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Excited about the big move to a new space but dreading the packing? You’re certainly not alone. The job of packing up an entire area of stuff can feel overwhelming. On the other end, you’ll have to unpack and find places for it all in your new location.
As much work as it seems, moving is the perfect time to free yourself from a lot of clutter you probably don’t need and may be stressing you out. Decluttering is all a matter of three easy steps:
1. Declutter your mind. Perhaps the biggest struggle to packing up is letting go—letting go of things with an emotional connection we may not even realize is holding us back. Why do you need three of everything? Perhaps you feel anxious without back-ups.
Another powerful emotion that keeps us hanging on is guilt—past gifts from family or friends you’ll never use but you feel bad about pitching. Minimalists have a rule—if you haven’t used an item in a year, out it goes! Sticking with this rule can help you avoid clutter.
It’s okay, we all have those connections to our things. Now is the perfect time to acknowledge that and then release them!
2. Declutter your stuff. A key tactic is to set goals before you start the process. You may decide that only half of your clothes, a quarter of your kitchen items and just enough books to fill one shelf are going with you in your new home.
Think about setting goals for everything: your furniture, papers, toys, general and holiday décor, tools and outdoor items. Write them down in a notebook or load them into a spreadsheet so you’re sure to stick to them.
Another key to decluttering before a move is to pare down and pack as you go. Start with non-essential areas like storage spaces, attics or garages. Move onto out-of-season items, holiday decorations, clothing, outdoor items and anything that you won’t need until after the move.
Tape up and label your “keep” boxes and store them. To resist the temptation of pulling things back out, secure and stow your “not keeping” items somewhere you can’t get to easily!
3. Declutter your exit strategy. By now, you’ve done the hard work of overcoming the emotional connections attached to your stuff and have successfully categorized it, pared it all down and put it aside to avoid wanting it back. Great job!
At this point, you may be tempted to see if you can get some money for your discarded things by having a garage sale. But before you do, understand why donating your stuff might be the better option.
Experts say after you’ve fully calculated all the time and hassle it takes to get your things ready for sale, you’ll be lucky to break even when you try to sell them in a garage sale or an online selling site.
When you donate to Goodwill, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing your stuff will make someone else very happy—and that might make the hours you spent decluttering well worth the effort!
At Ohio Valley Goodwill, we gladly accept donations of any gently used (or new) items that you don’t need in your new home, such as clothing, household goods, furniture, and small appliances. Your donated items are processed for resale in our retail stores, where they are purchased by community members who can give them a new life. Then, the money raised from the sale of donated goods helps support Ohio Valley Goodwill’s life-changing job training programs and employment services for individuals with disabilities and our nation’s veterans.