Declutter Your Home Before a Move

If you’re getting ready to move into a new home, make sure decluttering is the first step in your process.

Getting rid of old belongings can save you time, money and effort during every stage of your move: packing, unpacking and the physical move itself. Plus, decluttering can come with a few added bonuses like helping others and even potentially making some extra cash.

Quotes from moving companies often begin with an in-home or virtual survey of your belongings. The more items that need to be packed and moved, the higher the fee. Even if you choose to do the packing and unpacking yourself, decluttering as many unneeded or unwanted items as possible still saves you money on moving supplies, time spent packing, unpacking and eventually throwing away said items.

From what to get rid of to where to discard the unwanted, here are a few tips for decluttering ahead of your move.

Decluttering checklist

Decluttering will look different for everyone – some may need to purge clothes, while others hope to see large pieces of furniture go. Whatever your goals, there are several areas of the home people often forget about until the packing process begins. Start by making a checklist for each room in the house, going through junk drawers, storage closets and other nooks and crannies that are easily overlooked. Here are a few other things to consider purging in each room of your house:

  • Kitchen: Expired foods, sauce packets, condiments and cleaning supplies, Tupperware missing lids (we all have them!), old cookbooks and cookware, duplicate kitchenware, and anything else that might still be sitting in its gift box, unopened.
  • Bathrooms: Expired medications, toiletries, cosmetics and beauty tools – it’s easy to let these items turn into a collection over time. Medications though need to be disposed of properly, so please, don’t throw them away or flush them down the drain.
  • Bedrooms: Hangers, clothing items, jewelry and accessories that are either damaged, no longer fit or have been sitting in the back of your closet for years.
  • Family/living room and playrooms: Frames, trinkets and décor that no longer bring you joy; old or broken toys, old media like DVDs, VHS tapes, CDs, cassettes, books and outdated magazines.
  • Linen closet: Towels, dishrags and bedding thinning from years of use, crafts and sewing supplies.
  • Home office: Shred old documents and toss or recycle any unused electronics like old cell phones, laptops or other items that have been stored away or gone unused over the last few years.
  • Garage/sheds: Seasonal items like floats, sleds, yard decor, tools, hardware and any other miscellaneous items that live in your garage year-round.

What to do with your unwanted belongings

When going through each room and referencing your decluttering checklist, put items into three piles: sell, donate and trash. Here are some resources and ways to get rid of each pile accordingly.

  • Sell – Local consignment shops are a great place to sell gently used or new clothing, shoes and accessories. Facebook Marketplace is another popular option to sell items in almost every category with the added bonus that you are selling directly to the buyer, eliminating third-party shops and maximizing your profit.
  • Donate – For any items that go unsold, or if you don’t want to spend the time selling unwanted belongings, consider donating to local organizations like Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity. Many of these locations will also pick up your donations. Should you have unwanted, non-perishables, you can donate them to Move For Hunger to help feed those in need!
  • Trash – Before making a trip to the dump, research local options for recycling. TerraCycle is a zero-waste solution for fabrics and clothing, and Soles 4 Souls is a national shoe recycling program. There are dozens of companies and organizations designed to help recycle these items – some for a fee, some for free and all for a good cause!

There’s a lot that goes into any move. Put in the work early to minimize your efforts, and remember that movers like Hilldrup are available to alleviate the stressors of moving to ensure a smooth and seamless event!

If you have questions about moving into a new home, we’d love to help


We are open for business as usual while we prioritize the health of our customers and employees above all else. We also offer virtual surveys for all of our customers so you can receive a quote while staying at home and practicing social distancing.Read more about our COVID-19 safety precautions and a word from our President and CEO on our return-to-work strategy.
+