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May 10, 2022

How to Declutter for a Move: Room by Room

  • Move Management
  • Packing
  • Tips and tricks
young woman sorting through her belongings to declutter her home before a move
Moving is an exciting time. It gives you the chance to start fresh in a new home and create a new life there.  But before you settle into your new space, you have to pack up your old one. Even if you don’t think you have that much “stuff” laying around the house or hiding in the back of your hall closet, chances are you have way more than you think you do. Use the opportunity of moving to finally purge those closets, drawers, and kitchen cabinets of all the extra, damaged, or no longer useful items you have hiding throughout your home. 

Decluttering your home is not only good for your mental health and wellbeing, but it will also save you from buying more packing materials than you need and help the process go faster..  The experts at Atlas® Van Lines  recommend the following opportunities to declutter before you move. 

Questions to Ask Yourself as You Pack up Your Room

Have I used this in the past year? 
If you haven’t used or even seen a certain piece in a year or more, chances are you no longer need it.

If I didn’t have this, would I buy it again? 
Many smaller things we own are bought on impulse. If you wouldn’t buy it again, you don’t need it now.

Does this thing work? 
If anything is damaged or in need of repair and you haven’t fixed it yet, you probably won’t. Say your goodbyes.

Is there room for this in my new home?
Some items that work in your current home won’t in your new home for a variety of reasons, space being a major one.

Is this difficult or expensive to move?
Certain large or specialty items require extra consideration or services for transport that could incur an additional cost.

With these questions in mind, it’s time to start the decluttering process, room by room.


What to Get Rid of In Your Living Room

  • Old or damaged furniture. If your sofa sags a little too much in the middle or you have coffee or side tables with knicks and scratches, it might be time to treat yourself to a cozier upgrade.
  • Outdated electronics. Still hanging on to that DVD player or big, bulky box television? Bring your media into the 21st century and donate or sell those old relics.
  • Books. Even if you aren’t much of a reader, you probably have (too many) books. Keep what’s important but donate or pass along the rest to a street library box in your neighborhood.
  • Wall art and décor. A new home offers a clean slate to make a new and inviting space. If you’ve grown tired of your interior decorations, let them stay in the past with your old home.
  • Old rugs. If you love to entertain, have children, or pets, those years-old area rugs might be ready to roll up and say goodbye. 

What to Get Rid of In Your Kitchen

  • Expired pantry items. Pantries, refrigerators, and cabinets are filled with spices, oils, and other sundries for cooking that are purchased for a recipe and never heard from again. Check expiration dates and trash accordingly.
  • Unused countertop appliances. If your countertop is cluttered with air fryers, blenders, or any other small appliance that seems to do nothing but collect dust, it’s time to unplug and let go.
  • Old cookware. If your pots and pans have seen better days and make cooking harder than it needs to be, consider leaving them behind and treating yourself to a new set.
  • Unused dishware. Have you ever opened your cabinet and wondered why you own so many coffee mugs? If you have too many glasses or other dishes that never get used taking up space, purge them.
  • The junk drawer. Every kitchen has one, and most junk drawers are just used to keep things that we feel like we’ll need again, but rarely do. Keep what’s important, ditch what isn’t.

What to Get Rid of In Your Bedroom

  • Old clothes and shoes. Closets are one of the most cluttered areas in homes because you always assume you’ll wear that one sweater again someday. You won’t. While you’re at it, get rid of as many hangers as you can as well.
  • Bedding. Are your pillows, sheets, or comforters looking a little flat or threadbare? Get rid of them now and set yourself up for a comfortable night in your new home. 
  • Mattresses. Most mattresses last between 7-10 years, with memory foam models lasting up to 15. Depending on where you are in that timeline, consider outfitting your bed with a new one.
  • Forgotten toys. For kids’ rooms, there are probably a lot of toys that your little ones no longer play with due to damage or that they’ve simply aged out. Keep what they love, donate what they don’t.
  • Organization items. Your current home may have required storage solutions for closets or in your main room if it lacked space. If you don’t need them for your new home, don’t take them with you.

What to Get Rid of In Your Bathroom

  • Expired medications. Prescription medications should always be used within a certain time frame, but even things like OTC pain relievers, sunburn remedies, and more have an expiration date. If you’ve gone over it, get rid of it.
  • Old or unused toiletries. Just like medication, lotions, shampoos, shaving creams, and more all have a use-by date. If yours are old, unused, or nearly empty from use, it’s okay to let them go.
  • Bathmats. Bathroom mats and toilet covers are inexpensive and take a lot of beating from moisture in the air and washing cycles. Out with the old and in with the new for your next home.
  • Plunger and toilet brush. These are must-haves for any bathroom but are a no-go for moving with you. While handy, they are most likely covered in bacteria and grime and should be replaced.

What to Get Rid of In Your Home Office

  • Old calendars and planners. Still staring at a wall calendar from three years ago or hanging on to your daily planner? Both items are now easily accessed electronically  through our devices and can be tossed.
  • Filing cabinets and papers. Since almost everything is done digitally nowadays, you probably no longer need that bulky filing cabinet or any of the paper you’ve forgotten about inside. Streamline your operations and ditch the old methods.
  • Mail, magazines, and newspapers. Most of us have small piles of these items littering our desks and tabletops in our offices. Keep any important mail communication or keepsake articles but throw out the rest.
  • Unused computer equipment. From USB cords and headsets to external monitors and speakers, there are probably a lot of old accessories you no longer need. If you don’t need them, don’t bring it with you.

What to Get Rid of In Basements and Storage Areas

  • Holiday décor. It’s fun to collect holiday-themed decorations and knickknacks, but if you don’t have enough space to display them or just don’t use them anymore, let someone else enjoy them.
  • Tools and construction supplies. Most of us have old paint canisters or a bag of long-forgotten screws laying around somewhere. Properly dispose of hazardous materials according to your municipality and donate or toss the rest.
  • Old appliances. Washers, dryers, deep freezers, and more might be able to stay at your old house. Find out if the next inhabitant would want to keep them or consider selling or donating if not.
  • Lawn and garden equipment. Depending on what your new home’s landscape situation is, you may not need all or any of the current lawn equipment you have. If you don’t need it, cut it.
  • Family belongings. Do you have adult children who are keeping their childhood memories in boxes at your home? If so, ask them if they’d like to hang on to those items, and if so, to come and get them.

These are just some examples of the items you might want to consider evaluating. Once you’ve determined what you no longer need, decide whether you’ll want to sell, donate, or simply dispose of before moving day.

Ready to Make Your Move?

If you have a local or long-distance move coming and are ready to schedule a date with your new-and-improved lighter load of belongings, find your local Atlas mover today. Get started on your free online moving quote or give us a call at 800-638-9797 to chat with an Atlas representative directly.