10 Things to Get Organized Before You Move

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    10 Things to Get Organized Before You Move

    How to Organize a Move
    How to Organize a Move. George Doyle / Getty Images

    Moving is the perfect opportunity to organize everything you own and potentially set up a more minimalist home. If you’re overwhelmed by the process, start with heavy or bulky items that can easily become clutter. Here are ten such categories of things to get organized before you move. 

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  • 02 of 11

    Get Your Kitchen and Pantry Organized Before You Move

    Declutter the pantry shelf by shelf
    Photo/ Getty

    Depending on the condition and cost of your items, and whether you have a large moving truck at your disposal or are moving yourself by car, it may be cheaper and easier to give some things away and purchase replacements later. Consider whether packing your dish drainer or cans of soup is cost-effective or a good use of space.

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  • 03 of 11

    Get Storage Spaces Organized Before You Move

    The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
    The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Modern Mrs. Darcy

    When decluttering a closet, it’s often advised to create a “maybe bag” for items you’re unsure about. In a few months, if you haven’t thought of the items in the bag, you can safely give them away. Basements, attics, storage units, and garages are the “maybe bags” of your house. If any items have been hanging out in these spaces for years, untouched and forgotten, take this opportunity to finally get rid of them.

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  • 04 of 11

    Get Electronics Organized Before You Move

    Decluttering your home
    Decluttering your home. Pexels

    Are you saving dead computers, blenders that smell like smoke when they attempt to blend, or chargers and USB cables that have outlived the items they came with? Before you move is the best time to dispose of them. Here how to recycle everything in your home--including electronics. 

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  • 05 of 11

    Get Bathroom Organized Before You Move

    Bathroom storage from Ikea
    Photo / Ikea

    This small, clutter-prone room is home to items that expire (e.g. makeup, medications) or leak (e.g. shampoo bottles.) Before you start packing, throw away items that could be unsafe, unsanitary, or simply not worth bringing with you.

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  • 06 of 11

    Get Hobby Equipment Organized Before You Move

    DIY Garage Peg Board Wall from the Creativity Exchange
    Photo / Creativity Exchange

    Before you move is a good time to be really honest about how much you use your skis, exercise equipment, or collection of yarn and knitting accessories. Also think about whether you will realistically use these items in your new location. Sometimes we keep so-called aspirational clutter because we hope to use the items someday and feel ashamed we don’t use them now. Moving provides a perfect excuse for letting go of that shame (and that hula hoop.)

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  • 07 of 11

    Get Papers and Documents Organized Before You Move

    Zacan scanner mouse
    Zacan scanner mouse. Zacan scanner mouse

    You know what’s sad? Realizing you’ve packed up a box full of old cable bills and bank statements, cleared room for it in the trunk of your car, carried it up four flights of stairs, placed it on a shelf, and never looked at it again. The time to shred or scan papers you don’t need to keep in physical form is before you move, not after.


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  • 08 of 11

    Get Linens Organized Before You Move

    Linen closet organization by Real Simple
    Photo / Real Simple

    Towels and sheets are bulky and often become stained or threadbare. As with your kitchen and pantry supplies, if your linens are nothing special, ask yourself whether the cost of new ones is greater than the cost of moving or shipping your current sets.

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  • 09 of 11

    Get Your Shoes Organized Before You Move

    Working with the spaces you have to store shoes
    Working with the spaces you have to store shoes. Getty

    The same principles apply to shoes as to the rest of your wardrobe. When organizing shoes and boots, consider the condition of the shoes, how often you wear them, and possible changes in your lifestyle and weather conditions when you move. Ask yourself, “If I lost this pair in the move, would I need or want to find a replacement pair as soon as possible?”

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  • 10 of 11

    Get Clothing Organized Before You Move

    How to donate clothing
    How to Donate Clothing. Image / Getty

    Sometimes the decision is obvious. If you’re moving from a cold climate to a hot one, you can donate your winter coats. If you’re moving to start a new job with a casual dress code, you can give away most of the business suits you needed at your last office. Sometimes it’s less clear, but cleaning out your closet in preparation for a move is just like any wardrobe organization project, with the added question: “Do I love or need this item so much that I want to pack it and transport it across...MORE the state/country/world?”

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  • 11 of 11

    Get Books Organized Before You Move

    Organizing bookshelves by The Galmorous Wife
    Organizing bookshelves by The Galmorous Wife. Photo / The Galmorous Wife

    Moving sometimes represents a new stage of life, which can also be a good time to organize, pare down and maybe part with some of your books. Since you have to pack them anyway, take the time to think about each one: will you read it again? Do you still need it in your personal collection? Is it necessary or meaningful enough to justify carrying it to a new location?