Lightening your load of possessions before you move will make the moving process much easier. If you can get exact dimensions of your new space, make sure you take along a tape measure and check out the dimensions of your new space, especially doorways and any small hallways or tight corners. By knowing where the largest pieces will go and how they will fit into the space, you can settle into your new space much more easily.
The process of decluttering
Decluttering is all about decision-making. If you know that a move is coming up within the next year, put yourself on a spending freeze. Avoid investing in new household items such as linens. If you have a loaded pantry or a cabinet full of consumables, stop stocking up until you’re in your new space.
Enter each space of your home with 3 different containers. You’ll need a black bag for trash, a box for items that you’ll donate, and a container for things you want to take with you. When packing up clothing, carefully consider items that no longer fit or are showing some wear. Dress clothes that no longer suit you can go to a consignment shop or to a family shelter. Casual clothing that no longer suits you can go to Goodwill or to a community yard sale. Stained or warn garments should go in the trash.
What you can not store during a move
You may be tempted to store keepsakes for a time, even if you don’t have room for them in your new space. However, keepsakes and family heirlooms can often be a source of guilt. If you joyfully pull out Grandma’s punch bowl for holiday gatherings, by all means, keep it! If you just struggle to find a spot to store it and wonder why you’re still lugging it around, give it to someone who will love it.
Many people pack up to move to find boxes that they haven’t unpacked since the last move. If you haven’t opened it since you put it on the shelf, you don’t need it. Find someone who does.
Places to donate no longer wanted items
Once you decide to donate or discard something, act on the decision. If a bag or box full of gently used items rides around in the trunk of your car for too long, you’ll eventually take it back in the house. Plan your daily commute with an eye toward stopping and donating items you know you don’t need to keep.
In addition to your local Goodwill, consider taking unused party supplies to family shelters. Unused or unwanted craft supplies can be given to senior centers. Extra dishes and cookware can be an incredible blessing to foster children who are aging out of the system. If your city or county has a homeless outreach program, check for a donation site and let your unwanted household goods help someone getting back on their feet.
Minimalism is not about stripping away all of your belongings until you live in a harsh or stark setting. Instead, downsizing during a move allows you to take exactly what you need (and nothing more) into your new space.