Decluttering Tips for Minimising Possessions Before Your Move

Moving to a new place is a great chance to declutter. By assessing and reducing your stuff, you'll have an easier move and a less cluttered new home. Here are some decluttering tips to help you declutter effectively!

16 min read

Decluttering Tips for Minimising Possessions Before Your Move

Key takeaways

  • Start early: The decluttering process takes time. Don't leave it until the last minute; start as soon as you know you're moving.
  • One room at a time: To avoid getting overwhelmed, tackle one room at a time, starting with the easiest.
  • Sort into categories: Keep, toss, donate, or sell. Be ruthless with your decision-making.
  • Digitise what you can: Documents, photos, even DVD collections can often be stored digitally, freeing up physical space.
  • Plan your new space: Consider the space you're moving into. If something doesn't have a place in your new home, it's ideal to move it on.
  • Ask for help: Decluttering can be a big job. Don't hesitate to ask for help from friends, family, or professional organisers.
  • Celebrate your progress: Remember to take a pause, look back at your progress and give yourself a pat on the back. Decluttering is as much about mental wellbeing as physical space.

Decluttering is a crucial step when you're moving. It not only makes the whole process smoother and more streamlined but also saves you money on packing materials and time when you're getting organised for your new home. I know it might seem overwhelming at first, but with some proper preparation and a plan of attack, decluttering can actually make your entire moving experience much easier.

By implementing some valuable decluttering tips, like the ones I'm sharing in this article, you can effectively streamline the moving process. So, before you make your move, take some time to declutter your home. Trust me, it'll make the transition to your new place much more efficient and organised.

Remember, the fewer things you have to pack, lift, and transport, the easier the whole process will be.

Why decluttering matters

Decluttering can make a huge difference when you're moving. It helps cut down on moving costs and keeps you feeling organised in the chaos. By getting rid of things you don't need before the move, you'll save money on packing materials like boxes and tape, and you'll spend less time getting everything packed up.

Plus, decluttering keeps you on top of your to-do list and reduces the stress of the move. It's not just about being practical though - decluttering also has benefits for your mental and physical well-being as well as allowing you to rightsize your home. It gives you more control over your environment, a sense of accomplishment, and a fresh start in your new home. So, take the time to declutter before your big move, and you'll reap the rewards!

Assessing your belongings

First things first, choose a starting point, like a room or a specific item category (like clothes or books). Then, take your time to go through each and every item in that area. Ask yourself questions like, "Does this item really add value to my life?" or "Have I used this in the past year?"

When it comes to sentimental items, consider if they bring up positive memories or if they tie you to a past you're ready to let go of. It's important to be honest with yourself during this process and only keep the items that truly bring you joy.

Once you're done with one area, move on to the next. This methodical approach helps you stay focused and gives you a sense of accomplishment as you complete each section. Remember, decluttering is not a race, so take your time and evaluate your belongings thoroughly.

Categorising your items into piles like 'keep', 'donate', 'sell', and 'discard' can be super helpful. It gives you a clear visual of what you own and makes it easier to handle your belongings. The 'keep' pile is for essential items or those with sentimental value. The 'donate' and 'sell' piles are for things that are still in good condition but no longer needed. Lastly, the 'discard' pile is for broken or unwanted items that nobody can use. Remember, decluttering is not just about getting rid of stuff, it's about making mindful decisions about what you truly need and value.

decluttering boxes, sell, donate, keep, discard

Setting decluttering goals

When it comes to decluttering, setting realistic goals is key to staying motivated and making progress. These goals act as a roadmap for your decluttering journey, breaking down the task into manageable parts. Plus, each completed goal gives you a sense of accomplishment and keeps you motivated to keep going. Remember, decluttering isn't a race—it's about making decisions on what to keep and what to let go. Setting unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and burnout, so it's better to take it one step at a time. Instead of trying to declutter your entire home in a day, why not aim to tackle one room or category per week? This way, you can transform your living space gradually without feeling overwhelmed or rushed. Here are some tips to help you along the way. Happy decluttering!

  1. Start small: Start with just one drawer, shelf, or even a little box of stuff. No need to stress about doing a whole room at once. Celebrate the small wins - they'll give you the confidence to tackle bigger areas!

