Just 24 hours.
That's how much time I had to pack up half of our home before our last move.
Although I'd already decluttered our home, I wished I'd purged a lot more before actually packing for the move.
I'd already packed some, but then it looked like the sale of our house was going to fall through.
So I stopped packing.
Until I got the call that the sale was back on, leaving us a day to get everything sorted.
So in the midst of celebrating, we started a mad dash to pack.
Here are 100+ different things you can declutter while packing for your next move.
Related Read: Easy! 60 Quick Things to Declutter Today
Furniture is by far the bulkiest thing you'll move. It may cost far more to move a couch or large bed than it would to replace it on the other side. It greatly impacts the size of the moving truck as well as the amount of time spent with movers altogether.
And if you've ever had to deal with moving bulky furniture up and down flights of stairs... oh, the stress from just thinking about it!
Plus, you may find that you don’t have enough room in your new place or that you’re happier with new items. You'll save money on the move AND have fresh new furniture.
Includes: sofas, kitchen tables, desks, chairs, beds, dressers, end tables, etc.
Your fridge is probably even heavier than the couch! For large appliances that you have considered replacing in the not-too-distant future, now would be a great time to make it happen.
If you can avoid taking along the fridge, washer and dryer, you’ll save oodles of space in the truck.
Includes: fridge, washer, dryer, deep freeze
Do you really need that juicer, the extra crockpot, or the food processor? Now is the perfect time to pass those things along to a friend or even donate them to a thrift store.
A good rule of thumb: If you haven’t used it in 3-6 months, you probably won’t miss it.
Includes: juicers, blenders, food processors, microwaves, dehydrators, canning equipment, ice cream maker, pressure cookers, slow cookers, smoothie makers, electric frying pans, griddles
Now is the perfect time to unload all the clothing you never wear. Research shows that we wear about 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. That means you can safely declutter up to 80% of your wardrobe!
So be brave and unload all those worn-out items, the clothing you’ve been holding on to for a special occasion that hasn’t materialized or when you lose those 10 pounds.
By keeping only the things you love and wear, laundry will be a breeze and your closet will stay cleaner. Plus, you’ll have a lot less clothing to pack.
Ditto for children's clothing and off-season gear. If you’ve been hanging on to extra winter coats, think of all the space you'll regain when you donate them! It's a win-win situation!
If you're having a hard time deciding what clothing to keep and what to let go of, our Step-by-Step Decluttering Workshop will walk you through the process.
Lawn and garden equipment
Things like rakes, shovels, and hoses tend to multiply over time. Take a hard look at which tools you find yourself using and declutter the rest.
If your lawnmower or weed wacker are fairly new, you might even be able to sell them locally or online and buy new (or new-to-you) replacements for your new home.
Includes: rakes, shovels, hoses, hoes, mowers, weed wackers, lawn tractors, spreaders, etc.
Most tools are either heavy or bulky or both! And this is a category that you may be able to sell if you have the time.
Includes: saws, drills, clamps, sanders, and a million other things
Who doesn’t have a stash of leftover lumber or paint at home? These things are usually not worth moving. An easy way to get rid of these things is to set them out on the curb and place a notice on your local Freecycle group.
Includes: wood, trim, paint, spackle, insulation, etc.
If you’ve collected a lot of holiday decor, why not pass most of it on and keep just the family favorites?
Includes: artificial Christmas trees, inflatables, lawn decorations, lights, ornaments, wreaths, table-top displays, etc.
Who doesn’t have an old computer or printer collecting dust in the basement? There’s no need to keep (and pack) these things when you can usually have them recycled for free!
Check with your local office supply store to see if they recycle electronics and free up that space in both the moving truck and your new home.
Includes: printers, computers, monitors, cables, cameras, tablets, etc.
Now’s the time to be honest if you're going to use those golf clubs, the ski equipment, or the basketball hoop. Moving to a new home is a fresh start and it’s often easier to make these decisions at this time.
