How To Declutter Before Moving – FREE Checklist

Packing a cluttered house before a move is no fun. You end up paying more than you should, and it is a lot more stressful too. Get your life and home decluttered, and minimize moving day stress, with these easy tips on how to declutter before moving.

How to declutter before moving with moving boxes.

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Let’s face it, moving can be really overwhelming. There is so much to do, and you already have a busy schedule.

Packing a cluttered house is incredibly stressful, and you will be asking yourself ‘how do we have so much stuff?’ It can get overwhelming, and frankly speaking feel like the walls are caving in on you.

Knock out the stress of moving in a one two punch by decluttering before moving. You will already be touching pretty much everything you own, so now is the time to get rid of what is unnecessary.

Decluttering your home now will save you money, a ton of time while packing, and it will be much easier to unpack and get your new home organized. It is also way easier to stage your home with less clutter too.

With that, let’s go over exactly how to declutter before a move.

declutter before moving is the 1 thing you must do

What to get rid of before you move?

Our family moved a few years ago. And, whoa mama have I learned a few things. One, that we had a lot of stuff. Two, I am not a fan of moving. 😉

I also learned how to eliminate a bunch of items that we no longer needed. And, chances are really high that you don’t need them either.

It also cut down on our overall moving price, because I was able to get rid of one of the moving trucks. Yep, we originally thought we needed two. *Insert face palm*

That is why I am so excited to walk you through decluttering before moving.

You can totally do this, and it will be even easier with the Declutter Checklist Before Moving which has of over 150 items to get rid of before you move. (Don’t forget to grab your FREE copy at the bottom of this post.)

declutter before moving checklist

Declutter Checklist Before Moving

Ideally you will have 4-6 months to prepare for your move. This will allow you plenty of time to go through everything without a huge rush.

However, I packed and moved in 30 days with our last move. So, I promise, it can be done. You will just need to hit the ground running! And, have lots of coffee. Like so much coffee. 😉

One quick tip before we dive into the checklist is to start in your garage or a room that can be emptied. Basically, you want to get that space cleared so that you have room for the boxes that you will be moving.

Also, pack as you declutter. This makes it virtually painless because you are organizing and decluttering before moving in an efficient way.

Let’s go over a few of the items on the checklist. This will give you a general idea of how to purge before a big move. And, don’t forget you can grab your FREE copy at the bottom of this post.

1. Tools – saws, drills, sanders

2. Yard Equipment – lawn mower, weed whacker, rakes, shovels

3. Furniture – couches, chairs, beds, dressers

4. Large Appliances – fridge, freezer, washer, dryer

5. Small Appliances – slow cooker, blender, food processor, juicer

6. Kitchen – gadgets, dishes, bakeware

7. Pantry – food, foil, plastic bags

8. Clothes – all clothing for yourself and kids

9. Linens – towels, bedding, sheets

10. Home Project Supplies – paint, trim, wood

11. Holiday Decor – tabletop decor, outdoor decorations, lights, ornaments

12. Electronics – tablets, computers, gaming systems

13. Outdoor Furniture – tables, chairs, umbrellas

14. Decor/Knick Knacks – vases, art, pictures

15. Toys – cars, blocks, legos, dolls

16. Sports/Camping – bats, balls, chairs, tents

17. Pet Supplies – old crates, old tanks, toys

18. Summer/Beach – floats, pool toys, chairs, umbrellas

19. Craft/Hobby – paper, ribbon, yarn

20. Miscellaneous – plants, books, instruments, papers

How do I declutter my house for moving?

Now that you have a general idea of what items to get rid of, let’s go over a few decluttering rules:

  • Start as soon as you can.

You need to get your home decluttered and packed for your move as soon as possible.

If you have at least 6 months to get your home decluttered and packed before moving, than you can probably knock everything out in about an hour a day.

However, if you have a lot of clutter, or you are in a serious time crunch. You will need to dedicate more time in a day to decluttering. I would allow yourself at least 2-3 hours a day.

I know, this can be really overwhelming. But, let’s be honest. If you don’t make time for it, than all of the crap that you don’t need is going to come right with you into your new house. Right?

  • Stop buying unnecessary things.