  2. Set a timer: Make it a point to set aside some dedicated time each day or week to tackle decluttering. Whether it's 20 minutes, an hour, or any timeframe that works for you, this approach ensures you don't end up spending the entire day decluttering and helps you stay on track. Trust me, it's much easier to stay focused this way!

  3. One category at a time: Instead of tackling an entire room, why not start with one category of items at a time? For example, you can focus on decluttering your clothes, books, or kitchenware. It's a more manageable and effective way to get the job done!

  4. Create a sorting system: As you go through your stuff, just put them straight into separate boxes or piles for 'Keep', 'Donate/Sell', and 'Throw away'. This way, you won't second-guess yourself and the whole process will keep moving smoothly.

  5. Take regular breaks: Decluttering can be super tiring, both physically and emotionally. Don't forget to take breaks and give yourself a breather to recharge and feel refreshed.

  6. Stay organised: After you've decluttered an area, take a few minutes to organise the items you've decided to keep, so you can easily find them later.

  7. Celebrate progress: Whenever you finish a decluttering task, no matter how tiny, take a moment to appreciate your progress. It's a great way to stay motivated and keep going!

Room-by-room decluttering guide

Declutter your living room

decluttering living room

Decluttering your living room requires a strategic and methodical approach. Here are some specific tips to help you:

  1. Start with furniture: Analyse each piece of furniture in your living room. If you have extra chairs that nobody sits on or tables that are only collecting dust, consider selling, donating, or discarding them. Aim to create a spacious, functional, and comfortable living area.

  2. Evaluate your decor: Examine each decor piece. Do they add value to your living room's aesthetics, or are they just cluttering the space? Keep only those pieces that genuinely enhance your space, and let the rest go.

  3. Clear horizontal surfaces: Coffee tables, side tables, and mantels are often clutter magnets. Remove unnecessary items, leaving only a few decor pieces or everyday essentials. This will make the space feel more open and organised.

  4. Organise media: CDs, DVDs, video games, and books can quickly accumulate and create clutter. Go through your collection; donate, sell, or dispose of any items that you no longer want or use. Consider transitioning to digital media to minimise physical clutter.

  5. Deal with paper clutter: Magazines, newspapers, and mail can pile up quickly. Regularly recycle old newspapers and magazines, and consider switching to digital versions. For mail, create a system to deal with it as soon as it arrives to prevent it from piling up.

  6. Use storage solutions: Utilise smart storage solutions for items you need in the living room. Baskets, storage boxes, and furniture with built-in storage can help keep things tidy without adding clutter.

Remember, the goal is to create a relaxing and welcoming living room space. When you only keep items that are functional or hold sentimental value, you foster a more serene and comfortable environment.

Declutter your bedroomdecluttering bedrooms

Decluttering your bedroom often means dealing with a large volume of clothes, shoes, and personal items. Here are some practical tips to tackle this task:

  1. Sort your clothes: Start by emptying your closets and drawers and sorting all your clothes into categories. This could be by type (e.g. shirts, pants, dresses) or by season. Once sorted, examine each item, asking yourself whether it fits well if you've worn it in the last year, and if it reflects your current style and lifestyle. If it doesn't meet these criteria, consider donating, selling, or discarding it.

  2. Assess your shoes: Similar to your clothes, sort all your shoes and ask yourself critical questions. Do they fit comfortably? Are they in good condition? Do you wear them regularly? If they're uncomfortable, worn out, or rarely used, it's time to let them go.

  3. Tackle personal items: Personal items can range from jewellery and accessories to personal care products and knick-knacks. Discard any items that are broken, expired, or no longer used. Keep your favourites that you use regularly and bring you joy.

  4. Organise after decluttering: Once you've decluttered, organise the remaining items neatly. Hang or fold clothes in a way that makes them easily visible and accessible. For shoes, consider using shoe racks or boxes to keep them organised. Store personal items in designated spots so you can easily find them when needed.

Remember, the goal isn't to get rid of everything but to curate a collection of items that you truly love and use. With a decluttered bedroom, you're one step closer to a simpler, more organised life.

