By Brandon on Sep 22 2011
Category: Moving Guides

Organize and Declutter Before Moving

From small moves to large ones every move is different. Probably the only thing that most moves have in common is time, and lots of it. Face facts, moving is a time consuming and stressful necessity for just about everyone, from the college student moving into a dorm room to the retired couple with the six-bedroom home. Anyone who tells you that you can have a "stress-free" move is either completely nuts or about to hand you a relocation estimate for $20,000+. You're likely on our website because you are looking for the most affordable way to move, and if that is the case then you will have to be hands-on with your move.

The bottom line is that very few, if any, do-it-yourself moves are stress-free. However, like with most other activities your stress can be reduced by properly preparing for your move well in advance of moving day.

We've taken the liberty of outlining some nifty ways to reduce the clutter, remove the junk and organize your home to make your upcoming move more manageable. For those of you who are procrastinators or not easily motivated think about it this way: The cost of both a DIY move and a full-service move is directly related to how much stuff you have. Many people who fail to declutter prior to their move end up transporting it only to throw it out when they arrive at their new home. The translation: Get rid of the stuff you no longer want or need before you move and your move will become less expensive.

Decluttering

The first step to getting your home into shape for your move is to declutter:

  1. The goal of decluttering is to determine what is junk, what is no longer of importance or value to you and what you will be taking with you.
  2. Most people tend to use their garage and basement for storage, start here and you will discover the bulk of what needs to be sorted.
  3. Sort your junk items into different categories: Junk-Trash, Junk-Donate and Junk-Recycle.
  4. The items that are no longer important to you are generally not junk or trash but instead hold potential value, just not to you. These items may eligible for resale. Sort these as well.
  5. As you're sorting the junk and non-important items you will find that the things you plan to keep will sort themselves.
Related: How to Declutter and Sell Your Stuff Before You Move

It's important to have as little environmental impact as possible during this process. In other words, throw away as little as possible. Think about these potential solutions for items that are not trash:

Removing the Junk

"Junk" is a broad term, frankly we think of junk as the larger and bulkier items that cannot simply be trashed. Items such as furniture, building materials, and electronics that require special disposal sites. Let's look at some cost-effective (our fancy way of saying "affordable") ways to remove junk from your home:

Organizing

Now that you've rid yourself of the junk, trashed those bills from 1996 and spent a few hours browsing your old high school yearbook it's time to get organized. Taking your time and doing a thorough job will ensure that when it's time to pack your moving boxes the process will be quick and simple.

Related: 5 Must Have Items for Moving Day

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