Monday, October 12, 2009
Declutter Your Home before the Move
It’s in the human nature to surround ourselves with STUFF: things we once used but no longer need, things we never used, outdated things, broken things – it’s amazing how quickly those unneeded things occupy a huge space of our house. And you definitely don’t want to take all that clutter into your new home: not only you will spend too much time packing, unpacking, storing the stuff you will never use, you might actually pay more for the move since many moving companies charge you by the weight. So getting rid of the clutter is definitely a thing you want to do before your move.
Here are a few helpful hints when you are ready to declutter your house:
1. Don’t try to do it all at once – it can be a daunting task that will exhaust you more than you expect, so you might give up before you finish. Do it systematically, focusing on one room at a time (or one part of the room in really complicated cases). Come up with a plan, write it down and follow you plan to stay on track. Keep a couple of empty boxes handy where you can put the unneeded stuff all at once, instead of building piles of it on the floor.
2. There will definitely be place for doubts, but it’s important to stay determined and face the truth. Do you WANT this thing? Do you NEED it? When did you use it last time: a month ago? Six Months? A year? If you haven’t used something in a year, chances are you won’t get to use it at all – discard it with no regrets.
3. Try to follow a split-second decision rule: take an object and immediately apply a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ reaction to it. ‘Maybe’ is acceptable, but you should impose second round questioning on your ‘maybe’ group of objects.
4. Decide how you want to dispose of the things you no longer need: garage sale; donation to a charity (they will actually pick them up for you); giveaways to neighbors and friends; or just throwing them out.
5. Think of the most cluttered areas in your house:
- Kitchen cupboards/ medicine chests – I guarantee that expired medicines and foods can be found in every house
- Books – what’s the point to keep books you are positive you’ll never reread
- Kids’ draws and closets: broken toys, endless drawings and other “pieces of art” produced by your kids, clothes they’ve long outgrown – that all can make a very impressive pile, but once it’s gone, its absence will hardly ever be noticed
- Linen closets: do you seriously need that many towels? What’s that on the bottom of the shelf? A sheet from your dorm times?
Decluttering your house has many advantages. It will keep you more organized because all your things will be neatly placed in order. As a result you will find everything you need faster and spend less time cleaning and putting things back to their places. It will give room to new things that you will inevitably end up acquiring because as you remember it’s in our nature. But at least you can rest assured that the new stuff won’t be put on top of the old stuff, making it harder to close the doors of a ready-to-explode closet.