An Exercise in Decluttering

Are you preparing for a move? Maybe you’ve just been accumulating things for years and feel the need to let some things go.

Decluttering can feel overwhelming. Especially if you have babies or kids under feet, the task can feel insurmountable. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Take this list of items that you can easily declutter. Begin with just one or two items a day, and suddenly before you know it you will be making real progress!

Read on for ideas of things to declutter before moving! This list of items to declutter will help you go through your things and get ready to move!

Why I Need to Declutter (maybe you can empathize)

Recently I have gotten very motivated to declutter our place. With an impending move, any item that we aren’t using currently or in the immediate future needs to go.

In four years here, we have amassed a huge amount, partially mostly owing to the fact that we had two kids.

Nevertheless, as our household needs have changed, we never really got rid of anything we weren’t using anymore. We are so thankful that our out of town visitors have showered us with gifts, but that means that we kept bringing in more and more and could never bring back that amount.

Decluttering Before Moving

As of right now, we don’t know yet how many big items we want to take back, and if we are going to hire a moving truck, so my prerogative is to get rid of as much as I can. This means including things I would consider re-buying after our move.

We haven’t yet hit high gear on the selling end, although I have been sorting things into a garage sale pile, and taking pictures of items to post for sale.

In the meantime I have been focusing on trash and donations. To make this slightly more informative, and hopefully useful, here are some things I’ve been working on decluttering.

Decluttering Methods

There are many methods of decluttering. I actually went through them thoroughly in a post about coming home from travel. Because, yes, I recommend decluttering whenever you get home after going away! Read more about it in the post:

Ways to Declutter– Choose Your best fit!

My basic method, which is what I used for moving, is to choose a category from this list and go through it. So without further ado- here are 20 categories of things to declutter.

20 Ideas of Things to Declutter

  1. Outdoor patio/ backyard: broken/old items, yard waste.
  2. Cleaning and laundry supplies
  3. Pantry: gave away things we probably won’t eat before we leave
  4. Paperwork: a multi-day affair that resulted in tons of trash: bank statements, college course binders, product information binders, important documents, M’s office stuff; I’m actually pretty organized, but while having babies piles collected and needed to be sorted into their appropriate binders, or trashed.
  5. Office supplies: every pen, every glue works!
  6. Picture frames: sold unused frames
  7. Greeting cards: a week long undertaking involving cards from our engagement, bridal shower, birthdays, baby showers, baby birthdays: kept absolute favorites in one keepsake box, scrapbooked favorite wedding cards into our guestbook, trashed the rest.
  8. Scrapbooking supplies: this was my impetus to finally (finally) finish N’s baby book. I kept things I’m going to use for B’s baby book and tossed everything else. I really don’t have time for scrapbooking anymore! 
  9. Craft supplies: only kept tools and items for use in next couple of months; no more scraps!
  10. Party supplies: only kept items for N’s next birthday before we leave.
  11. Holiday decor: only kept one small box with my favorite items
  12. Travel maps and brochures: kept ones of places we might go in the next two months, otherwise everything was trashed. 
  13. Bath products: this is ongoing, but we are using up all the little ends of bottles and tossing them as we go. I happily haven’t bought any personal care products in months!
  14. Medications: toss the expired
  15. Clothes: I did a huge purge a couple of months ago, once I fit comfortably in all my pre-pregnancy clothes and could try everything on. I’ve been able to add a couple more items every week. 
  16. Shoes: still a work in progress, but I’ve tossed some, and will sell/donate several others before we go.
  17. Baby Gear– that’s where it’s at. We’ve already sold the car seat, swing, bumbo, play mat, bottles and sterilizer. Still on deck are a few more big toys. I figure anything we need later on can be re-bought. 
  18. Kitchen- Jars and containers we don’t need. Most things plastic are not coming!
  19. Electronics- old cellphone we will never again use…gone.
  20. Accessories- jewelry I’m not going to use, scarves, ties, etc.

When do you usually declutter? Have you tried to declutter before moving with kids? Did it take you forever? Any tips for decluttering before a move?

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