Updated: Mar 2
Guest blog written by Oz Moving & Storage
Some claim that moving to a new home is one of the most stressful life events, right under the death of a loved one and divorce. Finding a new place, packing, moving, unpacking everything you own, and settling in a new environment really is overwhelming. So, when someone suggests you add decluttering to that list, you probably just wave it off. In reality, this could be one of the most important parts of your moving plan.
But although it sounds like it will make the whole process even more complicated, decluttering before a move can actually have many benefits. Let's take a look at some of them.
Why You Should Consider Decluttering Now
In the past few decades, many people started promoting decluttering as a way to make your life better. They claim that unnecessary stuff you own weighs you down and prevents you from enjoying your life to the fullest. But this truth becomes even more obvious when you are just about to move and start a new chapter.
Do you really want to take outdated and broken appliances, lids that don't match any pot you have, and outdated magazines to your new house? All those high school textbooks, college outfits, and childhood mementos were once meaningful, but it's been a long time since you've had any use for them. That's why emptying your closets and drawers might be the perfect opportunity for you to say goodbye to them. If you decide to declutter before (or after) a move, you will notice the following benefits.
There Will Be Fewer Belongings for You to Pack/Unpack
Getting rid of all the excess stuff before the move means less time spent packing. It also means there will be fewer boxes for a moving company in Connecticut to transport, and you might end up saving a few bucks. Moreover, you won't have to waste the next few months unpacking the things you don't need anyway.
You Will Get More Space in Your New House
At your old home, you had heaps of possessions crammed in your garage, closets, basement, and spare rooms. But if you decide to declutter, you will be left with tons of empty space. You can use it to start a new hobby or fill it with other items you find more useful.
You Will Be Healthier
As you probably know, having too many items lying around makes it difficult to clean the dust thoroughly. That means the clutter in your home can make health conditions like asthma or allergies worse. Not to mention that it will be harder for you to notice mold or pest infestation in your garage or attic. So, throwing out unnecessary stuff before moving into your new house will help you and your family stay healthier.
You Will Feel Better
In 2011, research published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that multiple objects claim your attention and lower your focus. That's why you find it challenging to be productive and do the task at hand. Moreover, one UCLA study from 2009 found that women who thought their home was cluttered were experiencing chronic stress, which led to depressed moods.
There is a correlation between clutter and mental health, confirming that a disorganized home really does make people—especially women—feel stressed. Clutter causes frustration, anger, conflict, embarrassment, and so many other negative feelings.
So, if you decide to declutter before you move into your new place, you will make a long-term investment in your mental health. Your home will be more organized, and you will find it easier to be creative and productive.
How to Declutter Before a Move: Four Tips
Depending on your packing strategy, there are many ways to go about decluttering. Here are four tips on reducing the clutter to help you out as you begin to plan a move:
Start with the Trash
Although you surely keep your home as tidy as possible, every room has some trash just lying around, such as crusty cosmetics, broken gadgets, papers, and expired food and medication.
Items You Haven't Used in the Past Year
Clothes that don't fit, shoes you never wear, pieces of furniture that do not match your home decor — you should donate or sell things you don't like or use anymore. A good rule of thumb is to get rid of everything you haven't worn or used in a year.
Leave Behind Multiples of Things
Do you really need three winter jackets and two pairs of snow boots? It is tempting to buy things on sale even though you already have them at home, but such a habit only increases the clutter. So, stick to the one item you like best, and throw out others as you pack or unpack.
Think About the Value
While sorting through your belongings, think about what kind of value each item holds for you. Then, keep only that which has emotional, or practical value (i.e. you love, use or need it).
There's no doubt that moving to a new house is a long and stressful process. But since you are already dealing with such chaos, why not take the opportunity to make your new home more organized and your life there more peaceful? Decluttering helps you surround yourself solely with the things you like and need, making your life simpler and more joyful.