Decluttering for a Move: What to Get Rid of and Where to Begin?

Decluttering for a Move: What to Get Rid of and Where to Begin?

Decluttering your home before a move can serve as a clean slate and the new start you have been looking for. There is no better time than the present to sort through your belongings and do the long-awaited purge. This process will help you not only sort everything systematically but it will also help you get rid of things that you have had lying around for a long time but have zero use for.

Americans are constantly on the move. According to US Migration Census data, 8.7% of Americans moved to different residences in 2022. A typical American will move 11.7 times in their life. Despite moving so many times in a lifetime, the process doesn’t become a piece of cake. Here are a few tips so you can have a better and less stressful moving experience:

How to Start Decluttering for a Move:

  • Start Ahead: 

When you know you are moving, it’s a good time to start decluttering. Starting ahead will give you ample time to purge and systematically pack your things. Being on a time crunch will make the job more stressful and complicated than it should be. So, giving yourself the time to sort through will lead to making fair decisions and tackling the whole place systematically rather than a haphazard, hurried job. 

  • Get Help:

Hiring movers ahead of time will take the stress of relocation from your mind. According to migration trends, between June and August 2023, 31% of Tampa homebuyers searched to move out of Tampa, while 69% looked to stay within. Florida seems to be one of the most popular states people move to, according to statistics. If you get experienced local help like Tampa long distance movers will do all the heavy lifting for you. They will efficiently and effectively pick up and transport your possessions from one home to another. With that sorted, you can focus more time and energy on decluttering.

When decluttering, you can also involve your family to help. Any extra help simplifies the organization process, plus you can also have company while tackling these tasks and their opinions to weigh into the keep or donate piles.

  • Prepare:

Before tackling the clutter, make a plan of action and make lists. For organization, gather supplies like markers, labels, sticky notes, trash bags, sturdy containers, cardboard boxes, etc. 

Get everything that you would need to sort effectively. Supplies like gloves, ladders, wipes, microfiber cloths, scissors, and torches; will help you get into tricky or dusty places, etc.

  • Plan it Out:

Imagine your new place and the aesthetic you want for it. It will help you decide the things that belong in your new home. Remember the sizes and proportions of the rooms, because some things might not fit into the new space. Thinking ahead can help you maintain a checklist and effectively get rid of things that aren’t required.

What to Get Rid of and Where to Begin?

Trying to figure out where to start can be overwhelming. Tackling everything at once will lead to stress and clog your brain. It is best to break it down into small, manageable tasks and tackle them gradually.

Tackle Room-By-Room: 

  • Kitchen:

Get rid of anything broken, excessive, or never used. These can include unused appliances; if you haven’t used anything in a while and it is gathering dust, or things with corroded parts, exposed wiring, or broken parts should be thrown out or donated if useable. Expired Food and sauce packets; take stock of your pantry and fridges. Anything that’s expired is not healthy to consume and should be thrown out. Look at the takeout drawers; they can be filled with a large quantity of sauces and sachets that can come with takeout. Kitchen Tools and Utensils: We can accumulate a variety of mismatched utensils, pots with missing lids, and old serving spoons. It is best to minimize broken, expired, burned, or mismatched things.

  • Bathroom:

Get rid of any old or empty bathroom toiletries. Have a look through your medicine cabinet and dispose of any expired medicines. Throw away any cleaning supplies you would not need, and will likely buy new ones for the new place. Clear the raggedy towels, old bathmats, and shower curtains.

  • Living Room & Family Room:

Declutter your living and family room by purging your DVDs, CDs, magazines, and book collections. Take a look at your furniture. Does it fit into your new space? Is it old and damaged? Access your accessories, rugs, lamps, picture frames, and paintings; if they don’t have a place or a purpose in your new house, get rid of them.

  • Bedrooms & Closets:

Take account of your closet; sort out old clothes, beat-up shoes, things that no longer fit, clothes, or any extra jewelry or accessories you haven’t worn in ages. Get rid of excessive hangers. Declutter your linen closet and weed out any old bed sheets, towels, and runners you don’t use anymore. Look through your makeup supplies and beauty tools, and clear any old makeup or broken tools like curling irons or hair dryers.

  • Office:

Clear away old documents, dated calendars, instruction manuals, old electronics, and any stationary supply that’s not needed anymore.  

  • Garage and Basement: 

Declutter any tools and hardware, construction materials, seasonal decor, gardening supplies, camping gear, party supplies, and kids’ toys. You should clear away any items and knickknacks that have been in storage for a while and aren’t handy.

How to Get Rid of Stuff You Have Decluttered:

It’s best to sort things into piles, which will help you clear away everything. Here are some categories that can help you:

  • Things you plan to sell:

While decluttering, you can come across several things in perfect condition that you don’t use anymore but that work fine. You can plan to sell them to earn a few extra bucks. People often sell online or hold a garage sale for this.

  • Items to donate:

Local charities are always looking for donations. You can always donate unwanted clothes, toiletries, linens, furniture, and appliances to local charities, etc. But beware; charities aren’t your dumping grounds; don’t treat them as landfills. Only donate good, usable stuff.

  • Garbage:

Add anything that’s broken and can’t be used anymore to the garbage pile. You can rent a dumpster to get rid of all the things. Also, recycle anything that fits into the guidelines.

  • The keep pile:

Fill this pile with things you have decided to keep in your life. You can move them to another room with the other to keep stuff or start packing them in their respective box containers.


Decluttering allows you to purge, pack, and prepare before a big move. Once you know what you’re keeping, donating, selling, and trashing, it will simplify your belongings. It will give you a fresh start at your new place, devoid of junk or clutter.