Now is not the time to get in on a good sale, or stock up on anything. Do yourself a favor, and wait until you get into your new home to hit the sales.

  • Be logical and ruthless.

When it comes to decluttering in general, but in particular if you are moving, you have got to be incredibly ruthless. Ask yourself if you really use that item, and if you really need it.

A major trouble spot for this is clothing. And, I completely get it. I mean, it is crazy easy to fall into the ‘if I just lose 5 lbs’, or ‘I might need that bedazzled dress one day’ rabbit hole.

Please do not do this! Accept the season of your life that you are in right now. P.S. Did you know that you only wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time? That’s a serious truth bomb right there.

Head on over here if you need more tips on how to be ruthless when decluttering clothes.

If it has not been used with in 3-6 months, chances are really high that you are good to let go of it.

  • Grab your supplies.

Luckily you won’t need a lot of supplies to declutter before moving. All you really need is 2 boxes for items to sell or donate, and trash bags.

The only thing that is left to do is to get started.

Since, you will be decluttering and packing at the same time here are a few of my hands down favorite moving supplies.

  1. Vertical Wardrobe Boxes – You can put your clothes on hangers in these boxes. Then, all you have to do is unload them into the closet when you move into your new home. Serious game changer!
  2. Room Color Coded Labels – These labels are about to make your life SO much easier. They are labeled by room. Just slap that baby on the box, and you are good to go! I do recommend writing what is in each box on the outside just so you know which box to open first. Pro Tip: Save one sticker for each category, and place them on the wall or door of that room in your new home. Now, the movers will know exactly where to place the boxes.
  3. Moving Boxes – Yes you can scrounge and possibly find enough boxes. But, if you are in a time crunch these come in really handy, and they are not that expensive.
  4. Markers – Listen, you are going to be a labeling and writing machine. You will need plenty of good markers. Trust me on this.
  5. Bubble Wrap – This is great for anything fragile and delicate.
  6. Shrink Wrap – Shrink wrap is perfect to wrap around drawers and doors of any furniture that you will be moving.
  7. Packing Tape – If you want to pack up a house fast you NEED packing tape. Seriously, do not go with anything other than packing tape because it will not hold or stick. Again, trust me on this one.

declutter before moving checklist printable pdf

How do you get rid of stuff when you move?

When you have focused on what clutter to eliminate, you are now faced with how to get rid of it. Luckily, there are several options for you.

Here is a list of ideas:

  • Sell

One of the benefits of decluttering your home is that you can easily generate some extra cash. You can do this by selling the unwanted items through a garage sale, Craigslist, and eBay.

  • Donate

You can also choose to donate any unwanted items to a local charity, thrift store, homeless shelter, or preschool. If you have items that you would like to donate to a shelter or school, be sure to call ahead to check on the process.

  • Gift

While you are decluttering before moving you also have the option to gift some of the items to a friend or family member. This works really well with clothing and decorative items, and even large furniture pieces and small appliances too.

  • Dump

Sometimes when you declutter you are left with no other option than to simply dump it. If you have a lot of large items that you need to throw away before moving, you may want to consider renting a dumpster.

If it isn’t that much stuff, but too much to leave on the curb, haul it to your local dump.

  • Go online

There are several websites where you can list your stuff to sell or give away. There is always your local Craigslist, and eBay. But, there are a couple of other online options as well. is like an online garage sale, and is very user friendly. is a great non profit site in which you will be giving the item away, and chances are the person will pick it up too. This works great if you are in a time crunch.

Other posts to help with your decluttering journey:

How to declutter toys

How to declutter sentimental items

How to declutter your home room by room

Declutter Before Moving Wrap Up

You now know how to declutter before moving, and are hopefully feeling less overwhelmed too! You know what to eliminate, how to get rid of stuff before moving, and have some awesome packing tips for moving as well.

Don’t forget to grab your FREE Declutter Checklist Before Moving HERE. It will come in really handy, and will get you excited about decluttering and packing because you will know exactly what to tackle in each room.



things to get rid of before moving

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  1. My husband and I are moving in the next few months, so I wanted tips and advice on packing. I didn’t know you should pack as you declutter your house, so you’re more organized. I’ll have to keep that in mind and find a dumpster rental I can use for long periods of time as I pack and throw things away, thanks to this post!

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