Declutter your kitchen

decluttering kitchen

Decluttering your kitchen involves sorting through appliances, utensils, and pantry items. Here's how you can go about it:

  1. Assess your appliances: Begin with your larger kitchen appliances such as the toaster, blender, coffee maker, or mixer. Consider how often you use each one. If there's an appliance that's rarely used or is just taking up space, consider donating, selling, or discarding it. Remember, a less cluttered kitchen counter makes the space more efficient and enjoyable to use.

  2. Evaluate your utensils: Next, tackle your cooking utensils, flatware, and dishes. Sort them into categories for easier assessment. Keep only those items that are in good condition and regularly used. If you find utensils that are damaged, duplicates, or rarely used, it's time to let them go.

  3. Organise your pantry: Start by removing all items from your pantry. Check the expiration dates and condition of all food items. Discard any expired or spoiled items. For the remaining items, think about whether you will realistically use them. Donate unopened non-perishable items that you know you won't use. When you restock your pantry, group similar items together (cans with cans, baking items together, etc.) for easier access.

  4. Use storage solutions: After decluttering, maximise your kitchen space with smart storage solutions. Use drawer organisers for utensils, hang pots and pans on a wall-mounted rack, and use shelf risers in your pantry. This helps keep your kitchen tidy and makes it easier to find what you need.

Remember, a decluttered kitchen is not only visually appealing but also increases efficiency and reduces stress when cooking. So, keep only what you need and use, and enjoy the benefits of a tidy kitchen.

Declutter your bathroom

decluttering bathroom

Decluttering your bathroom focuses on three main areas: toiletries, cosmetics, and towels. Here are some strategic steps to keep your bathroom clutter-free:

  1. Evaluate your toiletries: Start with a thorough examination of all your toiletries. This includes shampoos, conditioners, body washes, soaps, lotions, and other hygienic products. Check for items that are no longer in use, nearly empty, or expired, and discard them. Keep only the products that you use regularly and need.

  2. Assess your cosmetics: Cosmetics can easily pile up over time. Review your collection, checking expiry dates and the condition of each product. Discard any expired or rarely used items. Keep your favourites that match your skin tone, are suitable for your skin type, and that you often use.

  3. Sort your towels: Over the years, it's easy to accumulate a surplus of towels. Go through your collection of bath and hand towels. Keep the ones in good condition and donate or recycle old, worn-out ones. A good rule of thumb is to have two to three sets of towels per person and a few extra for guests.

  4. Organise post decluttering: Once you've decluttered, organise the remaining items in a manner that is easy to access and maintain. Use drawer dividers to keep cosmetics tidy, a shower caddy or under-sink storage for toiletries, and neatly fold and stack towels in a designated spot.

Hey, just a friendly reminder that having a well-organised bathroom can really make your daily routine so much smoother. It's like bringing a little bit of spa-like serenity into your own space! So, keep only the things you truly love and use, and enjoy all the benefits of a clutter-free bathroom.

Declutter your home office / study

decluttering home office and study

To declutter your home office, you need to manage three main categories: paperwork, office supplies, and electronic devices. Here's how:

  1. Manage your paperwork: Take some time to go through your documents, like bills and contracts. Get rid of any unnecessary ones, but make sure to hold onto important ones, especially legal paperwork. If you want to reduce the physical clutter, you could think about scanning and saving your documents digitally. And hey, why not create a filing system to make it easier to find what you need?

  2. Evaluate your office supplies: Let's declutter our pens, notebooks, and other supplies. Keep only what you really need. Use organisers or dividers to keep everything neat and tidy.

  3. Assess your electronic devices: It's a good idea to declutter by getting rid of old or unused devices. You can also free up storage by removing unnecessary apps or software. And hey, don't forget to keep those cords organised with some cable management solutions.

  4. Organise after decluttering: Make sure your workspace is well-organised. Keep your paperwork in labelled folders, have your frequently used supplies close by, and position your electronic devices strategically.

Declutter your garage/storage area

declutter garage

When it comes to tidying up your garage or storage area, let's focus on three key categories: tools, seasonal items, and storage spaces. Here's a strategy that'll help you out:

  1. Tackle your tools: Take a good look at all of them, including power tools, hand tools, and gardening equipment. Get rid of any broken or unused tools, and then organise the rest using pegboards, toolboxes, or drawer dividers.

