Skip to Content

Decluttering Before Moving: How to Purge Before a Big Move

Decluttering Before Moving: How to Purge Before a Big Move

Decluttering before moving is always a great idea. Not only will it save you time, energy and money. But it will also give you the opportunity to have a fresh start in your new home.

Rather than bringing clutter with you, use your move as a chance to simplify and create that fresh start in your new home!

As you prepare for your move, take advantage of the opportunity to do some decluttering now. Because you’ll already be handling each item as you pack up your home, it’s a great opportunity to re-assess what’s truly adding value to your life and what’s just adding clutter.

Why decluttering before moving matters

Taking the time to declutter before moving can make your life easier in a number of different ways.

For starters, when you declutter before moving, you’ll have less stuff to pack up, transport, unload and put away. Moving is a lot of work. But when you get rid of the clutter first, it means you’ll save time and energy because you won’t be moving things you don’t use, need or love.

Not only that but decluttering before moving can also save you money as well. You’ll save money by needing fewer boxes and packing supplies. And if you’re hiring movers, you’ll also save on moving expenses when you have less to move. All of which help decrease the cost of your move.

And finally, you’ll have less stuff to find homes for, put away and organize in your new home. This makes unpacking a lot easier, quicker and less stressful.

And also lets you create a home you love, filled with the things you use, need and enjoy. Rather than a home filled with clutter that’s not adding any value to your life.

Decluttering before moving: 13 tips to simplify & declutter efficiently

In today’s post, I’m sharing 13 tips to help you declutter before moving. And make the most of your time spent decluttering so you can declutter efficiently and effectively.

Use these tips to simplify your home now, simplify the process of moving and set yourself up for a simplified, clutter-free home you love when you move!

1. Start decluttering as early as possible

One of the best ways to declutter most effectively before moving is by starting the decluttering process as early as you can.

The more time you give yourself, the more thoughtful your decluttering decisions can be.

If you leave decluttering until too close to your move date, you’ll likely feel rushed, pressured and stressed to get it done. Which might mean you don’t have the time or capacity to make thoughtful decluttering decisions. And end up throwing everything in boxes instead of thinking about what you truly use, need or love.

It takes time to carefully sort through your belongings and make thoughtful decluttering decisions. Plus, most people can only effectively declutter for so long at one time before the quality of their decluttering decisions decreases.

Give yourself enough time to carefully sort through your belongings and make solid decisions about what you want to bring with you to your new home to avoid moving a bunch of clutter.

Another benefit of starting the decluttering process early is clearing the clutter can also make your house easier to sell, if you’re selling. A clean, clutter-free, well-staged home can make a home more appealing to buyers. And hopefully, make the selling process smoother and easier.

It’s not always possible to start decluttering well before your move. But if it is possible, try to start the decluttering process as early as you can.

2. Have a strong decluttering plan

Most people underestimate how long it will take to declutter. Not only is there usually a lot of stuff to sort through. But as I mentioned, most people can only declutter for so long at one time before they get tired and stop making the best decluttering decisions.

That’s why a decluttering plan can be helpful!

A decluttering plan helps you assess what you need to declutter. And plan for how much time you’ll need to get it done. Helping you plan your decluttering schedule and ensure you’ll be done decluttering before moving.

A good decluttering plan can also help you avoid some common decluttering stumbling blocks. Things like what you’ll do with the stuff you’re getting rid of, how to avoid losing your motivation, how to avoid forgetting about certain spaces or categories of stuff, and more.

Sign up here to get a free decluttering workbook to help you make your own personalized decluttering plan.

Or check out Your Clutter-Free Home, my decluttering guide that does the planning for you. Giving you a complete roadmap to follow to declutter and simplify your entire home!

Your Clutter-Free Home: decluttering guide & checklists

3. Use up consumables first

An easy way to have less stuff to move is by aiming to use up anything consumable before you move.

Start doing this as soon as you know you’ll be moving so you have plenty of time to use up what you can before the move.

For example, try to use up as many pantry items as you can so you’ll have less food to move. You can also try to use up personal care products like shampoo, body wash, lotion, etc. As well as household products like cleaning supplies, paper products, laundry detergent, etc. so you’ll have fewer products to move.

Even things like books can fall under this category. If you have some time to prepare for your move, start reading and passing along as many books as you can so you’ll have fewer books to move.

Make it a goal to move as few consumable items as possible by focusing on using up what you have and only buying what you truly need before moving.

4. Stop adding new stuff to your home

Along the same lines, another great way to have less stuff to move is by avoiding buying anything new before the move. Anything new you bring in will be one more thing to pack, move and unpack in your new home.

Preparing for a move is a great time to focus on buying less, using up what you have, making do without and holding off on buying new things.

5. Consider how your new home will change what you need

As you’re decluttering before moving, it’s also important to think about and consider what you’ll need and have room for in your new home.

For example, if your current home has more bedrooms than the home you’re moving to, you’ll know you need to get rid of some bedroom furniture. If your current home has a dining room, but your new home doesn’t, you’ll be able to let go of the furniture you won’t need or have room for.

Take into account the number of bedrooms, number of rooms and the configuration of space in your new home. Think about what you’ll have space for, where things will go, what will fit in your new space, etc.

It’s a great time to let go of the extra furniture and items you won’t need or have space for in your new home to save time, expense and energy while moving.

