How To De-Clutter Your House Before Or After A Move

The moving experience is already stressful — but endless piles of clutter can make it much worse. If you’re like a lot of movers, one of the dreaded parts of moving is figuring out what to do with all your belongings. You may find that packing up boxes is overwhelming. Or, if you decide to shove everything in the moving truck and figure out what to keep later, you may find yourself in a new home with a lot of boxes and frustration. How do you decide where to put everything? What stays and what goes? To help simplify what could be a major headache, here are some key tips for de-cluttering — before and after a move.

How to Know What’s Clutter and What’s Not

The hardest part of de-cluttering is trying to know what to keep and what to sell or give away. The de-cluttering process takes time and thought. It’s work. Clear a few days or longer if possible and start going through your belongings. If you still use or love something, put it in a “keep” pile; if you no longer use or love something, let it go. If it’s helpful for you, try going through items in sections, such as:

  • Large items like furniture
  • Sentimental items like photo albums, mementos, etc.
  • Books
  • Clothes
  • Storage boxes in the basement, attic or closets
  • Kitchen appliances and tools
  • Linens
  • Decorations

While starting with the largest items may seem logical, you might find it more helpful to start in the opposite direction. By beginning with small items, you can enjoy the snowball effect of tiny successes that inspire you to keep moving forward.

What to Do With the Possessions You Don’t Want


As you’re picking items to keep and picking items to get rid of, the next question is what to do with all the belongings you no longer want or need. Many organizing experts rely on the foolproof strategy of three piles: keep, sell and donate.
Keep: Everything you want to keep, package and move with you to your new home goes in this pile.
Sell: When you find something you no longer want or need that still has value, you can de-clutter while also making a little extra money if you sell it. Whether you go with a garage sale, individualized listings online, a consignment store or another option for selling, you can pad your moving budget.
Donate: Anything that isn’t worth the trouble of trying to sell is a perfect candidate for donating. Likewise, anything that you just want to donate — because you know it can help a local charity or nonprofit — is a prime candidate for this pile.

While going through everything you own takes time, it’s a worthwhile investment when it minimizes what you have to move and unpack. If you have the power to set aside time before you relocate, do it. If you don’t, you can still implement the same strategy after you’ve moved, to help minimize unnecessary possessions in your new home.

How Burrows Moving & Storage Co. Can Help You

As one of Chicagoland’s most reliable and experienced movers, Burrows Moving & Storage Co. specializes in helping customers relocate within the city and its suburbs, as well as into other states. We move furniture, antiques, pianos and other goods, with exclusive ship service for long-distance trips. This means, if you’re moving out of state, you get your own truck with only your items on it. Learn more about our moving services online, or contact us today to set up an appointment!