A study by UCLA researchers found that most American families are overwhelmed by clutter in their homes. The amount of possessions we own is so great that there is now over 2.3 billion square feet of self-storage in the US. That comes out to 7sq. feet per person.
Clutter is a big enough problem on its own, causing stress and making cleaning difficult. But clutter is especially problematic when you have to move – and the average American will move 12 times in his or her lifetime!
Rather than being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff you have to move, consider moving as a good opportunity to de-clutter your life. Then, in your new home, you can start anew with a fresh plate. De-cluttering can be a very emotional and stressful process though, so you will want to go about it with care. Here are some tips for getting rid of your belongings before a move.
Designate an area for donations and sale items
It is imperative that you keep your home organized while purging items. Otherwise, you might end up throwing away a box of items that you meant to pack. Find a clutter-free area in your home and designate one part for donations and another area for items you wish to sell.
Don’t underestimate the time it takes to sell items
You can make a lot of money by selling your belongings, especially any collectibles or designer items. However, it is going to take some time and effort. Higher-end and valuable items should generally be sold online, so you will need to take photos and creating listings. Once sold, you’ll need to pack and ship the items. If you hold a garage sale, you will need to advertise it, set it up, and man the post. Don’t forget that you’ll also need to clean items before selling them!
Do it one room at a time
To reduce the emotional stress that comes with purging belongings, take it slowly. Do it one room at a time. If possible, try to space out the purging process too, such as only doing one room per week.
Explain to your kids the beauty of donating their toys
Your kids probably have loads of toys they haven’t touched in ages. But, if you tell them to get rid of the toys, they will probably grab onto those toys desperately and refuse to let go. You can help make the purging process easier and give you kids a lesson in kindness by explaining charity donations to them. Tell them that there are kids who don’t have toys to play with and that they will be doing a very good thing by giving up the toys for donation. You may even want to take the kids to the donation spot so they can see firsthand.
Set aside “maybe” items
When sorting through items, you will probably have a lot of “maybe” items. Set these aside and decide later on what to do with them. If you don’t need to grab anything from the maybe pile or miss seeing it, then you probably should get rid of it.