Clutter is a huge problem in American homes. Studies have shown that Americans would characterize their homes as cluttered more than any other country’s inhabitants. Clutter aimlessly occupies valuable space and can become a real problem when you need to move.

Here are some steps to follow if you find yourself in need of a serious pre-move declutter!

  1. Get organized

One of the first and most important steps to your pre-move declutter is to decide what is coming with you and what isn’t. The easiest way to do this is to categorize all of your belongings into three separate piles: to keep, to sell, and to recycle. Making these distinctions will really get you thinking about what you need and don’t need, and this will make your process much easier and even more enjoyable.

  1. Simple is Better

Aim to simplify your belongings! Many people have trouble throwing things away because they’re afraid they may need whatever it is sometime in the future. Most of the time, that’s not the case, and we end up holding on to items we almost never use. If this sounds like you, recruit another set of eyes to help you out. A close friend or family member can offer some outside perspective on what’s needed and what will just end up taking up space. 

  1. Consider the Essentials

Some people move with a whole truck full of boxes while others may take just a few bags. It’s not always necessary to cut back that much, but if that’s what you’re looking to do, here are a few guidelines to moving with only the essentials. Avoid bringing needless items that can just be replaced once you’re settled in your new home. Items like this would include small, unimportant decorations, old towels or linens, and anything broken or no longer in usable condition. Moving with the essentials is all about recognizing what you absolutely need and what can be let go.

  1. Take Your Time

Some people find it helpful to have a yard sale. This is a quick and easy way to get rid of unnecessary stuff and may even make you a couple bucks in the process! Other people, however, may have a hard time letting go of items that may have grown to hold sentimental value for them. If you find yourself relating with the latter category, it’s a good idea to start the declutter process earlier than normal. Giving yourself ample time to decide what will come and what will go can make the process easier on yourself and will give you the time you need to make the right decision for each item.