Science supports minimalism. According to research, people with fewer belongings have reduced stress levels, tend to develop healthier relationships, and live a relatively fulfilled life. Their control over their consumption is the key.
If you’re moving, it is an ideal time to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. Get rid of all the clutter and unnecessary junk surrounding you.
It’s easy to say but difficult to do, we know. And so, we have compiled this actionable guide to get you started. Read on to figure out how you can declutter before you move.
You’ve trouble distinguishing useful objects from useless objects. This is exactly why you own a lot of stuff. So, let’s first focus on how you can identify the objects cluttering up your house.
For every item in your house, ask yourself these.
If it’s a no, throw it right away. If it’s a yes, that’s great! Now, proceed to the second question.
If you use it, determine how often you use it. Even if it’s once every 2-3 months, it’s good to keep. But if you use it annually or think it might come in handy at some unknown and unexpected time, get rid of it immediately.
At times things are working and you use them occasionally. But keeping them can still clutter your surroundings. So, ask yourself if you could buy a new version of it should the need arise.
If you cannot, you should keep it. If it doesn’t cost much, it’s a good idea to pass it to someone who needs it more than you at present.
As you read the questions above, the process may sound easy. But when you begin to implement this, you’ll find it tough to answer all three questions for all the items at your place. For that very reason, we suggest systematic decluttering.
First of all, know the date and day you’re going to leave your current house. Also, know the covered area of your new house before you begin downsizing.
Doing so will provide you with two essential metrics, i.e.;
- The time you have
- The space available to you
You can then begin your decluttering process in light of these.
This is the first stage of systematic decluttering. Determine the total count of rooms in your house (including bathrooms & storerooms). Once done, divide them on a priority basis. Ideally, you should start with a small space. It helps develop the flow and enhance your decluttering perspective by the time you’re working on bigger spaces.
We recommend going in the following order:
- Guest rooms
- Closet (if you don’t have a dedicated room or space for this, consider it the same as your wardrobe)
- Living room
- Store rooms/attic/basement
Next, you should allocate cardboard boxes that determine the fate of all the cluttering objects. We recommend arranging at least four with the following tags:
If you’ve trouble arranging cardboard boxes, you can use plastic bags as well.
The third step to planning is to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. You might want to just shrug it off right now, thinking you’ll deal with it. But trust us, you’re emotionally attached to your stuff. And this is exactly why there’s clutter around you.
So learn how to conquer the emotions that stop you from decluttering. Then, proceed to the second stage.
It’s time to move to the second stage — sorting. Go room by room and sort your belongings into the boxes you arranged. The whole process shouldn’t take more than three days, i.e., with ample breaks in between. If you’re going to do it one go, 7-15 focused hours are enough.
If there are a lot of rooms or you have a lot of belongings, you may find yourself overwhelmed or losing track of things during the second stage. Here are a few tips to tackle that:
- Use house moving and sorting apps to speed up the process. Here’s a list of good moving apps.
- Create one container/box/bag for all rooms. For example, collect all the things you’ve to donate in only one bag/cardboard.
- Color code the boxes or tag them properly, so you don’t mix the stuff.
- For the remaining stuff, plan a packing strategy ahead of time or hire Muval’s expert removalists to take care of this for you.
Also, it’s best to handle the task on your own. When more people participate in the decluttering process, there’s a high chance there’ll be a lot of confusion. Owing to this, things may get misplaced and mixed up.
Lastly, it’s time to remove the items you’ve sorted out. For things that you’ve to keep, prepare a list room-by-room and pack it properly.
Once you’re done, it’s time to get rid of the extra stuff. Trash all the stuff you placed in the Trash container. If the quantity is a lot, stack it up in your car’s backseat, drive to the nearest dumpster, and drop it there. Alternatively, you can call a junk removal company and avail of their services.
Similarly, create a list of recipients and organizations for the stuff you’ve decided to donate. And make sure you get rid of it before anything else because you may change your mind if it lies around too long.
For fixing and recycling stuff, arrange a proper storage bag. Place the stuff in this bag, and place it alongside the rest of your belongings.
And there you go! You’ve successfully decluttered your house.