A Guide to Your Pre-Move Purge

If you’ve been too busy to go through your home to get rid of items you no longer need, you’re not alone. But if you’re preparing to move, now may be the time for that big purge. Decluttering your home is one of the best ways to speed along the process of packing and moving. By taking the time to let go of unnecessary items, you may be able to: 

  • Lower potential moving costs
  • Save time packing
  • Pocket cash by selling items
  • Cut down necessary storage space
  • Reduce moving stress

Do you know where to start? We’ve compiled a quick list of steps to guide your pre-move purge.

1. Create a plan of attack.

Waging the war on stuff can be intimidating without a plan. Marie Kondo, author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” suggests organizing your belongings by category. Go through each category of items one at a time before moving on to the next. Categories of stuff you have might include:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Books
  • Toys
  • Toiletries
  • Papers
  • Kitchen items
  • Décor
  • Electronics/gadgets

By tackling one category at a time, rather than going through each room, you avoid shifting items from one room to another without getting rid of what you don’t really want or need.

2. Sort your items.

Take a look at everything you have in each category and ask yourself a few key questions: Is it broken or worn out? Will I use this again? Is it a duplicate item? Is it expired? Did I even remember I had this? For each item you have, decide what pile it should go into:

  • Keep
  • Sell
  • Donate
  • Recycle
  • Trash

If you’re stuck on keeping something “just in case,” you may want to try out The Minimalists’ 20/20 rule: if you can replace it for less than $20 in less than 20 minutes from your location, you should let it go. Keep only the things you need or that make you happy; it’s much better than hauling a box of things you don’t want up three flights of stairs on moving day.

If you have identified items to sell, give yourself time to organize a garage sale or post it online ahead of your move. You also may want to research the right charity to donate to; see where something can be recycled; or properly dispose of hazardous materials like paint, fire extinguishers or pool chemicals.

3. Pack as you go.

Once you have identified the belongings you would like to keep, but won’t need between now and your move, take this opportunity to start packing. While your home might end up full of boxes for a few weeks, you’ll cut down on your moving stress with this head start. If you’re looking for more ways to organize your move, use our moving checklist to ensure you have everything timed right.


While decluttering ahead of your move can be a time-consuming process, it’s well worth the effort. If you stay consistent and focused, you’ll speed up the process and make your move a breeze. For more helpful tips and information about the homebuying or closing process, contact your Old Republic Title representative today.