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How to Declutter Before a Move + A Declutter Checklist for Moving!

Here are easy tips on how to declutter before a move to help make moving and organizing your new home easier.

One of the best times to declutter your home is when you are preparing to move.

Not only does decluttering before a move make the decluttering process easier it also can reduce some of the stress from moving since you don’t end up packing and unpacking items you no longer use nor do you have to find a space to store useless items in your new home.

If you are preparing for a move, here are some tips on how to get rid of stuff before moving to help you declutter efficiently.

How to declutter before a move

Benefits of Decluttering before Moving

Saves Space – By getting rid of all the things you no longer need or want, you will take less stuff to your new home, thereby saving a lot of storage space.

Makes Organizing Easier – Having less stuff to organize in your new home makes organizing easier and faster.

Reduces the Stress of Unpacking – Decluttering reduces the number of stuff you need to unpack, reducing your stress.

It Can Make You Money – You can actually sell some of the decluttered items that are still in good condition to make some fast cash. (You may also want to read this article on what to do with decluttered items).

Tips on How to Declutter Before a Move

Start with a Plan

In order to declutter efficiently, you should always start with a plan.

Your plan should include the order of the areas or rooms you will go through, the amount of time each day you will give over to decluttering and setting up a system that works best for you.

  • Make plenty of time to go through the entire house
  • Spread the work out so you don’t get overwhelmed
  • Try to do some packing of non-essential items as you go
  • Consider using checklists as they will help keep you motivated and allow you to track those areas you have completed
  • If other family members or friends are helping with the decluttering, make sure that they understand and follow your plan so the process is consistent.

It is important for you to make a plan that works for you and your family.

There is no set plan or system that works for everyone, so choose one that works the best for you and then modify it to meet your needs.

Start Decluttering Early Enough

When decluttering a home before a move you should start 3 to 4 weeks before the actual move takes place.

That will give you ample time to thoroughly go through everything and remove those items that you no longer need or use.

Make the 3 Box System Part of Your Decluttering Plan

When decluttering, you should always include the 3 box system.


You should have one box for those items you plan on keeping and taking to your new home with you.

In actuality, this will be a series of boxes since each box needs to be labeled when filled or when you move to a new room in order to make your unpacking after your move simpler and easier.

Give Away/Recycle

You should have a second box for those items you plan on giving away or recycling (You can also choose to have a separate box for give away and another one for recycling.)

This box should contain items that are still useful, but that you no longer need or want or items that can be recycled, saving on the environment.

The items in this box should be gotten rid of as soon as possible at the end of each day in order to prevent any items from making their way back into your home.


The third box should be for those items that you are disposing of. This includes everything from scraps of paper, to broken items that cannot be recycled, and anything else that is not useful to anyone.

This box should be emptied each time it gets full.

Sort and Purge All the Extras

No matter what room or area you start with, the first thing you need to do is to clear out any extras. You really don’t need two blenders or that extra coffee pot in the kitchen.

The same holds true for items in your closet and dresser drawers and even your garage.

By removing the extra items first you gain a sense of accomplishment that will help you continue in your decluttering efforts.

What to Declutter Before Moving – Decluttering Checklist

Below is a list of some of the items you may want to get rid of before moving. Some of these may be old or damaged, some you no longer need or want and others are too bulky or heavy to transport during the move.

  • Mattress
  • Old furniture
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Area rugs
  • Knick-knacks
  • Sports equipment
  • Toys
  • Old or broken appliances
  • Holiday decorations
  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Handbags
  • Old college textbooks
  • Papers (old Newspapers, magazines and receipts)
  • Expired medicines
  • Old beauty products/make up
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Lawn and garden equipment
  • Tools
  • Expired food

Make up a Necessity Box or Necessity Boxes

Since you will be packing while you are decluttering, you need to make a necessity box or several boxes.

This box should include those items you will need the first several days after your move. These items will include such things as shampoo and soap, towels, a razor etc for the bathroom.

It should also include bedding for the bedroom, and any kitchen items you will need.

By keeping those items you will need immediately separate you will be able to unpack the rest of your boxes more slowly relieving some of the stress of moving.

Get Help if Needed

It is important when decluttering for a move that you get help when you need it. This may include movers, packers, home organizers or friends and family.

If possible, try having the large furniture such as beds, dressers, sofas, and such placed into your new home first.

That way you can have the larger items in place before the boxes are unpacked. It also allows you to put away the items as you unpack your boxes.

Final Thoughts on Decluttering Before a Move

Decluttering before a move will help you to have fewer items to unpack and make organizing your new home a lot easier since you won’t need to find space for those items you no longer use.

Related Decluttering Articles:

How to declutter before moving house

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Wednesday 13th of October 2021

Thank you kindly for sharing these excellent tips on decluttering before a move.

Jessica B

Friday 6th of August 2021

Great tips! I appreciate this!

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