Mentally Prepare Yourself for the Purge
The first and most important step in de-cluttering your home is to put yourself in the right mindset. You will be sifting through many old items that may have sentimental value, and unless you are prepared for it the process can be emotionally exhausting. Be ready to detach yourself from each item and think about it objectively. Focusing on the goal of a simplified life and the thought of enjoying your new home clutter-free will help get you through the more difficult, sensitive moments.
De-cluttering your home cannot happen overnight, or even in a couple of days. Depending on the size of your home and storage spaces, it could take up to 6 weeks to complete this project. Hence, it is best to leave yourself with enough time before your move to not only organize your belongings, but also to make arrangements for items you decide you no longer want or need. You want to give yourself a sufficient amount of time to thoughtfully consider each item and decide whether or not there is room for it in your life and new space. Waiting until the last minute can cause chaos and unnecessary stress.
Take it Room by Room
We know that this task can be overwhelming, and you may not know where to start. Choose one room in your home and don’t move on to another until you’re completely finished. This will prevent you from becoming distracted and ending up with a bunch of uncompleted rooms. The same is true inside a room. In bedrooms, take one step at a time – complete the closet, then dresser, then toy chest and décor. You are most likely to complete this project if you stay focused and organized.
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Have a little celebration each time you complete a room. Whether it’s a bowl of ice cream or a well-deserved nap, it will keep you motivated and reinvigorate you before starting on the next room.
Sort It Out
In each room, use the following categories to sort through your things: “Donate”, “Junk”, “Sell”, “Keep”. You can either make piles for these items, or purchase some moving boxes to hold them in temporarily. It will be worth the investment since you will be using them in a few weeks during your move anyway. If you are using the moving services of a professional mover, ask them to supply you with a few boxes. Regardless of whether you separate the items into boxes or piles, use labels or sticky notes to keep everything organized. It would be a shame for things to get mixed up after all your hard work.
Remove Unwanted Items as Soon as Possible
You’ve successfully sorted through every room in your home – congratulations! But the work does not stop there. Don’t let your “Donate”, “Junk”, and “Sell” piles sit and collect dust in your home and slow you down. Tackle the “Junk” pile first and throw it out as soon as you complete a room. For your “Donate” pile, pack it up and place in your car to drop off to a charity sometime while running other errands. If you’re planning to have a garage sale, try to schedule it at least 2 weeks before moving day so that you do not get overwhelmed. For items you will be selling online, take photos and start posting as soon as possible so that you aren’t stuck with unsold items when it’s time to move.
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