  2. Go through your seasonal items: Think holiday decorations, sports gear, and clothing. If you haven't used something or no longer need it, consider donating or discarding it. For the items you want to keep, store them in labelled bins for easy access.

  3. Get your storage spaces in order: Empty everything out and categorise them by automotive, gardening, sports, and so on. Toss any broken or unused items. To maximise your storage space, consider using shelving units, racks, and hooks. Don't forget to label your containers and shelves for easy retrieval.

  4. Maintain a decluttered garage or storage area: make it a habit to regularly review your tools, seasonal items, and storage spaces. Get rid of anything unnecessary by donating or discarding. And always remember to put things back in their designated spots after use.

By keeping your garage or storage area clutter-free, you'll save time, avoid buying duplicates, and create a functional space for your hobbies or activities. Only keep what you truly need, and enjoy the benefits of an organised and tidy space.

Sorting and decision-making

When it comes to deciding which stuff to keep, donate, sell, or throw away, it's all about asking yourself the right questions. Let's break it down:

  1. Do I really need this item? If it's something you regularly use and serves a practical purpose, then it's a keeper.

  2. When was the last time I actually used it? If you haven't touched it in over a year, maybe it's time to let it go.

  3. Does this thing bring me joy or hold sentimental value? If it puts a smile on your face or holds special memories, it might be worth holding onto.

  4. Could someone else benefit from this item more than me? If it's in good condition and not being used, donating it could give it a new purpose.

  5. Can I sell this item? If it's valuable and you no longer need it, selling it could be a great option.

  6. Is it in good condition? If it's worn out, broken, or just not in good shape, it's probably time to say goodbye.

Remember, the goal of decluttering is not just to get rid of stuff, but to create a space filled with things that serve a purpose or bring you happiness.

Managing sentimental items and making tough decisions

Dealing with sentimental items can feel overwhelming, right? I mean, these objects hold so much emotional value, and deciding whether to keep or let go of them can be tough. But hey, let me remind you, memories are in your heart, not in the physical stuff. So, here's some advice on handling these sentimental treasures:

  1. Prioritise: Identify the items that really tug at your heartstrings.

  2. Digitise: Preserve those precious memories by creating digital copies of photos, letters, or documents.

  3. Repurpose: Why not get creative and repurpose some of those significant items? Give them a new lease of life!

  4. Share: Now, here's a thought - why not pass on some of these sentimental items to someone who will truly appreciate them? Sharing the love, right?

  5. Set limits: Oh, and don't forget to set some limits. Establish a physical boundary for your sentimental collection.

Let's be real, decluttering can be emotionally draining. It's okay to let go of things that no longer serve you. Embrace new experiences and memories by making space for them. Take your time, be patient, and remember to take breaks when needed. Ultimately, the goal is to create a space that feels good to you.

Selling and donating

decluttering garage sale

Looking to declutter and make some extra cash? Organising a garage sale or selling items online can be a great way to do just that. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Sort your items: Before you kick off your sale, make sure to give your items a good sort and clean. Group similar things together to make it easier for potential buyers.

  2. Price items reasonably: It's important to be realistic with your pricing. If you set prices too high, you might struggle to sell. Do a little research online to get an idea of what similar items are going for.

  3. Advertise your sale: Whether it's a garage sale or an online one, make use of local community boards, social media, or popular selling platforms like eBay or Facebook Marketplace to spread the word.

  4. Provide clear descriptions: If you're selling online, be sure to provide honest and clear descriptions of your items. Mention any defects or damage to avoid any misunderstandings with buyers.

  5. Keep safety in mind: For a physical garage sale, ensure the sale area is safe for customers. Remove any tripping hazards and make sure your items are secure. If you're selling online, arrange for safe pick-up or delivery of the items.

