Moving? Don’t Forget to Declutter

The average American will move 11.4 times in his or her lifetime, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And the Organizing Blog thinks that summer 2019 may be more mobile than most — those orange box trucks seem to be everywhere this season, taking people and their stuff across town and across the country.

One thing is certain: Moving is not easy, and it gets harder as you accumulate more stuff. Everything you keep has to go into boxes and onto that truck, and the more you have, the longer it takes and the more it costs. There is a solution, however; and that’s to keep less stuff. #Declutter before you move, and the process will be (somewhat) less of a burden.

A pre-relocation #decluttering differs from an everyday decluttering (although if you’ve followed the Organizing Blog’s advice consistently, you’ll already have limited your possessions to only the essentials). For one thing, says The Art of Happy Moving, you’ll want to declutter by category rather than room so that you pack like items together.

Begin with the heavy stuff — books, records, etc. Even if you’re an avid collector, the less of these weighty items you keep, the better your friends/movers will manage. Have extra boxes and bags available as you pack; seal up the things you want to “Keep,” sort out what you want to “Donate,” and “Trash” anything that too broken, outdated or dilapidated to use immediately.

Set the donation bags and boxes aside and contact for a pickup. Once some of the trashed and donated items are out of the way, you’ll have more room to carefully pack up the things you want — and likely be ready to #declutter more of the things you don’t want more aggressively.

Pack three or four boxes of keepers per day, Nourishing Minimalism suggests, and start well ahead of the move so that you have plenty of time to get the place cleaned when the zero hour finally arrives. It’s toward the end of the packing phase when things can get frantic; random objects will wind up in boxes together — some essential, most not.

While it’s an incredible chore that brings lots of stress, moving is the perfect opportunity to edit nonessential stuff out of your life for good. When you unpack only the things you need and cherish in your new home, you’ll be glad you decluttered before the move.

Keep Your Car Clean the Lazy Way

If you’re too lazy to clean your car on a regular basis but still hate the mess, Jalopnik says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. First, don’t eat in your car so that trash and stains never get the chance to build up inside. Don’t let kids inside your car, and if you must, be vigilant against the spills and trash they can bring. Waxing and garaging a vehicle reduces the need for exterior washes, and having a trash bag handy inside can keep detritus to a minimum. Finally, each time you exit the car, take something with you; whether it’s a piece of trash or something useful that shouldn’t be in the car anyway, it will help keep the car’s interior clean and clutter-free.

Things You Can Trash Immediately

The decision to trash things carries with it a blissful immediacy. There’s lots of stuff people shove into a drawer and keep that’s of little use to anyone. So, throw out or recycle the old magazines, orphaned socks, takeout menus, plastic cutlery, mystery keys, half-used cosmetics and other items that are only cluttering up your home immediately. If something is unopened, in good shape and could be useful to a new owner, however, donate it to, and you will help fund valuable veterans’ programs.