How to Declutter Before a Move

Joyful Family Moving House

We’ve all been there, holding that item in our hand, wondering if we should just chuck it out or give it to an op shop, when that little voice says “but what if I need it?!” It’s very easy to get into the habit of holding onto things that we don’t really need or use. Luckily, moving can be the perfect time to declutter! Not only can it save money (as there will be less items to move), but it also means you can stop holding onto items that are just taking up space in your house without being used.

In this post, we give a few tips for how to declutter your place before the move, so you can relocate into a clutter-free space.

Rubbish and Goodwill

Take a two black bags around your home and go room by room.

One bag is for goodwill and the other is rubbish; now start being ruthless, what can you do without?

There’s a rule that many people live by, if you haven’t used it in a year then throw it.

Tackle one room at a time

The idea of decluttering an entire house can seem a little overwhelming, which is why it can be helpful to just focus on one room at a time.

Pick a room to start with, and dedicate some time to sort through what you need and use, and what is just collecting dust.

man in a storage closet
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It can be good to pick a small room (such as the bathroom), as you will likely be finished faster than with a bigger room, and the satisfaction you gain from finishing a whole room should spur you on to tackle the other rooms!

If you can’t find the motivation, start really small

If the thought of sorting through an entire room has you procrastinating and being unsure where to begin, consider starting even smaller!

Is there a desk that just seems to have all your papers stacked on it?

Or a draw that is so full of socks, it doesn’t shut right?

organizing and cleaning home
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Starting with a small, cluttered area can be a simpler task than tacking a whole room. Any amount of decluttering can be helpful, and starting with a small amount can unlock the motivation you need to get larger tasks done.

For clothes, apply the 12-month rule

One good rule for decluttering clothes is to ask yourself the question: “have I worn this in the past year”.

If the answer is no, then it might be time to sell it, bin it, or give it to charity.

For future clothes sorting, it can be helpful to place your clothes back on the hanger the opposite way to how you normally hang them.

This way, after a year you can easily check to see which clothes you have worn during the 12-month period, and which remained on the hanger the whole time.

Set aside a box for items you’re unsure of

Sometimes it’s not an easy yes or no for an item, and you might need to think on it a little bit before deciding its outcome.

For these types of things, having a “possible” box can be a good option.

junk box
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After you are finished sorting through everything else, you can come back to this box and see how you feel about the items within it.

Remember as a professional Gold Coast removalist company we can supply you with packing materials and boxes for your sorting.

Allocate time to declutter

In our busy world, it can be hard to find the time to declutter.

Allocating time aside specifically to declutter can be a good way to ensure it gets done (and could help with the feelings of “I need to do this other thing” that can creep up when completing a non-essential task such as decluttering).

If you’re finding it hard to justify the time, start with a short 15-minute burst where you clear and sort through as much as you can.

countdown timer stopwatch
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You might just find it satisfying and addictive, and want to keep going once the time is done!

Setting short, 10-15-minute time slots for decluttering tasks can be a good way to get started on the process, or for those always on the go!

Decluttering each room before moving

Here’s a handy breakdown on the most challenging areas in your home when it comes to cleaning out clutter.

The linen cupboard

Take some time to look at your linen cupboard.

What towels do you use and what ones are stained and marked and never actually get used anymore?

Take a look at your bedding, what do you actually need and what do you actually use?

The kids toys

Depending on the age of your children it might be a good idea to do a sort through when the kids are out.

kids toys on wooden floor
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Many parents are worried that they will throw out the wrong toys, so why not fill a bag with toys and place it in the garage for a week or two, if the kids haven’t requested the toy in that time send it off to goodwill for another child to enjoy.

The kitchen

  • There never seems to be enough storage for everything in the kitchen, but when you go through each cupboard you start to realise all the gadgets and old crockery that is taking up valuable space. Throw out all your chipped china.
  • Tupperware in the kitchen takes up a lot of space, but when you actually go through it all somehow, somewhere along the line you’ve lost most of the matching lids. Start clearing out the Tupperware that doesn’t have its lid.
  • Go through your pantry, you might be surprised by some of the use by dates.
  • The messy drawer, we all have one, but do we really need one?

Your wardrobe

  • Do you never have anything to wear but your wardrobe is bursting with clothes? Be ruthless. Throw any torn, stained and broken garments.
  • Put any designer clothes you don’t wear to one side and sell them on Gumtree, why not make some money.

The garage

If you have a running machine, bike or that you simply don’t use anymore get it on Gumtree and start earning some money for your unwanted possessions.


Decluttering doesn’t have to be a long, dreaded process. There are many ways to break it down into more manageable chunks, so you can have your house clearer, and more organised for the move.


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