When people think of a company like Junk King Katy they think of us removing big things: appliances, house clean outs, old furniture removal, yard clean ups, etc. You might be surprised to know a big part of our business is just helping people declutter – and you’d be even more surprised to see how much extra stuff you have when you start decluttering. A great time to declutter is when you are about to move. You have to pack and unpack all your stuff anyway, right? Why not get rid of the items you don’t need and let us reuse and recycle as much as possible now? Here are our tips for decluttering before you move:
Your moving day is coming up. That must mean it’s time to start packing boxes, but wait. Everything you pack you’ll pay to move. Then, you’ll need to unpack all those things and deal with them at your new place. Why not use your move as a natural opportunity to declutter your house?
Declutter while you pack to keep your new home clean and fresh
Imagine yourself unpacking in your new home. Each box you open contains only the things you want and need. No clutter and no junk. If you declutter as you pack for your move, this can be you.
Decluttering also improves your health
Besides saving you money, there are health benefits to decluttering. Research shows that having a less cluttered home can help your memory function better, and it reduces stress responses in your body. So while you’re packing for your move, you can improve your health by leaving behind piles of stuff you don’t need.
- Step 1: Start with clearing a space for your packed boxes.
Your packing and decluttering will be easier if you have a clear space to store your packed boxes as you prepare to move. If you have a garage, this is a great place to start. If you don’t, then use a storage room, spare room or large closet. If you’re tight for space, section off an area of your home that you’ll use for this purpose.
Starting in this space, label four boxes or bins: 1) keep; 2) discard (and then can mean having Junk King Katy donate, recycle, or dispose of your items) . This will be your sorting system as you go through each of the items in this area. Make your “keep” box one of your moving boxes. This will save you time. You’ll only need to handle your “keep” items once. Once you select the items to keep, pack them straight into a moving box.
As you go through the items in this space, try to touch an item only once and decide what to do with it. Remember that each thing you put in a box you’re welcoming into your new home. If you don’t want it there, don’t pack it. If you have sentimental items in this space, place them in another room to deal with later.
- Step 2: Bathrooms are a great place to begin decluttering.
Once you’ve cleared the space where you’ll store your packed boxes, you’re ready to move onto decluttering a small area. We have emotional ties to many of our items, so it’s more difficult to make decisions about them. Leave these decisions for later when you’ve built momentum from decluttering other things in your home.
The bathroom is an easy place to start. Grab two boxes or bins and label them as we discussed earlier. You’re ready to start sorting. You’ll usually find several beauty products that haven’t been used or maybe partial bottles of products that you didn’t like. Now is the time to clear out all these items. Unused products can be useful to others, so place them in the give away box. Remember to check the expiry dates on items like makeup, hair products, etc. Most of these products have a shelf life.
For bathrooms, there are some items you’ll need before you move. You can keep these aside in a small bin, so they are easy to grab when the time comes. For things like toilet paper, estimate what you’ll need until you move and pack the rest. You can do the same with towels. Keep out a few and pack the rest.
- Step 3: Use your momentum to tackle decluttering paperwork.
As much as we use computers and smartphones, we all seem to accumulate paperwork over time. Chances are you have boxes of old paperwork, and you don’t want to pay to move paperwork you haven’t looked at in years.
For paper sorting, label four boxes or bins: 1) keep; 2) recycle; 3) shred; and 4) garbage. If you have a lot of old papers, sorting might take a while, so be sure to take breaks as you sort. Here are a few things to consider as you’re decluttering:
Check with your country’s regulations on tax records to find out how long you’re required to keep these records.
- If you’re concerned about financial papers, you can box them up and take them to a professional shredding service, or shed them yourself before you move.
- Sort the papers you’re keeping into simple categories as you go (home, car, insurance, warranties, etc.). They’ll be easy to deal with when you unpack.
- Get rid of old schoolwork or college/university papers. It’s unlikely you’re going to need term papers you wrote years ago. If they’re sentimental, either take a picture of the cover or keep just one example. For children’s schoolwork, select some meaningful pieces and let the rest go. Having a few important pieces is more manageable than keeping boxes that will just go into storage in your new place.
- Step 4: Kitchens are often full of clutter. Keep only what you regularly use.
If you’re like most people, you probably have kitchen gadgets or appliances that were gifts or bought with good intentions, but they are items you rarely use. It’s better to sell or give these items away than have them take up space in your new kitchen.
Another source of kitchen clutter are plastic storage containers (so many with missing lids!). You likely don’t use most of the containers you have, and the ones with missing lids are just frustrating. Keep a few and give away or recycle the rest. The fewer kitchen items you have, the clearer your countertops will be in your new space. Everything will fit away neatly in the cupboards.
- Step 5: Dealing with sentimental items: find ways to keep the memories without the clutter.
It’s hard to let go of items that are tied to memories. That’s why it’s best to leave these decisions to the end (once you’ve seen the success of your other decluttering). Really stop to think about what these items are doing for you. For example, maybe you’ve had a sports jersey in a box for ten years. What good is it doing packed away in a box? Give yourself permission to let go of things that you don’t use or want to display.
For special clothes, you can have old t-shirts or baby clothes, made into a patchwork quilt or you can frame a few of them to display. Another idea for special clothes is to just keep a few important items, such as items you’d like to pass on to your children, rather than a full box.
Keep the vision of your new, clean space in your mind as you pack
You can use the sorting process to declutter all the areas of your home as your pack. As you go through the process, keep a vision of your new place in your mind. Focus on the relief you’ll feel when you’re moving in with fewer items that are all truly useful and meaningful to you.
You’ll be surprised how many items you might end up with after you declutter as you pack. And now you might find some of those bigger items Junk King Katy is known for: appliances you need removed, old furniture you’d like donated, a mattress that’s past its prime and needs mattress disposal. Junk King Katy can help you tackle any clutter removal – big or small!