Skip to main content

How To Declutter for a Move: Ten Tips

Earlier this year, we decided to move ourselves from a large home in California to a smaller home in Utah. Thus began what will be known as The Great De-Cluttering of 2017. By nature, I am a sentimental saver. Preparing for this move forced me to examine all of our belongings and make some tough decisions. Along the way, I discovered some truths that helped me in my efforts. 



1. Letting go of an item is not the same as letting go of a person. 

2. Letting go of a gift that commemorated an important event does not cause the event to never have happened. 

3. Splitting a set is OK. Really. I use dinner plates, salad plates, and bowls, but I don't have a need for mugs, saucers, nor bread plates. Why waste precious cupboard space on items I don't use? I kept what I use and donated the rest. 

4. Acknowledge that needs change. I used to bake 6 loaves of bread at a time, weekly. Now I seldom bake bread, and when I do, I bake at most 2 loaves. I kept 2 pans, and got rid of the rest.

5. If you are selling your items, keep in mind what your primary purpose is. In my case, the main goal was to declutter. Any money made was just a bonus. We did have a garage sale, but we priced items to sell. Also consider giving items away. Between friends, local buy-sell-trade-giveaway groups, and charitable organizations, we were able to significantly decrease the number of items we had to move.

6. Start early. I can not emphasize this enough. If you think you will ever move anytime during your life, start yesterday. Decluttering will take longer than you imagine. Once you begin, make it a way of life. 

7. Stay focused. Work on one area at a time.

8. Notwithstanding tip #7, if you find yourself getting bogged down, work on another area for a while, then come back to the area where you started. 

9. Decluttering is messy. Try to maintain a semblance of order during the process, to keep from becoming overcome by the clutter. When gathering things together for the garage sale, keeping certain areas of the house tidy gave me a place to relax for a moment and just breathe. Similarly, when you've emptied a cupboard, closet, or area, put the items away before proceeding. 

10. Decluttering can happen on both sides of the move. When you get to your new place, take a good hard look at what actually works in the space you have. Getting rid of something doesn't mean you don't like it or appreciate it; it means it doesn't work for you in your current situation. As you unpack, if you don't have room for a particular item, feel free to let it go. 

I'm currently on #10. To be honest, it's hard work and I'm getting tired. However, I think back to when our house was on the market. During that time, we had most of our things in storage, and we enjoyed the freedom that comes with living minimally. If I want to enjoy that feeling of peace, I need to choose carefully what I allow into my home. It's an ongoing process, but one that is rewarding, and gets easier with practice.

Have you tackled a decluttering project? Do you have any tips or advice that I missed?




Pin It

Comments

  1. Terry just read a good book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up by Marie Kondo. Have you read it? I'm going to read it next .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard of it, but I haven't read it yet. I probably should, for a boost in the arm!

      Delete
  2. Great tips and insights. I especially like #1-3 & 5.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good tips, Kristi! I used to move a lot and went through this process every time I moved, so I had little clutter for a long time. When we first moved to Oregon we rented a tiny cottage, less than 1,000 sq feet, so we put a lot of our stuff in storage. There was no room for anything extra, so if I pondered buying something new, I had to also decide what I would get rid of to make room for it. Good discipline.
    When we bought a house 3 years later, all that stuff was still in storage -- proving we obviously didn't really need any of it. Good lesson learned!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is amazing how little one really needs. I'm still in the process of decluttering and downsizing. I still have lots of room for improvement, but I haven't given up!

      Delete
  4. OK, this answers my question of are you moving! How exciting but I hope I never have to move again! Ever! It really is so much work. Good luck with Declutter 2017!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a ridiculous amount of work! Perhaps by this time next year, we'll be settled. 😊

      Delete
  5. Two and a half years ago we downsized from a five bedroomed house to a much smaller three bedroomed property. We made numerous donations to charity shops, the local tip and to second hand bookstores. We still ended up bringing too much with us . I was always thinking about when the family might come and visit and wanting to keep beds, bedding, cooking utensils , crocks etc etc , for that time. I have discovered that we still have too much and have made a plan to declutter before Christmas this year. Your post has given me the inspiration to start.Thanks
    gramswisewords.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Conversations are so much nicer when more than one person does the talking. :-) Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts; I'd love to hear from you!

Popular posts from this blog

Ten Things of Thankful: Home Edition

This has been a take-care-of-things-at-home week, and I'm thankful.  It feels good to tackle the mundane, yet necessary, tasks of home.  




I've done loads and loads of laundry.  (1) I'm thankful for clothes, sheets, and towels.  

I've paid bills. (2) I'm thankful for sufficient money to meet our needs.

I've de-cluttered. (3) I'm thankful that still-useful items can be shared with others.

I've done some aquarium maintenance. (4) I'm thankful for beautiful fish that provide a calming influence.

I've dusted, vacuumed, and cleaned. (5) I'm thankful for the joy that comes with a clean house.

I've tackled paperwork. (6) I'm thankful for the satisfaction that comes when tasks are completed.

I've received my ballot, and will soon vote. (7) I'm thankful to live in a free country. 

I've washed dishes.  (8) I'm thankful to have plenty of good, healthy food to eat. 

I've spent time reviewing commands with Drexel.  (9) I'm thankful …

Ten Things of Thankful: Post-Thanksgiving Edition

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. I'll jump right in:

1. I'm thankful for cooperative return policies. Several weeks ago, I mentioned that I had to return a range that I had purchased, and I hoped that the particular range was just a lemon and that the replacement wouldn't have the same problem. Well, unfortunately, it did. On the bright side, the store quickly picked up the second range and refunded my money. I'm putting appliance purchases on the back burner (!) for the moment. 

2. I'm thankful for temples. I went one morning this week to the temple. I'm always amazed at how much insight comes in just an hour or two of reflection. 

3. I'm thankful for my sister. She and her family came to Utah to spend Thanksgiving with her in-laws, and I got a chance to see her and her family on Wednesday. The last time I saw her was in January at our grandma's 100th birthday celebration. We feel lucky to have two visits in one year! 

4. I'm thankful for my brother. …

Ten Things of Thankful: California Poppies

Spring has arrived.  On Wednesday, I took off for a few hours to hike.  The weather was perfect:  the sun was shining, the wind kept itself to a cool, slight breeze (as opposed to Thursday, when the sustained wind speed was 37.5 mph), and the temperature was warm, but not oppressive.  

My Ten Things of Thankful list this week will be mostly made of photos.  Each time I climbed another hill, or turned another corner, I was delighted with the new view.  Come along with me!

The poppy fields can be seen from miles away.

Many other people had the same idea I had on Wednesday. The line to get into the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve was longer than I've ever seen it. Many cars turned around and decided to just park on the main street and hike into the reserve.

Once I finally got the car parked and started to hike, I was greeted with wonderful views.  I hiked the steepest and furthest trails, and was rewarded by moments of solitude.