According to studies, up to 6% of Americans are diagnosed as hoarders—a mental disorder that affects the persons’ ability to live a normal, organized life at home. While most people don’t meet the criteria to be diagnosed as actual hoarders, the line between hoarding and collecting useless items is a thin one—and many of us live with a lot of things we don’t need.
Clutter is a big problem when its time to move, as it can make your entire process a lot more complicated, expensive, and time-consuming. At Lincoln Storage & Moving, our job is to make the moving process easy on our customers—whether they’re minimalists, hoarders, or fall somewhere in between the two spectrums.
In this article, we’ll share our greatest tips for streamlining your possessions before a move. We’ll also explain why getting rid of what you no longer need can be extremely beneficial for your next relocation and for beginning a new chapter in life in your new home.
What are the Benefits of Getting Rid of Stuff?
There are many reasons to get rid of things you don’t need anymore, and most of us have plenty of stuff we can toss, donate, or sell. Beyond the idea that living a more minimalist existence is healthier for the mind, body, and soul, it can also make your physical relocation process a lot easier, more affordable, and enjoyable. The reasons are simple: the less you have to move, the less you’ll pay in moving fees. This is because movers usually charge by weight, or by the time it takes to move your items. If you’re renting a moving van or truck and moving by yourself, you’ll spend far less time packing and unpacking if you streamline your belongings beforehand.
What Can I Do With The Things I Don’t Want?
Once you’ve gone through your things and separated the items you no longer need or want, separate them into three or four piles: donations, things you’re giving away to family and friends, items you’re planning to sell, and trash.
If you’re planning on selling things, make sure to provide yourself with the time you need before moving day to do it. If it’s worth it to you, rent a storage unit to hold the items you’re selling. This can make showing the items to strangers a lot safer, and can also take the pressure off of selling it before you have to relocate.
Tips for Lightening Your Load Before a Move
One of the biggest difficulties people have is letting go of items they have sentimental attachments to. This can be challenging, even if you know deep down you really don’t need the item you’re holding onto. This is another circumstance where storage services can come in handy. Placing those items you’re unsure about into a temporary storage unit can make the choice a lot easier. Once you’ve separated yourself from the things you’ve been letting collect dust in your home, you’ll be able to determine whether you actually need those things or not. If you feel like you do, you can always bring them back to your home again after you move.
For everything else in your possession, here are some tips to use for clearing the clutter from your home:
- If you have a lot of trash, make sure it’s actually useless. As they say, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure—so be certain that it can’t be reused or recycled by someone else before throwing it away.
- Use the twelve-month rule for evaluating whether you want to keep items or not. If you haven’t used it in the last twelve months and don’t plan on using it for the next twelve, either, it’s probably time to sell, donate, or toss.
- If you’re moving long-distance, it’s sometimes not worth it to take very heavy or large items with you. Consider selling garden equipment, exercise machines, furniture, and other large items on LetGo or OfferUp, and re-buying them once you arrive at your new destination.
- If you’re donating items to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or another charity organization, make sure the items are clean and in good condition.