Hello everyone, I hope that you are healthy and safe. My partner and I recently moved into my mom’s house, and I’ve been much happier here than at our old apartment. My family has always been vital to me, and I feel pretty homesick whenever I’m apart from them. I’ve been much more comfortable in our new space, despite it being only a fifth of our old apartment’s size. I think the biggest reason for this is that we did a great job of decluttering before moving. It can be tempting to just throw all your possessions in boxes and deal with it later. The problem is that in doing so, you end up wasting your time and money. After all, the more stuff you take with you, the longer it will take to pack and unpack. If you choose more things, you’ll need a bigger truck and possibly even movers, which results in a more expensive move. During our most recent move, my partner and I rented the smallest U-Haul van and were able to bring all of our possessions. We spent $50 in total.
Have I convinced you to declutter before moving? If so, here are some tips that I learned from my most recent move!
#1: Give yourself plenty of time.
This one is the most important tip, in my opinion! Start early! Don’t start decluttering only a week before the move. Giving yourself at least a month is ideal, but if you can start even sooner, then that’s better! This allows you to take it slowly. Moving can be really stressful, so why make it even worse by rushing?
#2: start small.
Don’t immediately jump into getting rid of your bed. Instead, start with things that you don’t often use, like the stuff that’s piled up in your junk drawer. Again, take it slowly! Declutter a little bit every day so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Decluttering a little every day (say for 30 minutes) allows you to build momentum, and it allows you to stick with it.
#3: visualize it in your new home.
Take a good look at whatever you are reluctant to declutter, and try to imagine it in your new home. Do you actually need it in your new home? Does it work within your future space? To illustrate, my partner and I had a giant TV in our old apartment. We tried to imagine it in the tiny bedroom we would be moving into, and I hated how it looked. It was much too large. So, we sold the TV. We also had some patio furniture, but we didn’t need it in our new apartment because its patio was already furnished. So, we gave the furniture to our neighbors. Be honest with yourself about whether an item will work in your future home. If you get sucked into wishful thinking, you may bring along many unnecessary things.
#4: Sell your stuff.
It’s actually not as much work as you think. Take some well-lit photos of whatever you would like to sell and post them on apps such as OfferUp or Letgo. Always price your items fairly, and remember that people love to get a bargain! If you’d like to sell your item for $50, list it for a little higher and let someone haggle. If you hate haggling (like me) and set a firm price, you’ll probably have to list it cheaply to get some interest. My partner and I were able to get rid of our unwanted items within a couple of days. However, we did have to give many things away for free because we had to be out of the apartment quickly. One last tip about selling your things: Only list a couple of items at a time. If you post too many, you might receive too many messages to manage!
#5: only declutter what is yours.
You can’t force someone to get rid of their possessions. I learned that the hard way. Even if you find their rubber ducky collection absolutely hideous, if they want to keep it, then that’s that! Just think about how you would feel if your partner or family member got rid of something of yours. You would probably be very upset, so just don’t do it!
What you can do, however, is give suggestions. For example, you can say, “Hey, you have ten of these, but I only see you use these two. Do you want to keep all of them?” I do that often with my partner, who would never declutter unless I gave him a little push. It’s not that he’s particularly attached to his possessions, it’s just that he won’t think about decluttering on his own.
I mentioned earlier in the post that we sold our TV. To be honest, while we both used the TV, I always thought of it as his because it came from his family’s home. So, I asked him if he would like to sell the TV because it was too big for our new room, and he initially said no. He couldn’t imagine being without it, and I respected his decision (though I didn’t agree with it). I set out to find a wall-mount for the TV, which was the only way we were going to be able to fit it into our new bedroom. On the last day in our old apartment, my partner spontaneously said, “Alright, let’s sell the TV.” I was so shocked that I asked him several times if he was sure. He confirmed that he was sure, and we sold the TV that same day!
I hope that these tips can help you if you’re in the process of moving! It can be a very stressful time, so remember to take it slow, take breaks, and don’t fret if you can’t declutter as much as you expected. Just do your best!
Do you have any other tips for decluttering when you move? Leave them below in the comments!