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Decluttering When Moving:
Insider Tips on How to Do It Fast and Efficiently

Moving is always stressful. Decluttering for a move can add up even more stress. Habio provides tips on where to start, what to get rid of and how to make decluttering stressless and mindful.
Throw out the excess, clean up the mess, say no to stress, and live with less.
— Joshua Becker
Decluttering can make moving super simple! This little guide will show you how to keep the moving process as stress-free and inexpensive as possible.
a man surrounded by the boxed in the process of decluttering when moving
So, you're moving. You're excited about settling down in a new part of town. However, there's just this one little tiny task standing in between you and your new destination: packing.

Without guidance, sorting out your belongings during a relocation can be stressful. Even thinking about it can cause anxiety. Luckily, there are ways to reduce anxiety that'll help you cope with the stress.

In this article, we will explore moving day tips and some other tricks that will help you with decluttering in order to move.

Decluttering to move: a room-by-room checklist

To make this easier, we will go over the decluttering process for every room. This will help you discard items you don't need. It will also help if, for example, you're done with the closet but need help with the living room.


When it's time to declutter your kitchen, outline what you do there most. This is the first and one of the most important moving hacks to help you decide what needs to go.

Leave out unnecessary spares, especially if you have a small family. It's tempting to take a dozen plates with you, but if you're single, you probably don't need more than four.


Here, take only the items you use. Ask yourself what you use, not what you might use someday. Think about which products you like and how many variations of a product you need. Also, select items that are daily essentials and ones that make your life easier.
A dog sitting on the boxes waiting while his owners decluttering when moving

Living room

This is often one of the scariest rooms to tackle when decluttering to move, but we've got you covered. Discard excess throw pillows and old home decor pieces. If you have DVDs and/or tapes, it's time to donate them. Also, consider replacing oversized couches and tables. You don't need four couches if you live with one other person. Opt for compact furniture with extra storage space like ottomans.


Here, start by clearing your night tables. Remove items that are more aesthetic than purposeful. A good tip for decluttering when moving is to reduce the number of trash baskets you use. With fewer ways to collect your trash, you'll be forced to create as little trash as possible.

Finally, accept that most of the items you pull out from under your bed will have to be trashed.


Your closet is yet another room that'll most likely give you anxiety while packing. Realizing that you need to discard lots of clothes can be challenging. Consider selling or donating some. It may make you feel better about losing them. Also, consider leaving any shoes you haven't worn in a month. If you haven't worn them in the past month, you probably won't in the next one.


When moving, there are many things in your garage that you might not need. Get rid of old cardboard boxes that you won't need for packing. Safely dispose of unused paint and chemicals, old and faulty equipment, and excess rags. The general rule is to dump any items that you're only keeping because you expect to use them "one day."

Insider tips on decluttering for a move

Unsure of how to pack for a move? The steps outlined below will help you.

1. Label all the boxes

To avoid mixing up your items, label all the boxes. This will ensure you don't put chemicals in the same box as your clothes and risk ruining them. Labeling also helps you when loading the boxes onto the vehicle. You'll know which boxes contain fragile items and handle them accordingly.

2. Pack only the things you use and need

Again, resist the temptation to take items you haven't used in a while. When moving, get rid of any items you haven't used in six months. Also, consider discarding items you occasionally use but can do without. This will help you create space in your new home.
a couple decluttering when moving and tapping the boxes down

3. Check all expiration dates

It does you no good to take expired or expiring products with you. Check the expiration dates on all foods, chemicals, and perishables. Throw away any products that have expired even if they still look good. Toss out anything that has started to smell or lose texture even if it isn't "officially" expired.

4. Set clear criteria for what you keep

When choosing what to take with you, create strict rules for choosing. A great option is to pick items that have been used within the last month. Important things to keep include identification documents, items used for storage in your new home, and anything you need for medical emergencies.

The most important step is to be disciplined and follow the criteria you've set.

5. Choose and book the moving company in advance

Choose your moving company well before the set date. This helps you in many ways. You will find that you're more enthusiastic about moving, and it'll help you pick a precise date for moving. Finally, choosing the company early ensures you are relaxed enough to select the best one for you.

6. Arrange a donation box

You can give away your old items to people who need them. This is an excellent way to give back to the community. Organize your stuff when moving and select what to donate. Some people will be thankful that you did.

7. Make a big to-do list and divide it into small actions

Remembering the task at hand when moving can be difficult. Break down the tasks into smaller actions to feel more confident about decluttering for a move. We recommend creating an action list. You can break this list into decluttering per room or in any other way you prefer. The goal is to make the tasks simple enough to keep you focused.

8. Sell unnecessary items

If you decide not to donate any items, that's fine. Another way to make good use of your old items is to sell them. Neatly pack items you don't need but still work in boxes and label them for sale. You can sell them online or at a garage sale.


Moving doesn't have to be difficult. With proper planning, detailed, actionable steps, and, if you're lucky, help from friends, you can declutter your house quickly. If you believe you need help with packing for a move, feel free to consult companies to help with the process.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. You can do it!
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