My husband and I have lived in the same home for 31 years. We raised our family here. While we have no immediate plans to downsize and move, I have been working to declutter our home. I have especially been working on the basement (we may need it someday, maybe the kids will want it). Also our children’s bedrooms, full to the brim with elementary, middle and high school as well as college treasures. And wedding stuff, can’t forget that! As a side note to you younger parents, your children won’t want most of their things when they leave. I hear this over and over, and have experienced it first hand.
Back to decluttering. Many times,when working with clients, I run into boxes all sealed up from their last move, in garages and basements, even after they’ve been in their current home for years. Trust me, if you haven’t missed something in 1, 5, or even 15 years, you don’t need it! There are many good reasons to declutter before you move.
Here are a few:
-Moving costs are based on the number of boxes moved. Why waste time packing things and then paying for them to be moved when you don’t use them, need them or even like them anymore?
-You are already taking everything out of cupboards, cabinets, and dressers. Half the work is done. Spend a little extra time sorting through your belongings before you pack.
-Moving to a new home is an opportunity for a fresh start. Maybe your towels, linens, and decor are tired or just worn out. Consider donating them so someone else can have a new look. Animal shelters gladly accept towels. Linens can be recycled.
Of course, there is one big problem with all of this. Time. We don’t always have the luxury of time. Consider hiring a professional organizer to assist with decluttering and packing. I have had clients tell me it is worth the money just to “get to it!” If you hire an organizer for a 3 hour block, you are likely to work for that period of time and get a great deal done. I admit, it will probably take several 3 hour time blocks, but I have found that this is the maximum amount of time most people can stay on task.
Be prepared with 3 large bags or boxes. One should be designated for trash, one for recycling, and one for items you want to sell or give to a certain individual. Check out the recycle/donate section on this site for places to recycle, donate, or sell unwanted items.
Decluttering before a move is a “key to living light” as you begin your next chapter. Enjoy the freedom!