I’m moving in June and although I’ve been actively preparing for months, it seems I’ve been anticipating it for years. This move represents more than just a new address. It’s a chance to pull down the cobwebs collecting in the corner and start fresh. In preparation I’m going through my biggest clutter cleanse yet.
I’m culling my belongings to take only what I love and use. It’s a refreshing process that I recommend, whether you’re moving or not. I’d love to share a few tricks I’ve employed along the way that are helping me become clutter-free.
10 Tips to Prepare for a Move or Clutter-free Home
- Start today. Long before this move transpired, I started the habit to use my dreams to motivate and create a clutter-free home. It takes time to use up and get rid of things, so I’m happy I started early. The point isn’t to take everything out to the curb for trash pick-up. I’m trying to avoid the landfill altogether by finding new homes for my unwanted stuff. That takes time.
- Go on a shopping ban. The best thing I could have done to prepare for a move (or clutter-free home) is to place myself a shopping ban. You can read about last year’s challenge here. Not only have I eliminated new stuff from coming into my home, but it forced me to use up and find creative uses for what I already own.
- Use it up. Prior to my move, I want to use up my consumable goods such as shampoo, note paper, candles and more. For the past year I’ve focused on going through my household supplies of consumable goods and only replacing essential items for immediate needs.
- Eat from your pantry, fridge and freezer. My husband worries that we won’t be eating in another month because I keep emptying jars from the freezer, fridge and pantry. I plan meals around what’s left on the shelves. I get strange satisfaction every time I empty a spice or condiment jar. Although my food stores are looking bare these days, I’ll continue to stock the basics but the “nice to have” foods won’t be replenished.
- Place your clothes on hangers facing backwards. Only after you wear the item can you turn the hanger in the right direction. Alternatively, you could put your clothes in a box and put it back in the drawer after it’s been worn. If after a certain period of time, such as a season or six months, if the hanger hasn’t been turned in the right direction or a clothing item hasn’t been pulled out of the box then donate the item.
- Empty every drawer and closet. Obviously, every drawer and closet needs to be emptied when you pack for a move, but I don’t want to leave it to the end to make rash decisions on what to keep and what to let go. I’m going through the process ahead of time to evaluate what I love and use and finding homes for everything else.
- Scan, shred and recycle papers. I have two small portable files boxes that hold my documents. One box holds important documents that I’m required to keep but I rarely need to access. I also keep some documents in a safe deposit box. My other file box holds documents that I need for the upcoming tax season, plus other papers that I access on a regular basis. Beyond that, papers get scanned, shredded and/or recycled. A couple projects that I’m currently working on is cleaning out and organizing my recipes and scanning my children’s artwork and making into albums. I’ve found if I address papers as soon as they come into the house then it’s never a chore.
- Get rid of duplicates. I can’t say this is a huge issue for me, but I’m paring down belongings where I own multiples. Towels and sheets are some things that come to mind.
- Sell, sell, sell. This perhaps is my biggest obstacle–selling things that hold value, but I don’t really want or need. It’s rarely as painful as I think it’s going to be, but I dread selling things on Craigslist (my go-to sales place). Moving has helped motivate this process, because I don’t want to move those items that are not used or under appreciated by me. About once a month I tackle one more thing to sell. And sometimes, it’s just better to donate and lose the potential money.
- A task a day. I won’t say it’s always easy or fun work to get ready for a move or a clutter-free home, but if I tackle one task a day the job isn’t so big.
So there you have it–my tricks for preparing for a move and a clutter-free home. What tricks do you have up your sleeve that didn’t make my list? Please share!