us than the more sentimental items like holey t-shirts and ticket stubs.
But don’t worry we won’t go there. Instead, here are four different tactics for getting the clutter out before moving day. Because less stuff means fewer boxes, less to carry and less unpacking.
Let’s start with the most extreme, what would you do if you had to start over from scratch? If you couldn’t take anything with you what would you need to run out and replace ASAP? What are the non-negotiables that make your life yours?
Alternatively, schedule small bursts throughout the next few weeks where you tackle decluttering room by room. Breaking down a total declutter into smaller projects makes it easier to wrap our brains around. I’d recommend tackling one room per weekend.
If you’re finding that breaking up your declutter room by room is too overwhelming, here’s a different technique. Plan a few days a week where you set a timer for just an hour or two to go through one junk drawer/closet/bookshelf at a time. This works because it puts an immediate end in sight that you can quite literally count down to.
Struggling with what to keep and what to toss?
Consider how often do you actually use the item in question. If it’s of sentimental value how often do you pull it out to reminisce? Did you think to yourself “Wow! I totally forgot about this”? What value does this item add to your day to day to life? If the answer is rarely to never, it’s time to let go.
Sort items into the classic four box system. Create four boxes or piles: keep, donate, pack away, toss. And then, once everything is sorted, take action! Actually, donate those items. Toss out your collections of dead pens and old cell phones.
Or box everything up, bring it with you to the new place and toss or donate anything you haven’t unpacked within a month. With the exception of seasonal items, of course. The downside here is that you’re still going to have to pack it all up and move. But it’s a less extreme version of imagining you are starting over from scratch.