If you just move to the other side of town, you can haul all your belongings without any big problem. When you move from one state to another, or even to another country, hauling everything gets tricky — and expensive. Whether you downsize or not, get rid of items you don’t use or that you can easily replace.
Below are some tips for decluttering your belongings before a big move.
1. Downsize your Wardrobe
One of the biggest challenges may be to downsize your wardrobe. The truth is, people often have emotional attachments to clothes. Either they envision getting down to that size again, or the item reminds them of a happy time.
Well, those emotions don’t necessarily translate into a seamless move. Therefore, one of the first items of business should be downsizing your wardrobe. Take everything out of your closet and dresser. Get rid of anything that’s stained, ripped, out of style, or otherwise undesirable. That last marker includes items that don’t fit anymore.
From there, employ a valuation technique to the remaining clothes. For example, ask yourself if you would buy that item again if you were shopping right now, or if you intend to wear it in the next year. Such a process will help you get rid of items you can replace or forgo owning.
2. Throw Away Anything that’s Broken
People often keep broken things with the expectation of fixing them. Well, when you move into your new home, you won’t need any unnecessary repair tasks. So, throw away or donate items that need to be fixed. Try to be ruthless with this stage. Even if it’s an item that’s just a little worn, do you really want to haul it all that distance?
3. Sort by Category, and Get Rid of Multiples
If you’ve been in your current home a long time, chances are you have multiples of items. Sometimes, it’s just easier to buy a new version of something than hunt down the one you know is around somewhere. Well, those extras shouldn’t make the move.
This process may take time because you need to hunt everything down. So, designate a space for multiples. As you clear closets and the garage, group items by category. When you find you have more than one of an item, keep only the one that’s in best repair.
4. Create Three or Four Categories
When you’re going through your belongings, place them into one of three or four categories. You should have boxes designated with items you plan to donate, sell, or toss. If you have a hard time getting rid of items, create a “maybe” box. These are items you think you should get rid of, but you’re not ready to categorize them yet. Hopefully, they’ll end up in one of the other boxes.
5. Declutter even Mementos
Downsizing clothes is hard enough — mementos often have far more emotional attachments. So, leave this category for last. You may well have an emotional reaction as you sort through these items, and you don’t want those emotions to flavor your whole packing.
If you don’t remember the event or the significance of the item, throw it away or donate it. If you do remember the item, consider how important it is to your memory. Did you experience a sense of joy when you discovered that old tourist bauble or family keepsake? If so, that item might be worth packing and moving. Think, too, if you might know someone who’d appreciate that memento.
Children’s keepsakes may be more difficult. Kids produce a lot of mementos. When you come across these items, think about when you last looked at them. Also ponder if they’re the sorts of items your kids might want as adults. Keep only the items that help tell a story about your child’s life, not document it completely.
Make the move across the country or world easier by decluttering your belongings before packing. When you’re ready, let Bell Moving & Storage help you pack and relocate your household.