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Decluttering Before the Move: Tips and Techniques

Moving home can be both an exciting and overwhelming experience. One of the best ways to mitigate stress and set yourself up for a smooth transition is by decluttering before the big move.

In this blog, All Moves Preston will explore various tips and techniques to help you effectively declutter, reducing both emotional and financial burdens as you prepare to embark on a new chapter in your life.

Why Declutter Before Moving?

Emotional Benefits

Decluttering isn’t just about getting rid of things; it’s also about making room for new opportunities and experiences. By parting ways with items that no longer serve a purpose, you’re allowing yourself a fresh start in your new home. Additionally, decluttering can significantly reduce stress levels, making the entire moving process more manageable.

Practical Benefits

From a practical standpoint, decluttering can help you save money and time. The fewer items you have, the less you’ll have to spend on moving services, not to mention the reduced effort when it comes to packing and unpacking. By focusing only on essentials and items that genuinely bring you joy or utility, you can streamline the moving process substantially.

The Five Categories of Items

When beginning the decluttering process, it can be helpful to divide your belongings into five main categories:

  1. Essentials: These are items you absolutely need, like clothing, toiletries, and kitchenware.
  2. Important but Not Urgent: Items such as books or seasonal clothing that you use but could live without for a short period.
  3. Sentimental Items: Keepsakes like photos, letters, and family heirlooms that hold emotional value.
  4. Nice to Have: Gadgets, décor, or other items that are convenient but not crucial.
  5. Unnecessary: Items that you can easily part with, including outdated clothing, unused appliances, and miscellaneous knick-knacks.

Techniques for Effective Decluttering

The Marie Kondo Method

This popular technique, developed by organising consultant Marie Kondo, involves holding each item and asking the question, “Does this spark joy?” If the answer is ‘yes,’ keep it. If it’s ‘no,’ it’s time to say goodbye.

The Four-Box Method

With this approach, you’ll have four boxes or areas designated for ‘Keep,’ ‘Donate,’ ‘Sell,’ and ‘Trash.’ As you go through your belongings, place each item into the corresponding box. It’s a straightforward way to organise your things and take decisive actions about what stays and what goes.

The 12-12-12 Challenge

In this challenge, find 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to be returned to their proper home. It’s a fun and creative way to quickly sort through 36 items in your home.

Special Considerations

Digital Decluttering

Don’t forget to organise your digital life as well. Now is a perfect time to sort through old files, delete unnecessary emails, and move essential digital documents to cloud storage for easier access after the move.

Family and Pets

If you’re moving with family, try to involve them in the decluttering process. Give children the responsibility of sorting through their own belongings, and discussing as a family shared items like furniture and kitchenware. And don’t forget about pets; make sure you keep their essentials organised and easily accessible for the move.

Practical Tips

Timing and Planning

It’s advisable to start decluttering several weeks, if not months, before your scheduled moving date. Create a timetable and allocate specific days for tackling different rooms or categories of items.

What to Do With Unwanted Items

For things you wish to part with, consider selling them online or hosting a car boot sale. Alternatively, many charities would be happy to receive gently used items, and for things that are beyond salvaging, make sure you dispose of them responsibly through recycling or waste management services.


Decluttering before a move offers an excellent opportunity for a fresh start, both emotionally and practically.

Not only does it lessen the stress commonly associated with relocating, but it also can save you both time and money. So, don’t procrastinate; begin your decluttering journey today for a more enjoyable moving experience.

There you have it, a comprehensive guide to decluttering before the big move. Happy moving, and may your new home bring you nothing but joy and contentment.

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