Did you know that roughly forty million Americans move every year? One of the worst parts of moving isn’t the move itself, but the packing.
If you’ve lived in a home for years odds are you have several closets that are filled to the brim with clutter. The thought of clearing out spaces can seem so intimidating that you procrastinate for weeks.
So, how do you clean out your closet for a move in a way that isn’t painful? If you want to learn the answer, you’re in the right place.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to clean out your closet as painlessly as possible. That way you can clear out both your closet and you’re moving stress.
Tackle One Closet At a Time
If you live in a larger home odds are you have multiple full closets to deal with. Avoid trying to tackle them all in one day. This is a one-way ticket toward getting overwhelmed and stressed out.
Instead, take it one closet at a time. Don’t move on to the next one until you finish the first. If it takes you multiple days to complete that’s all right.
The important thing is that your home isn’t in complete disorder because you emptied multiple closets at once.
If it helps, create a moving checklist. This is a great way to prioritize the more urgent tasks and visualize how much more work you still need to complete.
Create a System
You must think of a sorting system before you get started. In our opinion, the three-category approach is the best way to clean out your closet.
With this system, each item that you take out is placed into one of three categories: keep, donate or throw out. If you keep a lot of broken or damaged objects around that you can’t part with, you can add a fourth category: repair.
Before you get started gather everything you’ll need. The objects you’re going to keep and move with should be placed and labeled in cardboard boxes.
Anything you plan on donating or throwing out can be placed in trash bags. Just make sure you know how to distinguish them. It helps to get two different colors.
Or, you can get a sharpie and duct tape to label the bags. If you have a lot of valuable or brand-name objects, you might want to consider selling them instead of donating them.
Just keep in mind that this can be a bit of an intensive process. So, it might be worth it to skip selling if you have a lot on your plate with moving.
Clear Everything Out
Now, it’s time to take inventory. The best way to do this is to get everything out of the closet. Make sure you have a clear space either on the floor or on your bed. Then, clear out your closet.
Remove everything including hangers, boxes, and clothing. If you can, start creating sections. Clothes can go in one corner, boxes of things in another.
There’s no need to be perfect with your organizing at this stage. All your doing is getting everything out in the open.
Create Rules for Getting Rid of Things
Getting rid of things can be extremely hard for some people. This is especially true for individuals that tend to hold on to things for longer than they should.
The solution is to lay down some rules to determine what you should keep and what you should get rid of. When it comes to moving, we recommend being as brutal as possible.
The more stuff you keep, the harder your move is going to be. Start with your clothes. We generally suggest the six months rule. Look at every individual article of clothing.
Ask yourself if you’ve worn it in the past six months, or if you will wear it in the next six months. If the answer to either is no, it’s time to get rid of it. But, how do you determine if you should donate or trash it?
If there are major holes, rips, and elastic stretching, just throw it out. Minor stains can often be washed out. So, err on the side of caution and donate these items.
If you’re having trouble getting rid of clothing that has a lot of memories attached to it, don’t panic. You can always put the clothing in a box for long-term storage.
Just remember that this will be a little more expensive. So, if you’re on a budget you might need to part ways with it.
Pack Up What You Plan on Taking
Clear out everything you plan on throwing away first. This will likely clear up some much-needed space. Then, put everything you plan on donating in your car or moving van. What’s left you will need to pack.
Avoid the temptation to stuff clothing into boxes. Instead, fold everything neatly and pack it away. This will give you a lot of extra space which means fewer boxes to move at the end of the day.
Clean Up Afterwards
Odds are you haven’t cleaned your closet in years if it was full of clutter. So, there’s probably a good amount of dust, hair, and dirt build-up. Make sure that you vacuum and dust everything once it’s cleared out.
If there are any stains, you some removers to get them out. This is important if you rent so you can get your security deposit back. If you’re selling your home, a clean closet will help attract buyers.
Enjoy Learning How to Clean Out Your Closet? Keep Reading
We hope this article helped you learn some tips for how to clean out your closet for a move. At the end of the day, the best advice we can give is to just dive in. The more you procrastinate the more daunting it will seem.
So, bite the bullet and get started. We hope you found this guide informative. Keep exploring to learn more about subjects like this on our website.