How To Declutter Before Moving


Are you planning to move to a new home soon? Packing and moving more items can be expensive and exhausting. As such, decluttering is recommended to get rid of some of the dead weight before the move.

It is important to note that the more you have, the more time you need to pack. Plus, you will need more resources to keep those items.

Quoted rates for packing and moving services are often estimated by the size and complexity of the move as well as the distance between your current and new residence. Removing items that are no longer useful can make your move quicker and less expensive.

Some companies also offer local storage options and services you can use to hold some of your items temporarily. However, the space is also limited and can only hold certain types of items.

How do you declutter? Here are a few options to consider with tips on what to declutter and how.

Decluttering options

Throw it away

In general, items that have gone past their expiry dates or are broken and can no longer be used, repaired, donated, recycled or put on sale fall under this category.

● Broken toys or those with missing critical pieces
● Obsolete appliances
● Torn or stained clothing
● Expired food, medicines or skin products
● Leaking or spent alkaline batteries
● Scratched CDs, DVDs or Blu Ray discs
● Dried paints or makeup
● Waterlogged books
● Moldy objects


Local charities are great for items that you no longer use but are still in pristine or good condition. There are also organizations that accept items for the poor, victims of natural catastrophes, alcohol or drug abuse to name a few.

Do not use these groups as places to dump your trash. Keep in mind that volunteers typically man these organizations and will require additional resources to sift through items that are of use. Before you donate, check the items being accepted to ensure that your donations will not end up in the trash.

Some items worth donating include:
● Clothes, shoes and accessories
● Towels, blankets and bed sheets
● Dishes, glasses, utensils, cookware and similar kitchen items
● Toys
● Books
● Furniture
● School supplies such as pencils, crayons and markers

Recycle Materials that can be made into new items can be recycled. For your recyclable items, look for junk shops and recycling centers. Items that can be recycled include the following:
● Paper-based products
● Cardboard
● Juice tetra packs
● Plastic bottles
● Aluminium or tin cans
● Empty spray cans
● CFL bulbs
● Glass and eyeglasses
● Electronics


Some items can have a second life in your home. Old toothbrushes, mismatched socks, old shirts and other fabrics, for instance, can be used to clean surfaces before your move. Plastic containers can be used for snacks, holding knick knacks or for packing other small items.

Your home can be a treasure trove of items you can reuse. However, be cautious that you are not holding on to items that you have no plans of reusing any time soon as they can simply end up as clutter in your new home.


Get some cash back into your pockets by selling items that you no longer use but are still in great condition. Holding a yard sale is popular for people who are planning to move. Other options include posting an ad in a local newspaper, your social media accounts, Craigslist, eBay or similar sites.

How to declutter

Sorting through the items inside your home can quickly become an overwhelming activity if you have accumulated a mountain of possessions over the years. Here are a few tips to make decluttering more manageable:

1. Tackle one room/area at a time Pick a spot to organize such as your bedroom closet. By restricting your attention to a small space, you will feel more accomplished. As you go along sorting through your items, you will get a better sense of what you want to keep or throw away.

2. Ask for help Call a friend or get your family to help you sort through your belongings. Give them an idea of what to keep or throw away and where to place items that you haven’t decided on what to do yet. Reward them for their efforts with snacks or offer to help them out with some of their chores.

3. Label containers Get several large containers such as boxes or plastic bins. Label each one on what you plan to put inside: perishables, for selling, donating or trash.

Have a separate container for items containing dangerous chemicals or hazardous materials such as batteries or car fluids. This prevents the chemicals from mixing in with your other items.
Decluttering your home for an upcoming move doesn’t have to be stressful. By keeping these tips in mind, you are on your way to removing items that are no longer useful for you or your family.


Hafiz Zafar is the owner of Professional Movers. The company offers reliable, cost-effective and stress-free packing, storage and relocation services across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and other parts of the UAE region.

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