Decluttering Before Your Move

Decluttering Before Your Move

You’re getting ready for your move, but as you look around your home, you realize you have a ton of stuff. What are you supposed to do with all this stuff? Do you really want to have it to pack it all up and move it to your new home, just so you can throw it in the back of the closet or stack it in the corner of the basement? Heck no! It’s time for you to start decluttering.

Over the years we’ve been in business, Move It With M&S,  LLC has taken many unwanted items from customers. But rather than having us move those items for you, go ahead and get rid of them beforehand. Decluttering can save you time and money, and it will make your move much faster and easier. It also makes it easier for our movers as well.

Getting Ready to Declutter

First things first: you need to get into the mindset that you will be purging and donating your belongings. Depending on the items you’ll be getting rid of, this can be an sensitive time. However, this process is essential for an easy, simple move. Though it can be emotional, once the task is over, you will feel accomplished and confident for your upcoming move.

Next, you need to set some goals. Your goals will vary depending on when you plan on moving. A good rule of thumb to remember is, the more time you give yourself, the better. Uncluttered Simplicity has a great free decluttering timeline that will help you in this process. This will help eliminate unneeded stress. 

Your goals could be interval or ratio related. For example, your goal could be that you want to purge one bag of items a week. Or if you’re in a crunch, you could purge one or two bags a day. Whatever your goal, it will help you develop a plan of attack that works for your situation.

White, brown, and gray notebooks stacked on top of each other with a black pen laying on top of them. Scissors and glasses lay on the table next to the notebooks.
Set goals for your decluttering process!

Before you start decluttering, you need to do one last thing. Make sure you create four piles to put your items in. One to keep, one to discard, one to donate, and one to sell.  We’ve written a blog post about local places to donate your unwanted items. These piles will make decluttering easier as you go.

On your mark, get set, go!

After you make your preparations, you’re ready to start decluttering. This might feel overwhelming at first, since you might not know where to begin. We recommend you pick one room in the house and focus on that room only. Trying to declutter everywhere all at once is incredibly stressful, so go one room at a time until you’re done.

Now it’s time to decide what to get rid of and what to keep if you’re going through your things and are genuinely surprised that you even own that thing you just pulled out of the closet, that’s a good sign that you don’t use it and it belongs in one of the piles you just made. This could be clothes, jewelry, decorative items, or in one case, an old cash register. 

Another rule of thumb to follow is, if you don’t love it, lose it. There’s no point in keeping belongings that you have no need for or don’t like any more. Someone else could enjoy it, and if it’s broken, it belongs in the trash. Here are some tips for decluttering different rooms of the house.

An old cash register stacked on top of a gray container.
If you don’t use it, it’s time to get rid of it.


Throw out expired food. Now is a good time to look in the back of the pantry to find all those expired soup cans you’ve kept for 5 years now. There’s no need to move those to the new house. And what about the frozen meat that’s been sitting in the freezer for the last 2 years? You can probably get rid of the freezer burned ice cream, too.

While you’re rummaging through the cabinets, go ahead and toss your old utensils and gadgets that you don’t use anymore. Take this opportunity to reorganize your junk drawer. Remember, whatever you get rid of is going to save you time and money.

Living Room

In this day and age, movies and music are becoming more and more digitized. Do you even use those old CDs or DVDs anymore? And when was the last time you put a VHS tape into your VCR? If they’re in good condition, toss them in the into the donate pile.

While you’re in the living room, take the time to organize your side tables. Get rid of the junk mail you put there every week, or the papers that you meant to throw away last month. If they’re not useful, shred them.


This is where you might do a lot of purging, especially in your closets and drawers.  You may have had a goal in mind to lose a few pounds, but don’t fall into the “maybe I could use this later” trap. This is why you have so many clothes to begin with. Donate, donate, donate! 

Also, store your seasonal wear in storage bins, to make packing clothes much faster. Another thing you might consider donating is jewelry. If you don’t love it, lose it!

Indian woman smiling, dancing while wearing a whole lot of jewelry
If you don’t love it, lose it!

You can sell it too!

An easy way to get rid of a ton of items in one sitting is to host a yard sale.  We’ve written a blog post about how to hold a successful yard sale.

If you don’t have enough belongings for yard sale, or if yard sales aren’t your forte, try using a selling app. You can use Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Letgo, or eBay just to name a few. This can help ease the cost of moving as well.

Summing it all up

Moving is an incredibly stressful process. One way to ease the stress is by decluttering before you move. Decluttering can save you time and money – the less you have to pack and move, the easier it is on you and the movers both. Your new home will be easier to set up and organize as well, and you’ll have less cleaning to do during your move. You can go through old belongings that you no longer use and keep, donate, trash, or sell the items. Remember to give yourself the proper time, set goals, and make your move as simple as possible.

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