The blustery month of March is finally here to sweep out the winter, and you know what that means: it’s time for spring!
Perhaps you simply want to get your home spic and span before the kids get out of school (and the weather gets too hot). But if you’re planning a summer move this year, this post was written for you.
Read on to find out how to declutter before your move (and why).
The 5 R’s of Spring Cleaning
1. Reasons for Spring Cleaning
Let’s face it, before you can start your spring cleaning, you need to be motivated to do it. By focusing on any one of these reasons for decluttering and cleaning up your home pre-move, you’ll keep motivation high (and excess stuff down).
1. Less stuff to store (you create much-needed space in your house by getting rid of what you don’t need)
2. Making money (either by selling items for cash or donating them for the tax write off)
3. Less stuff to move (moving companies charge less when there is less for them to move)
4. Your home looks bigger (great bonus if you’re staging it to sell)
2. Room-by-Room Purging
Once you’ve decided to start a decluttering overhaul, it can be tempting to throw on your sweats and jump in full-force. Unfortunately, this is a quick way to cause burn-out, ensuring that nothing gets done. Don’t try to tackle the entire house in one day or weekend. Take one room at a time and leave yourself ample time (a full day, rather than a quick sweep before you head off to Disney) to do a thorough job in each area.
Your house may have a different setup (as well as different needs), but each room of your house has items that can likely be thrown out. Look for damaged, duplicate, or unused items in the following categories:
- Living Room – knick-knacks, books, DVDs, video games
- Kitchen – dishes, glasses, cutlery, utensils, small appliances
- Bedroom – clothes, sheets, decorative items, toys
- Bathroom – towels, expired makeup/medications
- Garage – tools, yard equipment, recreational stuff (bikes, balls, etc.)
- Everywhere – trash, large pieces of furniture, art work
3. Remove the Junk
Once you’ve cleared the excess clutter out of each room, you have four different options for getting rid of it.
1. Sell It – If you think an item may be worth something, consider posting it to a site like Craigslist or eBay. You’d be surprised what people will offer for the things you no longer want. If you have too much stuff to post to a website, host a garage sale. (Have the kids pitch in! It’s a great chance to learn math skills!) Even a couple of extra bucks can help out when you’re planning a move.
2. Donate It – If you don’t think you have anything worth selling (or simply don’t want to bother), donate those items that are in good condition. Load everything up and take it down to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, or make an appointment to have a charity like AmVets pick it up.
3. Give It – Perhaps you have a friend, neighbor, or family member who is setting up or redecorating their place. Post pictures of your stuff to a social media site and see who wants it!
4. Trash It – If something is so damaged, outdated, or ugly that you know no one will ever want it, your best bet is to throw it away. Contact your local waste management company to find out their policies for picking up larger items, and always dispose of hazardous chemicals appropriately.
As you clear out each space, take some time to reorganize everything that you’ll be keeping. A good rule of thumb is to keep like with like, but by all means, store things where they’ll be most convenient for you. If you’ll be moving soon, now’s the time to start packing up your lesser-used items (uncluttered cabinets look great to potential buyers).
And don’t forget to give each room, cabinet, closet, and drawer a good cleaning while you’re at it. There’s no telling how long it’s been since you’ve given those nooks and crannies a good wipe-down.
Take some time to pat yourself on the back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. When you have a clean, clutter-free house, it may be tempting not to move after all, but thinking of how potential buyers are going to react when they see such a spacious home will bring your mind right back to the task.
And now that you’ve gotten rid of everything weighing you down, this is the perfect time to start gathering some moving estimates from at least three moving companies. Why not start with Cento Family Moving & Storage? We can put together a free moving quote (either in-person or online) and can even store the boxes you packed ahead of time until it’s time for you to move. Call us today!