Includes: baseball helmets, cleats, soccer nets, balls, bats, hoops, golf clubs, etc.
Outdoor furniture and equipment
These items take a beating by being outside. You may be able to sell these items locally and save so much room in the truck, not to mention you’ll be able to pick out new items in your new place!
Or perhaps, you find you don’t need some of those items at all.
Includes: tables, chairs, umbrellas, lounges, outdoor rugs, grills, planters
All that beach gear? Do you get a lot of use out of it? Will the beach still be nearby?
If not, say goodbye to as much as possible!
Includes: beach tents, shovels, buckets, carts, flippers, masks, snorkels, floats, coolers, umbrellas, chairs, etc.
Fish tanks and other pet supplies
Do you have an aquarium or rabbit hutch collecting dust in the basement? Sure, it cost "good money" but it will take more of that money to find space in a moving truck.
So if it's empty now, you’ll probably not need it in your new place.
If you take a close look at the artwork on your walls, you might find some pieces that don’t suit your taste any more (or that you really never liked to begin with!).
Oh the toys! Some kids want to hold on to every dollar store treasure they ever got. But it’s important in life to be able to let go of things and toys do have a lifespan.
It’s OK to tell kids they need to pick their 3 favorite stuffed animals or cut their truck collection in half. Help them understand it’ll be easier to clean up with fewer toys and some other child will be excited to have what they no longer need.
My kids’ sports trophies seem to get bigger every year! And while they are fun to receive, kids don’t tend to enjoy them much later on.
Take some photos and declutter trophies without guilt.
New area rugs are an easy way to freshen up your new home. Save your back and space in the truck by giving away rugs before you move.
Pianos and other musical instruments
If you have a piano that sits unused, this may be a very difficult thing to declutter. It took 4 burly men to move our piano up a flight of stairs.
And unfortunately, that piano is now just a giant paperweight. I wish I’d bit the bullet and sold the piano before we moved.
While you may have some treasured knick-knacks, you might also have quite a collection that no longer appeals to you. These things require extra care when packing and unless you keep a very clean house, they collect dust.
Do yourself a favor and declutter as much as possible.
Check out this article on how to declutter your collections for help!
Includes: figurines, vases, pitchers, pictures, etc.
This is another type of item that tends to be under-used. And these things are also difficult to pack due to being quite breakable and/or awkwardly shaped.
Pile all those unused items in a box and drop them at the thrift store.
Includes: serving pieces, “good” china, food storage containers, coffee cups, platters and trays, etc.
Cleaning supplies may leak during transit and you may find plenty of almost empty bottles. Save one or two all-purpose cleaners and trash the rest. (Or, give to a neighbor who can benefit from some extra supplies.)
Includes: almost empty bottles, cleaners you don’t like, cleaning rags, toilet brushes, etc.
Unless you're moving locally, plants are very hard to transport. There's the dirt factor for one. Plus, how are you supposed to pack them?
Give your beloved plants to a good home and pick a few new plants for your new place.
Extra Tips for Decluttering Before You Move
Decluttering before a move is generally not much different to decluttering at any other time except for the deadline. If you're decluttering on a tight deadline before a move, here are some ways to make the most of it:
Have a Trash and Donate Pile: Don't mess around with a sell pile because there's probably not enough time for that. What happens in this scenario is you end up packing those items up and carting them off to the new home where they continue to sit as unused clutter.
Take Items to Donation Location ASAP: The longer these items sit at home while you are packing for a move, the greater potential there is for them to end up on the moving truck on moving day! Moving is a busy time, after all.
Consider a Moving Sale: If time permits, set a date for a simple moving sale. Put all the items in a designated space and put up a notice online (or signs around the neighborhood). It'll be nice to offload all these pieces without having to cart them off to the thrift store on your own. Let's face it - that could take several trips!
Moving to a new home is an exciting time!
Ease the stress, save tons of time AND money and lighten your load by decluttering as much as possible before you move.