How to declutter before moving day

Living in one home for a long time is surely going to result in having plenty of unnecessary items. Moving is a stressful process, it can seem overwhelming and chaotic. Now, if you take into account the number of your belongings that need to be relocated, it is obviously going to appear overbearing. You may think you don’t have any clutter. However, if you take a closer look chances are you will find items you won’t be bringing to your new home. The best time to think about doing a big decluttering is right before relocating! Whether you’re moving on your own or with professional residential movers, the fewer items to move the better. That is why you should declutter before moving day!

Start decluttering early enough

Any moving guide will tell you that taking your time is the key to a smooth move. There is no reason for decluttering to be a stress-inducing event. To avoid having to rush, start your declutter well before your move. Now, you don’t have to start throwing things right away. You can always plan ahead in order to keep everything organized. A good idea is to prepare three boxes for each room of your house. One box is for items you know you want to keep, one is for decluttering and a maybe box. That’s the one you can come to at the end when you have had more time to think. Additionally, you are going to need a lot of trash bags. Luckily, that is all the preparation and tools needed. Last but not least, a good strategy is to declutter room by room.

A couple doing a declutter before moving day
Planning out how to declutter before moving day will help you stay organized.

Follow the 12-month rule to successfully declutter before moving day

This is an old decluttering trick that is really useful if you’re someone who has a hard time parting ways with items. The name is self-explanatory. If you have an item you are not sure what to do about, think about if you used it in the past 12 months. If this is something you have used then you should keep it. On the other hand, if you haven’t used it for a year, it is safe to say that this is something you should get rid of.

Sell, donate or throw out?

Decluttering is a good place to start when wondering how to prepare for movers. Once you have decided what to declutter it is important to consider what are you going to do with those items. If it is something expired or really old and unusable there is no other option than getting rid of it. Now, when it comes to items that are still in good condition, it is up to you if you prefer to donate or sell them. However, you should try to sell them before your moving day to not end up having to bring them after all. It will also make moving with local movers more affordable.

Consider storage when you really can’t decide what to declutter before moving day

If you have items you really can’t decide on, or maybe a piece of furniture you’re not sure whether to keep, storage may be a solution for you. Many local movers also offer good quality storage units today, and you can always rent them temporarily. This can also be a good option if you don’t want to clutter your new home but have items you know you will eventually need. Additionally, you can always find long-term storage solutions.

A couple packing books
If you have items you don’t want to bring to your new home immediately, storage may be the solution for you.

Declutter room by room to keep everything in order

In order to keep everything more organized you could declutter room by room. This will make it easier to decide whether to keep something or declutter it. Just make sure to give yourself enough time for each part of the house.

Living room

The living room is a shared space and it can sometimes start to look like a storage unit for unused things. Look around and see if there is anything you don’t want to bring with you. It can happen that your shelves have a lot of unnecessary decorations, or maybe you’re still keeping old kids’ toys. If you have a big collection of books or CDs, go through it to see if there is anything you don’t want anymore. Also, don’t hesitate to sell or donate old furniture if you are buying a new one before the move.

Bedroom items to declutter before moving day

Your bedroom will almost always be the most cluttered room in your house. Closets are often filled with clothes and shoes that haven’t been worn for years. You might want to take a day solely for organizing your dresser and figuring out which pieces of clothing you want to keep and which to get rid of. Also, if you have a lot of jewelry or bags you no longer need, make sure to sell anything you declutter as it can be useful to have some extra cash for the move. It is a win-win situation!

A walk-in closet with clothes and shoes
Your closet can easily become a storage for old clothes, that’s why it is also a necessary part of your decluttering.


When you decide to start decluttering your kitchen before the move, make sure to throw out any expired food first. This will make everything else easier. You probably own a lot more kitchen appliances or cooking supplies than you actually need. If this is the case, get your trash bags ready and start going through your kitchen. Some of the items to keep in mind when you declutter:

  • Small appliances you no longer use
  • Surplus cookware that is unnecessary clutter
  • Kitchen tools
  • Kitchen utensils.


Now, before you start to declutter your bathroom, like any other room, you should clean your bathroom first. A lot of items that are stored here also have a shelf life. Make sure to get rid of old cleaning supplies, toiletries, and cosmetics. If you have old or barely usable beauty tools, such as hair brushes and hair dryers, there’s maybe no need in keeping them.

Don’t be too critical of yourself

To declutter before moving day doesn’t mean getting rid of half of your belongings. Sometimes you just don’t want to part ways with your belongings and that is normal, especially with items that have sentimental value. However, decluttering is a great way to have a fresh start when you relocate, while also cutting down moving costs!

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