How To Declutter/Downsize Before Moving

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Empty out all of the things in one room or area

  • To declutter in an organized fashion, you'll need to empty out everything in one room, or one area of a room, or even one drawer, before you can get the whole picture. You can put all of the things on the floor or on a piece of furniture -- anywhere where they are in plain sight.


  • Be prepared with four different boxes: a box for things you'll keep, a box for things you'll store, one for things you'll donate or sell, and the last one for things you'll throw out.

Decide what to keep

  •  At first, you may want to keep absolutely everything you've taken out. But remind yourself that the point of decluttering is to get rid of all of the extra things that are crowding your life. You should keep the items that you use on a regular basis, which you wear, cook with, or use for other household tasks.


  • You should keep anything you've used in the last year. If you're really trying to declutter, you can make that everything you've used in the last six months.

Decide what to throw out

  •  The point is to get rid of any- and everything you no longer use, that has expired, is broken and can't be repaired, or just anything you generally don't use and just lays all over the place. Get rid of it. If you have an item that you haven't used in a year, have completely forgotten about, or can't even image what you'll need it for ever again, then it's time to toss it. Go through your things and ask yourself, "Do I really need this?" If the answer is no, or if you hesitate for more than five seconds, it's time to part with it.
  • You may save a few precious sentimental items, but don't overdo it. You can't save every little thing, and you shouldn't make excuses for why every little button and piece of lint has special meaning in your life.
  • This is a great time to get the advice of your trusted friends. They may be able to be more honest and tell you that you will never use a certain item.

Decide what to store

  • You should store any item that you will need eventually, but which you know you won't need for at least a few more months. Many of these items will be seasonal or special occasion items.
  • Store your seasonal clothes. If it's the middle of summer, you can put away your winter sweaters for a few months.
  • Store any holiday decorations. Put away those Halloween, Easter, or Christmas decorations and take them out only when you need them.
  • Store any camping gear, ski equipment, fishing poles, or anything that you only need on vacation.

Too hard to decide?

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