Moving? 4 Steps to Decluttering Your Home


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Anyone who’s about ready to move into a new home is overwhelmed with packing, sorting and boxing stuff up. But there another big opportunity here to declutter. Get rid of the stuff you haven’t read, used, or worn for the last year. This was my mother’s credo–if you haven’t touched it in the last year, you aren’t going to. Why pack it up and move it into your new home? Throwing stuff away, recycling it or donating it to Goodwill or your local thrift shop can be a little scary at first, but you’ll soon start to gain momentum. Here are some decluttering guidelines.

Step No. 1: Start throwing things out early

  • Start purging at least a month before you move. This gives you time to sell items online, stage a garage sale or drive them to a consignment shop. Advance decluttering makes it feel like it’s less work than it actually is.
  • Try to tackle one room, or one closet (or one drawer) a day; never handle an item twice.
  • Create Sell, Donate and Toss boxes for distribution

Step No. 2: Gather the right packing materials

  • Gather organizational tools like packing tape, black markers, and labels. You’ll need this stuff for moving day.
  • Clear plastic bins are your friends–they’re great for small items like batteries or office supplies. You can see what’s inside, and they’re easily stackable to save space.

Step No. 3: Consider the size of your new home

Think about your new home and how much space it contains. That will help you decide whether to move that extra set of pots and pans, or donate them. But even if you’re moving into a home with equal or more space, that doesn’t mean you should use this as an excuse to keep everything you own. Be selective.

Step No. 4: Be merciless, and get these out of your life

  1. Still boxed: Those items that never made it out of their boxes: gifts, Groupon deals that seemed like a good idea at the time, bulk purchases of all those giant jars of capers you won’t live long enough to eat.
  2. Not used: Tastes and waistlines change. (Especially waistlines.) If you haven’t worn or used something in a year, you probably never will again. If you’re still hanging on to those clothes that fit you 20 pounds ago, get rid of them. It’s too depressing.
  3. Expired: Food way past its sell-by date and expired or unwanted medication shouldn’t live with you in your new place.
  4. Past paperwork: Boxes of old files. We all have documents, clippings, and recipes that we never read—they don’t need to be schlepped to a new house. If you file your tax returns online and report everything you should, the IRS says to keep returns and documentation for three years after you file.
  5. Books and magazines are heavy and bulky to move. If you’ve read them, and don’t think you’ll ever read them again, donate them to a local library. Many senior residences maintain libraries and would love a fresh supply of reading material.
  6. Extras: Jettison extra towels, extra teacups, extra anything. If it hasn’t come in handy in the past year, it won’t come in handy in the future.

Dream about starting fresh in your new home. Free of clutter. 

Contact Keith Katzman for Moraga Real Estate: 925.376.7776

Looking to buy or sell a home in Moraga? Contact Keith Katzman–a Moraga native with more than 30 years of industry experience.

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