When you’re getting ready for a move, there are many things to get organized ahead of time so you don’t get overwhelmed.

It can be an exciting time, for sure—but with a lot of potential variables and prep work. If your home is cluttered, that can make things more challenging than they need to be. You already have to get everything you own into boxes, how are you supposed to be able to fit everything in if you don’t even know where to start or can’t make sense of all the different types of items you have?

Dig yourself out of the potential mess by reading these tips so you don’t get buried in stress, but rather come out the other side of this move with a sense of pride and excitement for the future!

Why Focus on Decluttering Before a Move

Stated by an Arlington moving company, doing so can save time, money, and frustration for everyone involved in the process. If you consolidate your belongings, you won’t have to pay as much in terms of weight, space, or trips when it comes to getting billed by the moving company.

In the same vein, when there are fewer things to fill boxes with, there are then fewer boxes needed, and less work to do transporting them—ultimately cutting down on the time the process could otherwise take.

You may be deciding to donate the items you’re purging from your old home and can come out of it with a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing you’re doing your part to help others (while also, of course, helping yourself). Or, you might be going the route of selling the items rather than giving them away for free, meaning you can expect to make some extra cash—which is never a bad thing, and actually, can help cover the costs you incur during your move or go toward sprucing up the new home at your final destination.

How to Go About the Decluttering Process

First, determine which types of items you will be leaving behind when you head to your new house, condo, or apartment. Worn-out or broken things have no place on your packing list unless you actually have a plan to fix them up and keep using them.

Be honest with yourself—be brutally honest. If something is a maybe, and you really want to cut down on clutter, put it into the “no” pile, because when we say things you’ll keep using, it means regularly enough for it to be worth taking up space (hat could have otherwise been given to something else that is more important to you).

If something doesn’t fit, don’t force it, as this is not the time for that and will only be counterproductive in your efforts. If something’s expired, toss it, don’t bother tasting it to see if you can stretch its lifespan. If something is a duplicate, get rid of it. It should be easy to part with things of which you have multiples because you won’t really have to feel like you’re losing anything. If you have both paperback and digital copies of books, you can probably ditch the hardcopy and just finish reading it on your smart device.

A good rule of thumb that movers tend to use is the 12-month rule. That means precisely what it sounds like: if you find an item laying around your home that you haven’t used in at least a year, odds are, you don’t need it.

Try labeling your boxes with “keep, “sell or donate,” and “dump.” Start organizing as early on as possible. Go through your items and group them in any way you want, whether you feel like categorizing by item type or what room those you will keep will end up in when you get to your new abode—but be sure to at least have the forementioned classes down pat. This will make your life easier and you will undoubtedly thank yourself later for having set yourself up for success in advance.

Leaving things to the last minute, especially disorganized things, will cause you needless stress and panic. You deserve smooth sailing all the way through this experience. To help you keep your focus and stay within a timeline so you’re ready on the date you’ve set up for the movers to come, create a moving checklist. Make sure you have any deadlines on it, track any especially valuable items, and have a to-do list section, too. It is typically best to start with one room at a time rather than concentrating too much on the bigger picture and freaking yourself out unnecessarily.

When You’re Ready to Bring on Professional Movers

Before you know it, moving day will have arrived and you want to be ready when it does. Meet the move with calm confidence instead of nerves. After all, this is a new adventure you should be able to look forward to—you deserve it. Don’t be shy about hiring help if you need it.

The right movers can ensure you’re not needing to stay on top of things all on your own, and that your items can be transferred quickly and safely. Relax and have someone else cover the hardest parts for you!

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