There are many benefits to reducing the amount of clutter in your home, including health benefits. Anyone who has worked on the task of de-cluttering knows, however, that it can be a very difficult undertaking. The best time to reduce clutter is when packing for a move.
A benefit that you will enjoy immediately if you de-clutter while packing to move is that you will avoid hauling boxes and boxes of items that you don’t make use of. This also means you will have a lot less to unpack and a more simplified environment to enjoy in your new home. The most significant benefits may not be immediately obvious, but they can impact your life even more meaningfully.
Benefits of Decluttering
The following are just a few of the benefits experts attribute to decluttering your life, before, during, or after a move:
- When you have less clutter, there is also less in your home to absorb your time. You will very likely have more time for getting exercise and developing other healthy habits.
- The less clutter there is, the less there is to collect dust. Anyone with common allergies can appreciate the benefits of reducing the amount of dust in your home.
- An uncluttered environment affects a person’s state of mind in a good way, creating a greater sense of freedom and well-being.
- Many people have found that they are much more likely to invite friends over if their home is clutter-free, which improves their social life.
- A study done by a dietician shows that clutter is strongly linked to obesity, which builds on the theory that people with less clutter tend to engage in healthy activities more frequently.
- Clutter is also clearly linked to stress. And, unfortunately, stress is linked to many different kinds of physical illness, including many kinds that lead to hospitalization.
De-cluttering Tips for Packing to Move
Plan a Clutter-Free Home
Think ahead to living in your new home, and devote yourself to ensuring that it doesn’t become overstuffed with clutter. In fact, do even better than that and try to start with a whole new beginning in which you aren’t starting off crowded with items you’ve been packing around with you but that you don’t actually have much use for. Honor the new space by refusing to crowd it, and the result will be that you are actually respecting yourself and opening up your life for new possibilities.
Schedule Times for De-cluttering
The moving process is usually much more complicated than people realize; and packing is the single most overwhelming task, particularly when you consider that every single item in your home needs to be ready for your move. It’s important to start packing early, but it’s also important to leave out the absolute essentials needed for daily living during the packing process.
Set out a schedule for packing which allows for de-cluttering as you go along, and stick to the schedule. For instance, schedule an hour or two for a single closet. Sort your belongings by items to kept, items to donate, and items to throw away. Be very strict with your criteria on what should be kept. For instance, if there are items of clothing you haven’t worn in months, get rid of them. You will enjoy your new closet so much more when it isn’t crowded with non-essential items.
Use a Measured Approach
One very practical way to approach the process of decluttering during a move is to measure your current space and the space you are moving to; and determine how many of your things will fit comfortably in your new home. Even if your new space is larger than your current home, use the move as an opportunity to get rid of things that simply take up the space you have rather than contributing to your day-to-day life in any kind of positive way. Also, consider the fact that the homes we live in aren’t flexible as far as the amount of space we have. But the amount of possessions we have is completely flexible and can be adapted.
You especially want to consider the amount of storage space in your new home. A very effective approach to reducing clutter is to lay out the measurements of your new storage space in your current home using painters’ tape. Place the items to be kept in the storage space in the outlined area, and eliminate enough “stuff” that the space can be used effectively. Using measurements to limit the amount you pack is a great way to help you choose between what should go and what should be donated or thrown out.
Sometimes even furniture falls into the category of “clutter.” You can lay out your furniture on a scale model drawing of your new home, to see what fits into the new space without crowding your living area. A reduced amount of furniture can also make for a much smoother moving process.
Use a Top-Down Approach
If your drawers are chronically overstuffed, there is an excellent chance that you can do some de-cluttering of clothing prior to your move. A simple approach is to simply dig to the bottom third of the drawer for the clothes that aren’t routinely worn and washed. Those are the clothes that you can probably afford to donate to a charity because of how infrequently you wear them. One of life’s little pleasures that you will be able to enjoy in your new home is a chest of uncrowded drawers which contain only items that you actually need.
Just the fact that you have eliminated clutter as you’ve been packing will make unpacking much easier. Another tip is that as you pack your boxes, label them using a numbering system. For instance, put a “1” on the boxes that belong in your living room and put a “1” on the wall in the living room. Do the same for all of the other rooms. This is a helpful approach, since it will also differentiate between the different bedrooms. Movers will know where to put your boxes, and you can conceivably begin unpacking all of the boxes in a certain room while the movers are still in the processing of unloading the moving truck.
Since moving has long proven to be one of life’s biggest stressors, it is an excellent idea to reduce stress caused by clutter before the big move. The result can be an easier time moving and unpacking as well as a healthier existence in your new home.