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  • Writer's pictureCathy Borg

Conquering the Chaos: A Step-by-Step Declutter Guide for Your Move!

Updated: May 9

white couch, elegant side tables, lamps Declutter to Sell

Is clutter cramping your style (and your moving truck)? A well-organized home makes moving a breeze. This guide will walk you through a step-by-step decluttering process to help you achieve a stress-free move and a fresh start in your new space! Bonus: You'll only move the things you truly love and use!

Let's Conquer the Chaos!

We'll break it down into three key phases:

  • Plan (Prepare for Decluttering Success)

  • Process (The Hands-on Decluttering Action)

  • Purge (Letting Go of What You Don't Need)

Plan: Prepare for Decluttering for Your Move

Feeling overwhelmed by the thought of decluttering your home? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Here's how to create a clear plan:

  • Gather Your Team: Enlist the help of family or trusted friends. Decluttering is more manageable (and fun!) with extra hands.

  • Schedule It In: Break down decluttering into manageable chunks. Aim for 3-hour sessions to avoid fatigue.

  • Visualize Your Goal: Imagine your beautifully decluttered space in your new home. This positive image will keep you motivated!

The Big Decision: What Stays and What Goes?

Walk through your house room by room and assess your belongings. Here's a handy decision-making framework:

  • "Yes" List: Items you'll keep and move with you.

  • "No" List: Items you'll purge (donate, sell, trash).

  • "Store-it" List: Items you'll keep but not take with you immediately (pack and label clearly).

  • "Maybe" List: Items that require further evaluation. You can revisit this list later.

Pro Tip: Create a designated area to temporarily store purge and storage items.

Process: The Hands-on Decluttering Action

Now it's time to take action! Here's your step-by-step guide:

  1. Label Boxes Clearly: Label boxes with categories like "Donate," "Sell," "Recycle," etc. Use separate boxes for electronics and hazardous waste.

  2. Room by Room: Focus on one room at a time. Start with an easier space like a bathroom or bedroom.

  3. Sort and Categorize: Collect items from your "No" list and sort them into the appropriate boxes (e.g., too-big clothes or old toys for donation).

Pro Tip: Get rid of unwanted items immediately to avoid accidentally packing them.

For large amounts of clutter, consider hiring a junk removal company to sort, donate, trash, or recycle your items.

Additional Tips for Decluttering:

  • Declutter One Shelf or Drawer at a Time: Feeling overwhelmed? Start small! Declutter one shelf or drawer within a room at a time. This can be a great way to gain momentum and make progress.

  • Be Ruthless: During the purge, be honest with yourself. Don't let sentimentality hold you back from getting rid of items you no longer need, use, or love.

Acknowledge Your Emotions:

Letting go of belongings can be tough. Here are some tips to manage sentimental attachments:

  • Focus on the Future: Think about the positive outcomes: a fresh start in your new space and a space that reflects your current lifestyle.

  • Capture Memories: Take pictures of sentimental items before letting go.

  • Write Down Memories: Jot down a brief memory associated with the item to preserve its essence.

Packing Tips for Storage:

Packing your "Store-it" list items properly ensures they stay safe and organized:

  • Sturdy Boxes: Use sturdy cardboard boxes for most items.

  • Label Everything: Clearly label boxes with contents and the room they belong to.

  • Strategic Packing: Place heavier items on the bottom, lighter items on top.

  • Fragile Protection: Wrap fragile items in bubble wrap or packing paper.

  • Climate Control: If storing in a garage, opt for plastic bins to protect from moisture.

Purge: Letting Go of What You Don't Need

With your sorting boxes set up, your schedule planned, and a designated decluttering zone established, it's time to purge! Here are some additional tips to help you conquer the clutter:

  • Declutter One Area at a Time: Don't try to tackle everything at once. The feeling of being overwhelmed can quickly stall your progress. Focus on a single room or even a single shelf or drawer within a room. Completing smaller, manageable sectionswill keep you motivated and help you see progress quickly. Decluttering is a focused process, but it doesn't have to be a slow one! By following these steps, you can make significant progress in decluttering your home and preparing for a smooth, stress-free move. Take breaks, celebrate your progress, and enjoy the transformation of your space as you move on to a fresh start in your new home!

  • Move Less, Enjoy More:  Here's how decluttering makes your move smoother and less stressful:

  • Less to Move: The fewer belongings you have, the less you need to pack, transport, and unpack. This saves you time, money, and physical exertion on moving day.

  • Moving Only What You Love: By decluttering, you ensure you're only moving items you truly need and use. This means a fresh start in your new home, surrounded by things that spark joy and eliminate the burden of unpacking unnecessary items.

  • Faster Unpacking and Set Up:  With fewer boxes to unpack, you can settle into your new home quicker and start enjoying your new space! Imagine the time saved unpacking just the things you truly need and use.

  • Be Ruthless: During the purge, be honest with yourself. Here are some questions to ask yourself about each item: If the answer is no to most of these questions, consider letting go of the item. Remember, you're creating a fresh start in your new home, so there's no need to hold onto things you don't truly need or love.

  • Have I used this in the past year?

  • Does this item bring me joy?

  • Would I buy this item today?

  • Could I easily replace this item if needed?

  • In my new space, will this item have a designated and functional place?

  • Get Help: Consider hiring a professional organizer for additional support and guidance, especially if you're feeling overwhelmed or struggle with letting go of sentimental items. A professional organizer can help you create a decluttering plan, develop strategies for dealing with emotional attachments, and ensure the purging process is efficient and effective.

Move with Less Stress: 

Decluttering helps your move go smoother. Less stuff means less packing, less moving, and less unpacking. It's a win-win! You move only the things you need and love, making your new place feel fresh and organized from the start. Follow these steps, declutter your home, and move with less stress!

Call to Learn More:

Are you feeling overwhelmed by clutter and ready to sell your home? Contact In and Out Organizing today for a free consultation! We can help you declutter your home, prepare it for a successful open house, and ensure a stress-free move to your new space.

Phone: 416-859-0518


Cathy and Brad Borg at In and Out Organizing help people dramatically improve their lives by offering support and expert hands-on assistance in home organizing, downsizing and move managing. Let's get in touch!

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