Room showing clutter

Moving provides the absolute perfect time to go through your items and reduce clutter. Moving requires that you literally touch every single item in your entire home, so it only makes sense to make the most of your time and accomplish two tasks in one. Getting rid of items you no longer need will make packing and moving so much easier, because the less you have to pack, the less you have to move, and the less you have to unpack in your new home! If you pack up a few boxes of things that have been stuffed in the back of your closet, you will probably just stuff them into a new closet in your new home, wasting valuable space and cluttering your new environment. It would be much more effective to just get rid of those items in the first place, and save that space for things you actually want and need. That being said, it can be overwhelming enough to worry about packing all of your items, not to mention making decisions on what to keep and what to give or throw away. We have compiled a few tips to help make your de-cluttering and moving process so much easier, so that your move is as stress-free as possible.

Take things one room at a time

De-cluttering and packing work best if you take small steps and focus on one room or area at a time. This helps to keep items together that go together (i.e. bathroom items, kitchen, etc.) and prevents you from feeling overwhelmed. Packing always ends up being a messy ordeal, with moving boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap and items strewn everywhere, so keeping the chaos contained to one room at a time will also make living in your current home while you pack much easier and safer. It will also help you to focus on what you really need to keep on a smaller scale, instead of trying to think about your entire house or apartment at once. It can also help make the packing process much more manageable if you designate a day or two for each room.

If you didn’t know you had it, you probably don’t need it

As you are packing and digging items out of closets and cabinets, you will probably come across items that you had no idea you had, or didn’t remember purchasing. If it has been sitting stashed away for years and you have lived happily without it, chances are, you really never needed it in the first place. Of course, heirloom or memory items such as photos are a special category, but anything that hasn’t been used or seen the light of day in a long time has no place in your new home. If it is still in good condition, consider donating it to somewhere like Goodwill or the Salvation Army, so that people who might need that item will be able to use it. If it is broken, worn, missing pieces or otherwise unusable, just throw it in the trash and move on. Which leads to our next tip…

If it doesn’t work, throw it out

We have all been guilty of the “I might fix this later” mindset when something breaks. We are reluctant to get rid of an item because of the amount of money we initially spent on it, or maybe the memories tied to it, and we tell ourselves that maybe someday we will figure out how to fix it, or will be able to find that missing piece. These items end up in a closet or drawer, taking up valuable space and not serving any real purpose. Certainly, there are a few select items that are worth keeping, if you actually take the time/money to fix them. But if you have been planning to fix that broken clock since Reagan was president, its time to let it go. You can donate it to the Salvation Army or to the ultra cool Urban Ore in Berkeley.

Expired items need to go

Many people forget that beauty and personal care items do have an expiration date, and may no longer be as effective once the date has past. When working in your bathroom, check the expiration date on everything you can, and toss out any makeup, toiletry, or medicine items that have expired or have been open for a very long time. For example, sunscreen loses its power and efficiency over time, and using it after it has been open for years might not actually be offering you any protection. The same thing goes for pain relief medicine such as aspirin or Tylenol. Taking an expired Advil probably won’t hurt you, but it also might not help to relieve your headache either. Using old makeup, especially eye makeup, can cause eye infections and should never be used. Its better to toss it out and get some new mascara. The kitchen is another key place to look for expired items hiding in the back of your cupboard. Don’t waste time packing old food that you will never eat. If you find items that are not expired but you know you will never eat, consider donating them to a local food pantry (non-perishable only).

Have a garage sale

Having a garage sale can help to offset some of the moving costs, and can help you get rid of many items before your move. Set aside any items that you had planned to donate, and try to sell them at your garage sale first. Remember that your ultimate goal is to get rid of items, so you must be willing to negotiate prices. You may have paid a lot of money for a particular item many years ago, but if it is no longer valuable and you are no longer using it, you need to be open to whatever price someone is willing to pay for it. You can also have a box or table of free items for people to take, a sure tactic to help you de-clutter very quickly.

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If you are looking for moving boxes San Francisco offers some great options.  In the past people would automatically go for cardboard boxes because it was the only option available.  There is a relatively new option for moving boxes that is green, inexpensive, and that works much better than cardboard. You can rent plastic moving boxes that will be delivered to your current home and then picked up from your new home after you’ve moved and unpacked. ZippGo will deliver our green moving boxes and green moving supplies right to you door and because they come assembled and don’t need tape, you can start packing the moment they arrive.  The boxes simplify packing and moving because they are crush-proof, water-proof, tear proof, stack neatly, and take up less space in the moving truck. They are almost indestructible and save you money because your San Francisco movers will be able to move them in and out of the moving truck faster.