When you’re about to move home you’re probably thinking about all of those things you need to pack. Packing can get on top of you and be the most important thing to do, but you may also want to declutter. Decluttering while you’re packing is essential as it means you:

* Won’t have to pack everything

* Won’t end up taking things you don’t need to your new home

* Will find moving so much easier

* May have more space in your new home than you think

Decide When to Declutter

When are you going to declutter? Will you do it while you’re packing or before you start packing? Some people are happy to declutter before they pack so they can see what they have left. Other people are happy to cleaning out while they pack as they find it easier.

Once you have worked out when you would like to declutter you can start getting ready for it. Get some bags or boxes that you can put those unwanted items in and be prepared to give the contents away to a good will charity or someone else who may want it.

Start Early

Start decluttering as soon as you can. The sooner you start the easier you will find the whole process. Try not to leave your decluttering until the last minute as you will have plenty to do. Whether you decide to declutter while you’re packing or beforehand, you need to make a start now. The sooner you start the less you’ll have to do when you actually move house.

Try to do a little bit of decluttering every day so that it seems a lot more manageable.

If You’re Having Difficulty

If you are having difficulty deciding what to leave behind think about how often you use those items and whether you’re likely to use them in the near future. If you have a few items that you have not used or worn in the last year then they should ideally be gotten rid of. However, we all have a few sentimental items that we’ll always hang on to. You do not have to get rid of these things unless you have too many of them. In this case, you may have to be hard on yourself and get rid of a few bits and pieces.

You may want to ask someone to help you declutter so that you get the support you need. Get help from someone you trust who has your best interests at heart and will support you. A little encouragement can go a long way and make decluttering a lot less stressful.

Start with Old Documents and Manuals

One of the best things to start with is all of those old documents and manuals. These particular items can mount up after a while. For example, you may have an instruction manual for a microwave that you no longer own. You may also have books that you have no desire to read anymore. Start with all of these things and it’s likely that you’ll declutter more than you realize.

Consider getting rid of old bank statements, throw out those college essays if you no longer need them. Empty the filing cabinet if you need to and discard the contents. You’ll feel better for it.

Don’t Forget your Clothes

While you may be thinking about all of that paperwork that you need to go through you should not forget your clothes. Take a look at all of your clothes and decide what you want to keep and what you don’t. Have you worn that item of clothing in the last year? Are you likely to wear it again? If the answer is “No” you need to get rid of it.

Give any of your unwanted clothes to a goodwill charity or sell them online. Alternatively, you may want to ask your friends or family if there’s anything they want.

Do One Room at a Time

Don’t be tempted to do a little bit of decluttering in the kitchen and a little in the living room. Do one room at a time and move through it slowly and thoroughly. The more time you spend on each room the more you’re likely to declutter. Start with any room you please and look through everything. Be tough on yourself and think about how much more room you’ll have in your new home.

With a little bit of effort you can declutter your home so you end up taking fewer things with you to your new home. Start as soon as you can and do one room at a time. Sooner or later you’ll find that you don’t have quite so much to pack.

The article was prepared in collaboration with our American friends Blackhawk Movers – Oakland and East Bay Area moving company with years of experience in the industry.