How to Get Rid of Clutter Before Moving

Clutter is anything taking up space in your life that doesn’t add value. This is especially true at home where unused and unwanted items seem to pile up quickly. Cleaning out the clutter can actually give you some amazing benefits, such as decreasing stress, which helps you focus and be more productive, and can even help you maintain a better diet! Whether you’re decluttering before a move or getting ready to put items into storage units, instead of feeling overwhelmed by the task at hand, follow these simple steps on how to get rid of clutter before moving. 

Keep All Important Paperwork and Documents Together

Most families these days have all sorts of legal documents and paperwork at home. Car titles, insurance paperwork, mortgage papers, and more are vitally important and need to be well protected. When you’re planning a big move, all of these papers and documents should be taken with you. (Sending them on the moving truck opens up the risk of losing them all, which could be disastrous.) We suggest getting a large, plastic file box and placing all your important documents in it as you go. Below is a list of everything you should gather and keep together for safety, including:

  • Insurance papers
  • Mortgage papers
  • Car, Truck, Boat and other vehicle Titles
  • School Transcripts
  • Retirement Fund paperwork
  • Medical records
  • Passports
  • Investment Documents
  • Birth Certificates
  • Marriage License
  • Divorce Decrees

Toss Clutter That You Don’t Want Before Moving

Here’s the thing; moving is expensive. You’re probably already aware of that if you’re searching how to get rid of clutter before moving. But that’s even more true if you’re moving from one state to another. Moving companies charge based on 3 major factors, 2 of which you control. The first is the weight of all your household goods. (They weigh the truck before and after loading to determine the actual weight). The second is all the packing needed to box up all your stuff. That includes the boxes, paper, and tape, as well as labor.

It stands to reason that, if you move fewer things, you’ll pay less for your move. You’ll have less weight and fewer things to pack, both of which will lower your cost substantially. What that means is, to save money, you need to get rid of anything you don’t need, want, or use. Here’s a list of some things you should toss, donate, or give away before you move:

  • Old clothes and shoes.
  • Unused or unwanted toys. (Woody and Buzz not included.)
  • Old furniture. (Very heavy!)
  • Bicycles and sports equipment that doesn’t work.
  • Books and magazines.
  • Outdoor furniture that’s old or damaged. (Tables, chairs, BBQ, etc.)
  • Baby furniture. (If your baby is grown, of course.)

Put Everything You’re Taking With You On The Bed(s)

We love this ‘How to Get Rid of Clutter Before Moving’ tip. One thing interesting about moving is that movers put the beds on the truck last. The reason why is that they use the mattresses and box springs to ‘secure the load.’ Since you know they won’t take the beds until last, putting everything you’re taking on top is a great idea. The clothes you need, for example, and the important paperwork we talked about earlier. On top of the beds, none of that stuff will be touched by the movers.

We suggest putting everything into an open suitcase and leaving it on the beds in every bedroom. That goes for mom and dad as well as all the kids too. That way, nothing will get loaded on the truck that you need to take with you on your trip. At the end of the day on moving day, your movers will tell you when they’re loading the beds. Then you can take your (almost) packed suitcase and set it aside with all your important stuff inside. It’s the best way to make sure something doesn’t get moved that you vitally need. (Car keys, plane tickets, your wallet or purse, etc.).

How to Get Rid of Clutter Before Moving

If you are short one space and trying to figure out how to get rid of clutter before moving, you could also consider renting a self-storage unit to help you stay organized. There are many options for storing your precious possessions, from climate-controlled units for temperature-sensitive items, to drive-up units with easy access any time you need it.

This post was written on 01/09/2018.
It was updated on 01/31/2021.