For many Americans, the prospect of having to move can be both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. It’s a chance to start fresh, seek new opportunities or simply just to upgrading your home if your family gets bigger or you decide you’ve outgrown a place. In fact, it’s estimated that 11% (or about 35 million) of Americans move each year.
Not only do 35 million Americans move every year, but it’s estimated the average American makes a move at least 12 times over their lifetime. Nowhere is this truer than among younger Americans, who may move around quite a bit before they put down roots. Regardless of where Americans move to, when it comes time, they’re more than likely going to need the help of a moving company.
A moving company can help people get their belongings from Point A to Point B, but if a move is in your future, you might be dreading having to pack up all your stuff. Rather than fretting about it, a simple step to take is to do some decluttering.
If you’re wondering how you’re going to sift through your stuff, here are some easy decluttering tips:
- Make time: One thing you absolutely don’t want to do when it comes time to move is wait until the last minute to pack up your stuff. Ideally, it should be an ongoing process that you make time for. This gives you time to truly decide what you want and don’t want. Let’s be honest, you’ve probably got closets full of stuff and messy rooms. By taking time to take each closet one at a time and each room one at a time, you can figure out what’s worth keeping and avoid just chucking your stuff in the trash or just haphazardly in boxes.
- Be practical: As you sift through all your items, ask yourself whether you really need something you’re on the fence about keeping. That applies to clothes, appliances, movies, music, books and other household items. Bottom line: keep what you really need and really want and get rid of the rest of it.
- Donate: Even if you consider yourself something of a packrat, chances are you’ve got more than a few items in your home that you could donate to organizations like Salvation Army or Goodwill. An easy item to declutter is your clothes closet. If you haven’t worn something in six months, put it in a donation box and see that it gets somewhere that accepts clothing donations.
- Eliminate excess: Even if you have the best of intentions with keeping things or buying things just to stock up, it all adds up over time. The best thing you can do if you’re sitting on a lot of toiletries or groceries you have is to use them up before you move, rather than taking them with you.
- Sleep on the hard stuff: If you consider yourself a sentimental person and you hang on to a lot of family items and other personal affects, leave those things for last when it comes to decluttering. You’ve probably got a few personal or sentimental things you don’t use or want, so leave that stuff for last if you’re really on the fence about whether or not to keep it.
- Focus on important stuff: Even if you use a commercial moving company or a residential moving company to help you move, you can save yourself some stress by moving boxes here and there and saving the big items for last. If you are moving boxes beforehand, make sure to pack some essentials first such as toiletries to make sure you have those when you finally move in.
Leaving time to pack up your stuff and making hard decisions about what you really need will help you declutter. This will help make your move a lot less stressful and make things easier for the moving company when they come to help you move everything to your new location and new home.