When you have a move rapidly approaching, clearing out clutter can seem like an overwhelming task. So much so, that many people avoid it entirely, choosing to move with all their clutter instead of moving out of it.
Keep reading to find out how you can declutter your home quickly and painlessly.
Question One: What is it?
Your first step is assigning each piece of clutter to a category. Your categories should look something like this:
– Clothes or accessories
– Entertainment (books, DVDs, etc)
– Sentimental items (keepsakes, souvenir)
Designate a bin for each category of items. If you need to add a couple categories, no problem — just add another box.
Next, create one more (big!) bin and put a big red X on it. This is the bin that you’ll put all your clutter in. Once something gets put in this bin, it stays! Always go with your initial decision when it comes to decluttering!
Finally, walk through your house and pick up clutter. Look at it and decide what category that bit of clutter falls in. Then move on to question two…
Question Two: How often do I use this?
Be honest with yourself. Have you used it within the past week? Month? Year? Are you unsure when it was that you last picked up and used/wore/admired this item?
If it’s been longer than a month or two (unless it’s a seasonal item, such as a sweater), ditch it. If you’re hesitating, move on to question three…
Question Three: How does this item make me feel?
If you’re holding that keychain you got from your vacation in LA the summer of ‘09 and you can feel the sun and hear the water all over again, perhaps you’d better keep it. Items that have strong memories attached to them (positive ones) contribute to a feeling of home and happiness. There’s nothing like looking at some old memories in a new place to feel settled in.
If, on the other hand, you find yourself struggling to remember where this item came from and who gave it to you, well….It’s time to toss it.
Question Four: Would I buy this item again?
This question applies most to knick-knacks and clothing. Try it on. Is it out of style or a bit too worn to really warrant keeping? Does it actually (gasp) fit?
No one will be around to judge you if you try to wriggle into those jeans you wore freshman year of college, but when you accept that a) they won’t fit and b) you wouldn’t buy them again anyway, you can feel proud of yourself for finally tossing ‘em.
Question Five: Do I want to pay to move this?
There’s nothing that reveals our true feelings like the motivation of money. Do you really want to pay for someone to pick up, carry, and move that old chair in the corner? Is it worth moving? Or would moving it cost more than simply buying a new one?
You’d be amazed at how many boxes and bins of clutter can be removed from a house before a move. All of those boxes not only take the time of a mover to transport but also require a bigger moving van. The more clutter you can remove before you move, the more money you can save.
So, ask yourself—do I want to pay to move this? If you find yourself hesitating for even a moment, toss it.
Question Six: Do I have another thing like this already?
Don’t deal with duplicates. Let’s be honest with ourselves – you don’t actually need two can openers. As you’re moving through your home, keep an eye out for those items that seem to accumulate pairs. Choose which one of the pair (or the many) that you like best, and donate the rest.
And don’t forget about your entertainment. Most of us have duplicate copies of books, thanks to e-Readers and online subscriptions. Toss the physical copies and just remember that you’ve still got the digital copies tucked away in the Cloud.
Question Seven: Is there a better home for this item?
Not all belongings are meant to stay with us forever. There are certain stages of life that make this particularly apparent. Do you actually want to keep the furniture you got off the roadside for your college dorm room? Does that faded green chair actually match the style that you’re trying to go for in your new home? While you might have pieces of furniture, kitchenware, dishware, or other household appliances that you use regularly, take a moment to stop and consider if, well, it’s just time you parted ways.
Seattle Moving and Storage Options
As you’re prepping for your move, it might behoove you to think about getting in touch with a moving company—unless, of course, your decluttering was so thorough you’ve got nothing left to move into your new digs. But for those of you still with many boxes to be moved and/or stored, get in touch with our experienced moving and storage crew.