Thinking of Moving? Here’s Your First Step

The idea of moving can seem overwhelming, especially if you’ve lived in your home for a long time.  Like most large projects, moving is best tackled in steps.  And your first step, long before the for sale sign goes in your yard, will be to declutter your home.

Check out the following suggestions from This Old House to help keep this task manageable.

Consider Your New Space

If you already know where you will be moving to, or have an idea of the size of your new home, keep the layout and dimensions of your new home in mind. How big are the closets? How much storage space does the home have? How do the room sizes compare to those in your current home? Measure your current furniture to make sure it will fit. If it’s too big, sell it and use the money to purchase smaller items. 

Clean One Room at a Time

Decluttering an entire home becomes more manageable when you break it down into smaller steps. Don’t try to clean out the whole house in one day—instead, focus on one room at a time.

Start with the rooms you use the least, such as the attic, garage, or guest room. In each one, decide what to take with you and what to get rid of. Then, pack and deep clean as much as you can before moving on to the next room.

If you plan to purchase moving insurance, we recommend creating an inventory as you go. This will make it easier to file a claim if any of your belongings are lost, stolen, or damaged during the move.

Set Up Decluttering Rules

The urge to hang onto things you don’t really need can be strong—especially in light of all the “what ifs” involved in a move. Help yourself by setting some decluttering ground rules.

The first step is sorting your things into four piles—keep, donate, throw out, and undecided. Come back to the undecided pile once everything else in the room has been sorted.

Professional organizers have developed several methods for deciding what to do with “maybe” items. One example is the 20/20 rule, which suggests getting rid of anything that would take less than 20 minutes and $20 to replace. Another option is to purge anything you use less than 80% of the time.

Sell or Donate Unwanted Items

You have three main options for disposing of things you no longer want or need. Some items, of course, may simply need to be thrown away. However, gently used items can be sold or donated.

Goodwill and The Salvation Army are two popular options for donating used items. You can also research local organizations that accept donations, such as homeless shelters or family services nonprofits. Some organizations will even pick up donations from your home, saving you the hassle of dropping them off.  A local favorite is The Home Store at East Cooper Habitat for Humanity.

Alternatively, you can sell your old stuff to help cover the cost of moving and buying new furniture. You can do this the old-fashioned way by holding a yard sale (or check to see if your neighborhood has one every year), or you can post on an online marketplace or app. Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay, and Poshmark are a few examples (be sure to follow the app’s rules for personal and financial safety). A local thrift store is another option.

Need Help?

Still feeling like this is a bigger task than you can take on by yourself?  Enlist the help of a professional organizerReach out to us for recommendations to help you achieve your de-cluttering goals.  As always, we are here to be a resource for our clients and those we come in contact with for all things real estate.


Lauren & Cambron | Lauren Zurilla & Associates