Decluttering for a Move


A reader will be downsizing and moving, but doesn’t have much time to do it. Unlike the smaller step approach like the Declutter Calendar, moving situations usually require quicker results. If you are also selling your home, you are going to want it to look as roomy and clear as possible. This is a chance to assess all your possessions to see if they still fit in your current lifestyle.

  • Have a decluttering room/space for you to sort things – a guest bedroom or basement is good. Have your boxes or piles for sell, toss and donate. And finally a decide box for things you are unsure of.
  • Set a timer a to help you move fast. If you get stuck throw the item in a decide later box. Stay in one spot until decluttered with piles for sell, toss and donate. Don’t hop around or you will never see progress. Go through one room and one space at a time.
  • Keep reminding yourself that everything you don’t get rid of, you will have to move.
  • Make quick decisions, the more you mull over something the slower your progress. Put things in the decide box if you don’t know what to do.
  • You can declutter in more than one pass. You can go through each room super fast to get rid of what you know is clutter. Then be more deliberate is other passes.
  • Declutter as you go. When you get ready in the morning, what things are in your way. What things do you continuously have to move to get to what you need. If your eyes pass over a piece of clothing because you don’t really like it, stick it in the donate box. Being aware as you go about your day will make things easier.
  • Usually storage/basement/attic are the first places you can go for fast decluttering. If you are downsizing, these things would be the first to go as you aren’t regularly using them.
  • Next look at the furniture. These are large items that can make a big difference when you are decluttering.
  • Shred that old paperwork you don’t need to bring with you. Here’s how long you need to keep things in the U.S.
  • Donate any media – DVDs, CDs, games that you haven’t used in the past year. New media comes in so it’s rare we re-watch things. And CDs can go to MP3 now.
  • Take a look at the larger items in your home. What can you let go of?
  • Go through clothes and let go of ones that don’t fit and store clothes that are out of season.
  • See if you can cut your knick-knack collection by a third if you are moving to a smaller place.

The decluttering questions:

  1. Do I want this?
  2. Do I use this? (Or have I used it in the past year?)
  3. Do I need this?
  4. Do I love this?
  5. Is it beautiful?
  6. Is it meaningful?

Stage the home to sell

Once the clutter is gone, it’s time to stage the home to sell. HGTV has some good ideas

Basic staging rules

Moving Resources

Here is a moving checklist from Real Simple

And then as you move into the house, things to get ready

Do you have any moving tips for my reader?


  • Terri says:

    This article was “spot on”…..I can’t thank you enough !


  • Trish says:

    We are getting ready to move again for the 2nd time in the last year. We haven’t found a house yet but I suspect it will be on the small side. I couldn’t have found this at a better time! We moved an entire 2 car garage worth of stuff that we aren’t even using with very little we have even thought we might like to find in all that mess (which we all know is impossible). 90% of it is going to go before we even move. I hope to sell on facebook or ebay and make enough money to cover a moving company to do the hard stuff this time!! Thanks so much!

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