6. Assess what you truly use, need and love

Beyond assessing what you’ll have space for, moving is also a great time to really think about what you want to bring into your new home.

Moving is a chance to give yourself a bit of a fresh start. Use it as an opportunity to let go of what no longer serves you or makes you happy.

Ask yourself if the things you’re planning to keep are truly worth the time, money and effort to move them. The goal is to only pack and move what you truly use, need or love. Not only making your move easier and more cost-effective. But also giving yourself the opportunity to only fill your new home with what you use and love, rather than clutter.

For example, maybe you’ll want to change or update the style of your new home. If so, really assess if what you’re planning to bring will fit your vision for your new home. If it doesn’t, let the items go before you move and have less stuff to move.

When you get to your new home, don’t be afraid to give yourself time to settle in and live in your home for a little while before decorating. Embrace the space you’ve created by decluttering. And focus on slowly and intentionally decorating instead of being in a hurry to decorate.

7. Declutter by category, not room

When you’re decluttering before moving, instead of decluttering by room, try decluttering by category.

Gather all like items together in one place, regardless of what room they normally “live” in. Then declutter them all at once.

Your new home will likely not be organized in exactly the same way as your current home. You’ll probably change or shift where and how you keep some things.

The advantage of decluttering by category, rather than by room, before moving is that you’ll be able to see exactly how much of each type of item you have in total. Instead of deciding what feels like “enough” for a certain room, you’ll be able to decide what feels like “enough” of each type of item in total.

And sometimes seeing all like items together at once can inspire and motivate you to be a little more ruthless in your decluttering decisions.

For example, if you have books in several spots throughout your home, gather them all together when you’re decluttering before moving. Then decide how many to keep based on your book collection as a whole, not how many you keep in each space currently.

8. Consider the weight of items as you pack

As you are decluttering before moving, consider the actual weight of items you’re bringing with you.

If you’re moving yourself, the more heavy stuff you pack, the more effort and trips in and out of your old home and into your new home will be required. And if you’re hiring movers, the less weight you have, the more cost-effective your move will be.

Moving is a great time to consider decluttering anything particularly heavy that you don’t truly use, need or love.

9. Create “holding zones” to stay organized

As you’re decluttering before moving, having “holding zones” for things you want to get rid of can make the decluttering process easier.

Have designated spots for things you want to donate and/or try selling. (Get rid of the trash right away.) Add things to these holding zones as you’re decluttering so you know exactly what the plan is for them.

Not only will these holding zones help your home stay organized. But they’ll also make it easier to load up, drop off and get the things you’re getting rid of out of your house when it’s time.

Then, when it’s time to pack, you’ll know anything left in the rooms of your home is the stuff you want to pack and move with you.

10. Arrange donation pick-ups and/or schedule donation drop-offs

It’s also a great idea to arrange and schedule donation pick-ups ahead of time if they’re available in your area.

Arranging for donation pick-ups not only makes it easier to get the stuff you’re getting rid of out of your house. But it also gives you a deadline to work towards and stay motivated for as you’re decluttering.

Scheduling times when you’ll drop donations off at your local donation center is a good idea too. Again, it gives you a deadline or goal to try to meet as you’re decluttering.

11. Tackle any “just in case” clutter

Often, things you’re holding onto “just in case” you might need them “someday”, or all the stuff you keep for those “what if” thoughts you have are actually clutter. You don’t truly use, need or love them, you’re just feeling nervous about letting them go. And if you have had the space to keep them in your home, it can be easy to hang onto them.

But now that you’re moving, you’ll definitely want to tackle the “just in case”, “someday” and “what if” clutter!

Be as honest and realistic with yourself as possible. Try not to move things you aren’t currently using, needing or loving “just in case” you might need them “someday”.

Moving is the perfect time to tackle these types of clutter and save yourself time, energy and money when you move!

12. Declutter sentimental items

Sentimental items can be some of the hardest to declutter.

Instead of tackling them first, work on some easier decluttering projects first. Decluttering tasks where you can make more logical, less emotional decluttering decisions, like in the bathroom, your pantry, a coat closet, etc.

Decluttering is a skill you get better at the more you do it. And easier decluttering projects help build up your “decluttering muscles”, so you’re better able to tackle the tougher projects like your sentimental items when the time comes.

But don’t leave your sentimental items to the very end when you’re decluttering before moving either.

Decluttering sentimental items often takes more time to sort through and make decisions about the items. You might need more time if you need more breaks when decluttering sentimental items as well.  You don’t want to end up rushed and panicked to declutter sentimental items.

Try decluttering sentimental items when you’ve built up your momentum and “decluttering muscles”, but still have enough time to work through them without feeling rushed.

13. Do one last check as you pack

As you are packing your boxes to move, it’s also a great time to do one last quick check for clutter.

You’ll be handling each item as you pack already, so it’s a great time to ask yourself if it’s truly something you use, need or love and is worth moving.

Use packing as your last chance to check for any clutter you can let go of now to avoid moving it!

Decluttering before a move

I hope these tips will help make the process of decluttering before moving a little easier. And let you clear the clutter now so you can only take the things you use, need and love with you. And enjoy a clutter-free home you feel great in when you get to your new home!

If you’ve decluttered before moving, was there something you did that made the process easier? Or something you wish you would have done? Leave a comment and let me know!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.