Moving to a new home is a new opportunity in so many ways. New rooms to decorate, new neighbors to meet, basically a new life to begin. Going into that new life loaded down with too much stuff and clutter is something most people realize they don’t want to do, so they resolve to have a massive declutter of their possessions before they move.
With many people spending much more time at home right now as a result of the measures to stem the spread of COVID-19, even if a move is still a few months ago right now is a great time to get started.
The problem with pre-move decluttering – or just decluttering in general – is that people often find that it’s harder than they imagined and letting go is very hard to do. But it really has to be done.
Rather than tackling the task blindly, it’s important to make a plan and execute it with intention. Use some of my expert tips to learn how to downsize your belongings and declutter your possessions before the big move.
Don’t Wait Too Long
Decluttering and downsizing your ‘stuff’ is not something that should be attempted as a part of a rush last minute plan.
Instead, as soon as you have made the decision that you are going to put your home on the market, even if you haven’t done so yet, plan on scheduling several weekend sessions, taking things room by room, which will save both your sanity and prevent hot headed panic from coloring your throw out or keep decisions,
This will also give you time to make plans to sell/donate things that you don’t need anymore but someone else might love,
Organize the Chaos
Even if you do the sensible thing and declutter room by room it can be very easy to get distracted and indecisive and begin to wander.
For example, in the kitchen you are faced with a pile of baking tins that haven’t sen the front of the cupboard in years because you are really not much of a baker. They were however, your Grandmother’s …so, maybe you should start on a different cupboard instead, and come back to that decision later.
But in that other cupboard you find some rather garish plates that you’d never actually use, but they were a wedding gift…Fast-forward to two hours later and you still haven’t really got anything done.
To avoid this you need to make a rule. Once you touch an item its fate has to be decided. And its fate should place it in one of four distinct categories; trash, give away, keep, or sell. And let go of the guilt about the inherited stuff. For most people, if they knew that you don’t care for the inherited item, they would want you to let it go.
Whittle Down the Multiples
Do you really need all five of the almost identical black coats you’ve seemed to accumulate over the years? Or the six griddles, the ones you kept buying from thrift stores because they were great bargains? The answer is that’s unlikely.
Keep one of each and then, if the others are in good shape plan to sell them on eBay or at a consignment store and then you the cash to buy something that you don’t have, but would like, for your new home.
If You are Really Stuck, Look into Storage
You tried and you tried but you still have a fifth pile of ‘stuff’ that you really should not have; the can’t decide pile. It’s not an ideal situation but its what you are left with.
The one thing you should not do during a pre-move declutter cram all of it into boxes and move it to your new home. Instead, as soon as you are able, rent a storage unit and take it there. That way you won’t be taking stuff you don’t – or very well may not need into your new, currently clean and empty space but you won’t be wracked with guilt over getting rid of something you wish you’d kept.
Then, after you are moved in to your new home and the chaos has died down visit your storage locker and finally make those tough calls, tough calls that may now very well be much easier now that you realistically know how much space you really have to ‘play with’ in your new place.
Get Some Professional Help
Current COVID-19 related restrictions make it hard to work with home staging clients in person at the moment. I am however offering virtual consultations for both home staging and home organizing. Conducted via Zoom many people are finding them very helpful. To learn more or book an appointment call me at 832-271-7608 or contact me here.