A Guide to Your Pre-Move Purge

Moving to a new home is an exciting but daunting project, especially if you own a lot of stuff. One way to relieve the chore of packing, organizing, and loading up your belongings on moving day is to undergo a major pre-move purge of all your household items. By reducing your stuff ahead of moving day, you’ll alleviate stress before and during your move, rendering a fresh start in your new home with items you truly use and love. Here’s our guide to a successful pre-move purge.

Categorize Your Items

The hardest part of packing is deciding where to start. A great way to begin is by organizing your belongings by category rather than by room, as organization consultant and author Marie Kondo suggests. By tackling one category at a time, rather than one room at a time, you avoid simply shuffling items from one room to another without ridding yourself of anything, and you can immediately set aside items you know you don’t want to keep. Categories might include:

  • Furniture
  • Clothing
  • Bedding & blankets
  • Kitchenware (including appliances and non-perishable food)
  • Books
  • Toys
  • Electronics & gadgets
  • Toiletries
  • Papers (financial documents, personal documents, kids’ artwork)
  • Décor (artwork, rugs, knick-knacks)

Sort and Purge

Now that you’ve categorized everything, you can begin the purge in earnest by sorting through each category and placing each item in one of the following piles: keep, sell, donate, recycle, or trash. Comb through your belongings and ask yourself a few key questions for each item: “Do I use this? If so, how often? Does it fit/work properly/make me happy? Is it a duplicate item? Is it expired? Did I even remember I had this?" Once you’ve organized each pile, you’ll have a good visual of the items you’ll be getting rid of and the ones you can start packing up.

  • Keeping: Identify items you won’t need between now and moving day, and start packing them up.
  • Selling: Organize a garage sale or post items to an online marketplace ahead of your move.
  • Donating: Research the right charity to donate to, and consider dropping off non-perishable food to a local food bank or mutual aid site.
  • Recycling: Look up your city or county’s recycling locations and visit How2Recycle for information on trickier items like small appliances/electronics, mattresses and plastic packaging.
  • Trash: Anything that can’t be recycled goes in the trash. Be sure to research how to properly dispose of hazardous materials like paint, batteries and pool chemicals.

Purging and decluttering your home of superfluous or unused items is one of the best ways to speed along the moving process. By doing so, you will:

  • Save time packing;
  • Lower moving costs;
  • Require less storage space;
  • Earn pocket money or contribute to a worthy cause; and
  • Reduce stress on moving day.

Pack as You Go

Now that you’ve purged, you can start packing up! To make packing less overwhelming, dedicate a room in your home to store the boxes and items that are already set for moving and start filling that room six to eight weeks before moving day. While your home might end up full of boxes for a while, you’ll cut down on stress by getting a head start. When moving day rolls around, there will be far fewer items to box up.

Consult a Checklist

Need a hand planning ahead and staying organized along the way? Old Republic Title is here to help with our detailed and thorough Moving Checklist that you can print and use well before the big day. Don't forget that kids and pets require extra planning and TLC during a move, too! Download our helpful Moving with Kids and Moving with Pets guides as well.

For more helpful tips and information about the homebuying or closing process, contact your Old Republic Title representative today. Here's to a successful move and new beginnings!