How to Conquer Clutter Before a Move

Moving can be overwhelming. Even if it's only over a short distance, the task of putting your whole life into boxes and relocating can seem impossible. It's especially difficult when your house is overwhelmed with clutter.

Decluttering expert Tracey McCubbin has some tips on how to lighten your load when you move and how to set up your new house to avoid clutter. 

Start decluttering early

The time to start decluttering isn't in your last few days before you're out of the house. Start thinking about which stuff you will need in your new place as soon as you know you might want to move. This will give you time to take stock of the things you use in the months leading up to the move. And most importantly, the things you don't need. "If you didn't use it in your old house, do not pay to over across town or across the country," McCubbin said. "You will not use it in your new house."

Prevent problem areas from getting to your new home

There's a good chance that whatever room is the most overwhelming to you in your old home will also be a challenge in your new place. "Walk around your house and see what part of your house isn't working for you. Where is the clutter?" McCubbin said. "Find out where your house isn't working for you, envision what you want and tackle that room first." This way, you avoid bringing your worst clutter problem with you.

Put off the emotional decisions

One of the spots that people get stuck on when decluttering is trying to tackle items that have a sentimental value. If you start with organizing photo albums or old kids' toys, it's easy to become frozen amid the emotional decisions. "Here's where you don't start: you don't start with the very emotional stuff," McCubbin said. "Don't start with the photos. Don't start with the things from your mother who has passed. You'll never get done." Instead, start with easy stuff you know you don't need. By the time the sentimental items come around, you'll have momentum and the decisions will be easier.

Set your new home up for success

In the frantic days before moving, it can be tempting to shove everything into boxes and just figure out where it'll go when you get to into your new house. This is a mistake that only sets your new place on a path to clutter, McCubbin said. "Do the organizing, do the decluttering on the packing end, so when you get to your new home, you're like 'Tada!'"

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