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Downsizing? 4 Tips for Decluttering Your Home before a Move

There is no better time to realize just how many objects you have accumulated than when packing to move. This is also, however, an excellent time to winnow out those possessions that mean so little you forgot you had them stowed away in boxes. Here are some tips to performing that sorting and sifting so that moving is less hassle and more of a breeze.

Examine Every Box

Instead of just taking along old boxes that never got unpacked after the last move, or possibly the ones before that, crack them open and take a look. Decide which keepsakes are still worth keeping and which are just weighing you down over time. That report card from fifth grade may have a beloved teacher’s special note on it, and be worth saving, but not all old papers and art projects need to be kept.

Heed the One Year Rule

Be cautious about weeding out seasonal items, but if you have not used an item in a year, it’s unlikely you will make use of it in the upcoming year. And if you are not going to use the item in the year to come, you are unlikely to use it at all. This category includes those jeans that are either too large or too small, workout equipment that has turned closet filler, and drying paints and tangled yarns from projects past. Getting rid of them frees up space both in the closets and in the mind. Ditch the guilt associated with plans that never came to fruition along with the items that remind you of those plans.

Give Yourself Time

Downsizing is not done in an hour. Unless you have very little you need to get rid of, consider taking a few days to really tackle the issue and become junk free. Better yet, take an hour a day for a couple of weeks before the move. Packing services in NJ are another resource that can help.

Use a Three-Box System

When going through each room, have three boxes: one for the keepers, one for things to donate, and one for things that can be recycled. A garbage can rounds things out for those things that can’t be taken to recycling.

Packing and unpacking are stressful. Decluttering saves effort and time at the far end of the move and gives more options for where to put the things you do care about. Just remember not to get too carried away with prized mementos; otherwise, enjoy freeing yourself from excess possessions.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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