Remember, even if some items don't sell, don't get disheartened. You can always donate them to ensure they find a good home. Happy selling!

donating unneeded goods to charity

Here are some excellent organisations to consider donating to

Donating items to local charities is a great way to declutter your home and lend a helping hand to those in need. And guess what? There are awesome organisations in every state of Australia that gladly accept donations! So let's make a positive impact together. Check out these organisations below:

  1. The Salvation Army Australia: Accepts a wide variety of goods including clothing, furniture, and household items.

  2. St Vincent de Paul Society: Accepts donations of quality clothing, furniture, and household goods.

  3. Mission Australia: They accept various goods that support Australians in need.

  4. Australian Red Cross: Takes donations in the form of clothing and small household items.

  5. Lifeline: They have shops where they sell donated clothing, furniture, and a range of other items.

  6. RSPCA: Accepts all sorts of items for their op shops that support their animal welfare work.

  7. Anglicare WA: They are happy to receive donations of quality clothing, accessories, bric-a-brac, books, CDs, and household items.

  8. Cancer Council: They sell donated items in their op shops to raise funds for their cancer research and support programs.

  9. Brotherhood of St Laurence: They accept donations of good-quality clothes, books, and homewares to sell in their stores.

Hey, just a quick reminder! Before you donate, it's a good idea to reach out to the charity you have in mind and check their donation guidelines. They might have specific needs or restrictions because of limited space or regulations. Oh, and don't forget to make sure your items are clean and in good condition. This way, they'll have the maximum benefit for both the charity and the people they serve. Thanks for your generosity!

Let's clear out the big junk, shall we?

rubbish removal and collection

Got some big junk you need to get rid of? No worries! There are options for that too! Whether it's old furniture, broken appliances, or other bulky items, here's how you can dispose of hard waste:

Paid rubbish removal services: If you can swing it, consider hiring a professional rubbish removal service. They'll come to your place, load up your unwanted stuff, and dispose of it properly. It's a convenient option that saves you the hassle. Just remember to shop around and compare prices to get the best deal. Hey, guess what? You can even list your rubbish removal job on our site, and get quotes from local rubbish removalists. Cool, right?

Free council collection services: Many local councils offer free regular hard waste collection services. Check with your local council to find out when the next available collection time is and what items they accept. It's an easy and FREE way to declutter your home of large items.

Disposing of hard waste responsibly is an important part of decluttering. It's not just about creating an organized space, but also caring for the environment. So, whether you go for a paid service or take advantage of a free council collection, make sure your unwanted items end up in the right place.

Efficient packing after decluttering

Decluttering is a game-changer when it comes to packing. Seriously, it's like magic! By getting rid of stuff you don't need, you'll have way less to pack. That means less time and effort spent on stuffing things into boxes. Plus, decluttering helps you stay organised. You can easily group similar items together, making unpacking a breeze. Trust me, it's a proactive step that sets you up for a stress-free moving experience.

And here's the best part: decluttering saves you money and time. You won't believe how much you'll cut down on packing materials. Fewer boxes, bubble wrap, and tape means more cash in your pocket and less impact on the environment. Oh, and did I mention you'll spend less time packing? That's right! With fewer things to wrap and carry, you'll be done before you know it. And when it's time to unload, you'll be grateful for the lighter loads and easy unpacking.

Final thoughts

So, here's the deal: decluttering before a move is seriously amazing. Not only does it make packing a breeze, but it also helps you get in touch with your belongings, making the whole process super organised and efficient. Oh, and did I mention it saves you money and time? Yeah, it reduces the need for packing materials and has a positive impact on the environment. Plus, on moving day, you'll feel like a weight has been lifted when you have fewer things to carry and more space in the moving vehicle.

Oh, and guess what? You can give those unwanted items a new purpose by selling or donating them. How cool is that? Decluttering sets the stage for a fresh start in your new home, free from all that unnecessary stuff.

Alright, let's get this decluttering journey started ASAP. The sooner you begin, the more time you'll have to go through your belongings without any last-minute rush or stress. Remember, decluttering is not a boring task. It's a journey towards a simplified and organised life. Enjoy the process because it can be therapeutic and rewarding. We really hope you find these decluttering tips useful. Happy decluttering and happy moving!

Ready to Move? Find Your Perfect Mover!

Don't let moving stress you out. Compare quotes from our network of reliable movers, read genuine reviews, and book with ease. Save time, save money, and start your move with confidence today.

  • Quickly compare movers
  • Read verified reviews
  • Book online with confidence
4.7/5 Google Reviews Rating
4.7/5 Avg Rating
from 500+ Google Reviews