Packing The Essentials: Decluttering Your Home

Packing the Essentials: Declutting Your Home

Moving can be a challenge. Not only do you come to realize how much stuff you own, but the thought of packing it all becomes unnerving. The common culprits of clutter tend to be old clothes, as well as unwanted toys, books, and games.

One positive associated with a move is that it forces you to decide on what household items are worth keeping. While this can be a time-consuming process, getting rid of these unwanted items can make for a less stressful move. Plus, it will save you money.

Everyone avoids tossing items out, because they fear that the item be of use someday. Flash forward ten years and the item is still gathering dust at the top of the closet. There is no better time to declutter your home than when moving. Start by going room by room and using these simple steps: sorting, tossing, and packing.



skin care bottles in medicine cabinet

In a move, we often focus most of our attention on the larger rooms of our home, neglecting the smaller spaces. Take some time to go through your bathroom supplies. This way you are not racing against the clock, without a care or thought to what you toss or keep.

What Must Go?

When going through your bathroom, you may come across dried-out soap bars and empty bottles of hair care products. These should automatically make it to the trash, but how do you know what else to toss?

There are two general rules: “If you don’t use it, lose it” and “If it’s passed it’s prime, it’s time”. Taking these rules into account, the following items should be discarded:

  • Outdated beauty products
  • Expired medications
  • Broken appliances
  • Multiples of items
  • Old towels

What Should Stay: Essentials

Now that you have decided what must go, it makes it easier to see what the essentials are. Remember to bring the following items with you to your new home:

  • First aid kit
  • Toilet paper
  • Toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, deodorant)
  • Daily medication
  • Basic cleaning supplies
  • Hair products
  • Towels and linens


closet shelving and rods covered haphazardly with clothes

Decluttering the bedroom can be a chore, because it contains one of the most challenging areas of the house – the closet. Your closet is likely overflowing with a wardrobe twice the size as what you need.

What Must Go?

Removing unwanted clothes from your closet will not only free up space but save you time in the mornings. To sort what you own, pretend as if you were going on an extended vacation and could only take one extra-large suitcase. What would you bring? This will help you decide on what you love most out of your wardrobe.

It can be hard for us to part ways with our clothes. Sometimes, it seems as if we have formed some personal bond that cannot be broken. However, you will ultimately need to decide on what you are saving and donating or what is beyond repair. Sort the following items into the appropriate piles (donate, keep, or trash):

  • Stained, ripped, or faded garments
  • Clothes you do not wear
  • Items that do not fit

What Should Stay: Good Habits

Rather than outlining a set of clothing items that you should keep, as you probably already know, it is important to recognize what should stay, regarding good habits. This will ensure that your closet stays organized as you transition into your new home. Here are a few tips:

  • Invest in storage (shelves, bins, shoe racks, etc.).
  • Take the time to hang items.
  • Labeling can help, especially in children’s rooms.
  • Do spring cleaning to get rid of unwanted clothing.



Shelf full of pots and pans

Going through your kitchen appliances and gadgets is a crucial task in any move. It becomes especially important when you are downsizing homes, as your kitchen might not offer as much space to store your belongings. This may force you to think outside of the box when it comes to organizing.

What Must Go?

A kitchen is often considered the heart of the home. However, a messy and unorganized kitchen does not create a relaxing environment, nor provide convenience, when stirring up delicious treats.

Sorting through what you own will save you space and time, as well as create an inviting space you will want to show off. The number one rule in the kitchen is to be practical. Consider the following:

  • Test your appliances.
  • Check for multiples.
  • Understand your limits as a cook.
  • Do you really need 20 pots?

What Should Stay: Essentials

After getting rid of duplicates, broken appliances, and unused gadgets, you are left with the essentials needed for a move. Do not leave for your new home without packing these items:

  • Food storage containers
  • Bowls, pots, and pans
  • Cookie sheets
  • Small appliances (coffee maker, blender, mixer, etc.)
  • Cookbooks
  • Dish towels
  • Utensils
  • Glasses
  • Dishes
  • Garbage bags

Living Room

couch covered in clothes

For most families, the main living space is a dumping ground for shoes, backpacks, briefcases, mail, keys, and more. Some of what you will find in this area cannot be thrown away. However, it may be necessary to sort through your belongings and choose a different storage solution for a more clutter-free living room.

What Must Go?

It can be difficult to keep the main living area clean and tidy. Focus on one area at a time to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

When packing up your family’s home, you will likely have to sort through books, magazines, office supplies, and more. Here is what you will want to toss out or donate:

  • Old books or magazines you no longer read
  • Board games you do not play
  • Old notebooks/binders
  • Manuals
  • Old electronics and equipment (cords, cellphones, headphones, etc.)
  • Papers and bills of no use anymore

What Should Stay: Good Habits

After throwing out what does not belong, you are left with what you need to pack. Instead of focusing on what you should take to your new home, in terms of items, we will focus our attention on the habits you should keep. Here are a few tips:

  • Arrange items neatly on a bookshelf.
  • Use filing cabinets, baskets, etc. for storage.
  • Create a play area for children.
  • Control your cords with zip ties.

In a move, no one wants to pack more than what is necessary. The solution to this is to throw out all non-essential items prior to moving. Not only will this save you time when it comes to unpacking, but it will lead to a more organized living space.


National Dispatch is a leading provider of car transport services. The company ships cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, and motorcycles nationwide. Many people utilize car transport services when moving to a new home to make the transition easier. For more information, go to


Start Your Quote