Are you thinking of buying a new home? Are you wanting to move, relocate or downsize? Have you thought about how much stuff you have and what it will take to move?
As someone in the process of moving after 18 years in one place, I have learned one thing. Start the pre-move decluttering process early.
If you find, like me, that you have collected too many things over the years, now is the time to clean out and purge items that you no longer need or want. By beginning early, packing and moving to a new home will be a lot less stressful.
How to Declutter Before Moving into a New House
Preparing to move into a new home can be stressful. Taking inventory of your belongings before you move can help with decluttering your home before moving into a new house. You can use your inventory when you move into a new house to determine and prepare the kind of space you want or need in your next home. Here are some tips for purging and packing tips that have been useful to me.
Create a Purging System
When purging unnecessary make a system that works for you. Start with those out of the way closets, attic and garage. After smaller areas are complete you can make your way to areas with more used items. The three-bin system is a good way to stay organized. Designate boxes as Donate, Sell, Toss and Keep.
- Donate clothing, household items and children’s toys to local thrift stores.
- Sell furniture and other valuable items on e-bay, craigslist or in consignment shops. (If you’re in the market for new pieces, shopping for furniture in North Carolina can yield quality finds.)
- Toss any broken or unusable items.
- Keep only items that are essential and cherished.
Children’s artwork is a precious treasure but can take up a lot of space. A remedy for this is to take a picture of each item and make a book of the pictures so everything is in one keepsake that can be displayed in a bookcase instead of in a box in the attic.
How to Stay Organized During the Move
By doing the preliminary work, packing and moving into a new home will hopefully be a little less stressful. Once you have found the perfect home, it’s time to get moving. Our list of local vendors can help you find resources to help during your move. Using your declutter and purging system will help you stay organized during your move. Here are some ways you can prepare for your move that keep the process simple.
Keep Track of Packed Boxes
Make a list of all the rooms in the new house and keep track of packed boxes for each room in the house. Colored packing tape works great for labeling boxes and color coding each room. For example, the kitchen can be color coded Red so all boxes going to the kitchen are labelled using Red packing tape. Continue using a different color for each room.
Along with the room destination, write the contents of each box on the outside of the box or on an inventory list to make it easier to find certain items. Labeling boxes on top and sides to can help movers identify the room the box goes.
For furniture that must be disassembled, put all screws and hardware in a plastic bag. Label the bag and tape it to the furniture or place in a separate box containing hardware for all furniture.
Think outside of the box: use laundry baskets, suitcases and trash bins instead of boxes.
Hanging clothes can easily be transported to the new home by putting them in plastic trash bags while they are still hanging in the closet. When at the new home, simply hang the bagged clothes in the new closet and remove the trash bag. No sorting necessary.
Pack the Essentials Separately
You will want to pack essential items separately to help you through the first few days of your move. Nothing is more annoying than having to open a bunch of boxes just to find your toothbrush. Make and label a “Moving Day Essentials Box”. The container can be a clear plastic bin that is easy to locate. Put everything that will be needed immediately, like you’re packing for a short trip. Items you should consider include:
- Cleaning supplies – sponges, dish soap, paper towels, all-purpose cleaner, broom/dustpan, dust cloths or rags
- Hand soap and toilet paper for each bathroom
- Paper, pen or pencil, scissors and tape
- Phone chargers
- Snacks and water
- Bedding and linens
- Small overnight bag with change of clothes, toiletries, medications
As unloading and unpacking begins, concentrate on setting up the most essential rooms first: the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. You will be able to live somewhat comfortably until the other rooms are organized.
Let’s face it, packing and moving can be a daunting task. But if you start early, get rid of your unwanted things and take the time to organize and pack, the move into your new home will be a little less taxing and you may actually enjoy the moving experience.