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How to Declutter Before a Move

How to declutter before a move, from Homemakers Furniture

So you just bought your new house. Congratulations! Now what?

We think your next step is decluttering. Everywhere. As that shudder shoots down your spine, hear us out: It’s the best way to take stock both of what you have and what you may need for your new home. It’ll also help you get organized and get a head start on cleaning your apartment. You want that deposit back, don’t you?

Decluttering before a move may seem like a daunting task, but we’re here for you! We’ve put together some helpful tips on how to declutter and get organized so you’re ready for the big move.

Baby steps

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, the saying goes. But a thousand-mile journey may seem less daunting than tackling the mountains of stuff filling your apartment: overflowing closets, dresser drawers that won’t shut. Sound familiar?

Break it down and tackle one area of your apartment at a time. Your bedroom, for example, or if that seems too intimidating, your bedroom closet or dresser. As you work through each section of your space, you’ll build momentum that’ll carry you through.

Let your own timeline be your guide. This will depend on when you close on your house and take ownership and when you need to be out of your apartment. But don’t wait: Much like an English paper, the hardest part is simply starting the process.

Don’t move what you don’t use

It’s obvious, but it needs to be said: The more items you part with now, the less items you’ll have to move. It might be tempting to shovel everything into boxes, tape them up and call it a day, but now’s the time to purge yourself of excess stuff.

So while you work, keep these four main groups in mind:

  • Keep it: Household items (and furniture!) you actively use, clothes you’ve worn in the past 12 months and items with attached sentimentality fall in this column.

  • Donate it: Clothing, furniture and other items in good condition can be donated. Clothes that don’t fit, or those that find their way to the bottom of the drawer or the back of the closet never to see the light of day again, are perfect fits for donation. There are many nonprofit thrift stores to choose from in the Des Moines area, including St. Vincent de Paul, ENCORE and the HCI Giving Tree.

  • Toss it: Ripped, soiled or stained clothing should be thrown away. If you wouldn’t wear it for these reasons, toss it. When you reach the kitchen, throw away any and all expired food items — don’t try to donate them to a food pantry. Don’t be afraid to give the heave-ho to any old spices either, especially ground spices which quickly lose their flavor and aroma.

  • Use it: If you buy in bulk, focus on depleting your current supply of goods, like that industrial-sized can of rolled oats that is sitting untouched in your pantry. Plan to use up as many items as possible before you move.

Stay on top of clutter

Utilize closet space to declutter your home

Once you move into your new home, the best way to declutter is to avoid cluttering in the first place! We can help with that, offering storage solutions for every room in your home!

If bedroom space is at a premium, a storage bed is a great option with under-bed drawers that allow you to use every last inch of real estate.

A regular cleaning schedule is also important, allowing you to stay on top of clutter and zap it before it gains a foothold in your home.

What tips do you use to battle clutter in your home? Share in the comments below!


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