How to Purge Your Belongings Before a Big Move

The attic looks like a bomb went off. The garage has so many trunks and boxes you’ve given up hope of ever getting the car back in there. The basement is a sea of old Christmas decorations and baby clothes—even though the “baby” is about to graduate high school!

The bad news is, your home could use some serious decluttering. And the good news? A move is a perfect time to do just that! After all, you don’t want to haul all that junk with you into your next abode. This is the time to sort through your belongings and decide which items will make the transition into your new home, and which ones you’ll let fade with your memories.

But a really big purge takes finesse and organization, not to mention a heaping helping of patience. If you want real results, you’ll need to start your decluttering early. Nothing makes for a more frenetic weekend than cleaning and moving all in one go. And you’ll need some expert advice from the pros. Here are our best tips for how to handle everything but the cobwebs!

Don’t Do It All in One Day

Many people get inspired when they think about their decluttering project and try to jam the whole job into a day. That’s a mistake! You probably won’t have the stamina to tackle a whole house in a single Saturday, so don’t put it off until the last minute. Instead, divide your home into rooms or zones, and take on the worst ones first. Maybe one week, you dive into the basement, and the next, you go for the hallway closet. Keep the project manageable by breaking it up into parts. You’ll feel like you’re making progress every time you finish a room!

Use the “Three Bin System”

To toss, to donate, and to keep: sort your belongings into these three piles. Put stuff into the “to donate” or “to toss” pile if you haven’t touched it in the past year, or if it’s something you’ve kept around because you thought you might need it one day. Same thing goes for gifts you don’t really like but hold onto out of guilt or clothes you plan on one day fitting back into. Be ruthless in your evaluation. You can always buy another sweater. It’s a lot more difficult to mend a wrenched back after too much heavy lifting.

Take Items to Donation Centers ASAP

A common error that people make when they’re moving is that they wait to take items to the Salvation Army or Goodwill until they’ve sorted through the whole house. This is an issue because those piles or bins can become unruly fast, meaning you’ll have to sort through all your stuff again if you’re not careful. It’s a much better idea to bring these items to donation centers as soon as possible to avoid doing the same job twice.

Measure Your Floor Space Ahead of Time

If you’re planning on moving soon, chances are some of your furniture just isn’t going to make the cut. Make sure to visit your new home several times and think critically about where you’ll put the pieces you already have. Measure your items ahead of time and bring the measurements with you so you can be sure they’ll fit in the spaces you designate. Trust us, it’s easy to overshoot how big five feet really is until you have a tape measure in hand.

Know When It’s Time to Call In the Pros

As much as we all hate to admit it, there are just some jobs that are too much for one person to handle alone. That’s where a professional junk removal service can help. The pros know how to get your old stuff from point A to point B, whether that’s the landfill, the donation center, or ready to pack. In fact, here at Humpback Junk, we even take all of our donations right to Goodwill, so you won’t feel like anything is going to waste. It costs more than the DIY method, but when you’ve got a whole house full of junk and just a little bit of time, it can make the big purge more manageable.

Keep Your New Life Front and Center

Sentimental items and nostalgia can make it difficult to part with old things, especially when you’re probably already feeling a little bit tender about leaving a place you once called home. It helps to remember how much better you’ll feel without excess stuff weighing you down. Decluttering your home can be psychologically freeing—there’s something about a lot of extra junk lying around the house that makes us feel tied down to our belongings. Get rid of everything you don’t need and you’ll open up space for new things: new friends, new stories, and new memories…all in your brand-new home!

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