How to avoid clutter when packing

Moving can be a messy process. With all your belongings being packed, you are bound to find a few items you might have forgotten about. Add to that the usual piling up of unnecessary items and you can quickly become overwhelmed with clutter. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you plan your move right and organize it well, you will be able to avoid clutter when packing. However, this can be easier said than done. For that reason, we’ve decided to compile this article. In it we will aim to help you deal with the clutter as you pack, enabling you to enjoy your new home free of the excess items of the past. So, read on, to find out how to avoid clutter when packing.

What do we mean by “clutter”

Knowing how to deal with clutter is great and all, but before we begin, we must first talk about what clutter is. By clutter, we mean all those excess items that pile up in our homes during our lives. These can range from items we were gifted but don’t really like, to things we meant to throw out but just haven’t gotten around to doing so. These can have a real impact on your life. Psychological research has shown that clutter doesn’t only affect our ability to move around a space. It can actually have an impact on how we think and how efficiently we act.

A person holding up a smiling emoji
A clutter-free home makes us happier and more productive

All these are the reasons why most moving checklists mention de-cluttering. After all, the move is the best time to deal with the clutter. You will be handling all of your belongings in one go. This means that you will be able to decide what to keep and what not to by looking at the big picture of all your belongings. This especially goes for packing. As you will be actually handling all your items, it is easiest to avoid clutter when packing. So, let’s talk about a few tricks that can help you with just that, next.

Why is it smart to de-clutter and avoid clutter when packing

There are several reasons that will motivate you to avoid clutter when packing. First off, by de-cluttering, you will have fewer items to pack. This will, in turn, reduce the time you need for packing and give you more space to plan your relocation. This becomes especially important in last-minute moves, where such a gain of time will do wonders to reduce your moving stress. Another great thing about de-cluttering is that it saves you money. First of all, you will have fewer items to pack, meaning you will have to use up less moving supplies. Secondly, you might even sell some of your excess items to gain a little money on the side.

How to avoid clutter when packing

Below, we will discuss the actual ways you can avoid clutter when packing. There are many ways you can go about it. From forming lists to separating items as you go. All of these are valid and depend on what suits you better. It’s just important to stay ration here. Consider your new home and the items you plan to take there. Some might not fit the décor, while others might not even fit physically. Another thing to consider is that you don’t strictly have to throw away excess items. If you are really attached to some, you can always keep them by enlisting the help of moving and storage companies. Having these items in storage might be a middle ground between keeping them and throwing them away. Just keep in mind that storage will cost you money.

A closet full of clothes
Avoid clutter when packing by leaving behind the items you won’t be using anymore

Planning your packing with moving lists

When you are organizing your move a smart idea would be to form a moving list. These can include anything from the timeframe of your move, what kind of moving supplies you will need and where to get them (for example, if you will need to get free moving boxes) to a list of all the items you plan on taking to your new home. While compiling the latter, you can decide which items you will not be taking with you.

Separate the items as you go

Another way you could avoid clutter when moving is to form a keep pile and a clutter pile. While packing items of a certain group, say clothing or kitchen items, you can simultaneously decide which items you will not be keeping. If you have some clothes that you haven’t worn in a  long time or just don’t fit anymore, chances are you will not be using them in your new home. They can go to the clutter pile. Same goes for duplicate sets of cutlery, old ornaments you don’t want to keep and all other items you don’t think would have a place in your new home. The benefit of this system is that it’s quicker than forming a list beforehand, however, it does require you to purge the clutter piles, otherwise, it might end up making a big mess.

What to do with the excess items

Finally, once you’ve decided which items you don’t plan on keeping it’s time to deal with them. Basically, you can avoid clutter when packing by either selling, giving away or donating these items. Each of these has its own pros and cons.


Selling your excess items will have two benefits. First of all, as with all de-cluttering methods, you will have fewer items to pack. Secondly, the money you earn here could be spent to lessen your moving costs. However, there is a con. Selling these items can take a while. Even with quicker methods like a garage sale, you will have to invest some time into this. Therefore, this de-cluttering method is more suited for relocations where time isn’t such a big factor. With last minute moves, you’d be better off donating or gifting your excess items.


A quicker way to de-clutter and have the excess items off your hand would be donating them.  There are many charity organizations that would be willing to come to pick up the items you won’t be needing anymore. This goes for anything ranging from furniture to electronics and clothing. This means you will save the time that you would spend on getting rid of these and be able to use it on the packing itself, all the while making someone in need a bit happier!


Finally, if you know that your friends could use some of your items, you can always gift them. While it may take up a bit of your time to set it up, it is still quicker than selling. As an added bonus, your friends will be happy because of the gift!

A wrapped gift.
Your excess items could make a great surprise gift for your friends!

Avoid clutter when packing for an easy relocation

Reading the article above, you could see just how important it is to avoid clutter when packing. All that remains now is to apply this to your move. With all this said, we are certain that you will do just fine!

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