Summer is finally here, and after many months spent cooped up indoors, we're all looking forward to a fresh start. Welcoming the warmer weather is a great time to say goodbye to items you no longer use with a thorough decluttering, especially if you're planning a move this year. According to NBC News, the average home has approximately 300,000 items: the more you purge today, the less you'll have to pack tomorrow!
Here are three tips for kicking your household clutter to the curb before you move.
From clothing and books to toys and tchotchkes, we all have items in our homes we don't really need or we've kept for far too long. To help you make more room, take a strategic approach when determining what you're ready to part ways with. Many cleaning and organization experts suggest tackling clutter by categories, such as clothing, books, technology, knickknacks, etc. rather than going from room to room.
This way you'll get a true understanding of how much of each item you own and will be able to drastically cut clutter throughout the entire house, rather than in a few locations.
Start with the category that is most stressful, take an inventory of what you've got, then decide what you can part with. Be objective and realistic – if you haven't worn or used an item in years, it's safe to say you can do without.
Some questions to ask yourself along the way include:
- When you move, do you really want to bring it with you?
- Do you use the item regularly?
- Do you have more than one of the same or similar items?
- Are you keeping it only because it was expensive?
- Are you saving it for someday – and will someday really come?
As you sift through items, sort them into four groups:
You don't need to part with everything, but if you're on the fence about something, make a mental note of how often you use it. If it's gone untouched for months, perhaps it's time to say goodbye.
To keep those on-the-fence items, while still saving space, consider renting a storage space close to your new home. Use this link for help locating a storage unit in your area. Just don't transfer all your clutter issues from one location to another. Remember, out of sight might mean out of mind, but one day you will need to deal with it.
Clearing your clutter is a great way to make some extra cash! Have a garage sale, or snap a few pics and post items on your local buy and sell groups such as Facebook or Craigslist. You might be surprised at how much your purging will pay off.
Many of your previously loved items would likely make a perfect addition in someone else's home. Keep anything that's in good condition and donate to a reputable charity in your area. You can use Charity Navigator to find one that speaks to you. Toiletries, cookware, bedding, toys, and clothing frequently top the list of most needed charity items, so if you have some to spare, consider donating these items.
Remember, decluttering should be cathartic. Don't be shy to say goodbye to items that are just taking up space in your home today – and will also take up valuable space in a moving truck in the future.
Once you've decided what to donate and toss, get rid of it. Don't procrastinate. Many charities offer free pick up for furniture, appliances and other larger items – call around to find one in your area.
For items that can't be picked up, a Penske truck rental is an affordable and convenient way to get items where they need to go all in one trip. With trucks available for local and one-way rentals, you can easily remove all your items in one shot.
If you're tossing junk, remember that certain items like paint cans, batteries and used technology are hazardous to the environment and must be disposed of properly. Check your local bylaws to determine how to proceed.
Once you've cleaned your home of clutter, keep it up. You'll thank yourself on moving day. Be sure every new purchase has a place in your home, and try to establish a one-in, one-out rule for items that can quickly accumulate, like clothes, books, toys, and technology.
Keep a donation box near your vehicle if possible, and donate items as you go, rather than letting things pile up. On moving day, keep a donation box handy at your new destination. If you decide certain items didn't need to make the trip after all, you can donate or toss right away.
Purging unwanted or unnecessary items won't just make a deep clean easier, it can have a positive impact on your health. Numerous studies have found that excess clutter contributes to feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression, so getting rid of unnecessary stuff is a great way to truly reset and minimize the stress of your upcoming move.
Here's another way to minimize stress on moving day – plan ahead and book your Penske moving truck today.
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