Decluttering your home before a move

When I moved back in with my parents I knew things would be different; I was going from a two bedroom flat to a single bedroom and, suffice to say, space was an issue. I had to make some decisions – what to keep, what to donate and what to put into storage.

Decluttering your home (especially before a move) can be overwhelming so I started with the items I knew I didn’t need anymore. Whether it was make-up past it’s use by date, magazines I’d been holding on to or clothing I no longer wore.

How to declutter your home before moving

The best way I’ve found to declutter is to focus on one room at a time and by item. Which I believe is the same as the KonMari method though I haven’t read her book or seen the Netflix show! πŸ™ˆ

In any case, I find this method keeps you from getting overwhelmed and it’s easier to keep yourself motivated.

Before starting you will need three boxes (or piles) – keep, donate / sell and “bin”, but that last one should only be used as a last resort.

Decluttering room by room


1. Out of date makeup – Look out for the little tub on the back of products with a ’12m’ sign. This means the product is good to use for 12 months.

2. Out of date skin products – Again, look for the ’12m’ sign.

3. Nail varnish that has gone ‘clumpy’ or a funny colour.

4. Old toothbrushes.

5. Towels with holes in them, which sadly meant my Buffy the Vampire Slayer one had to go. πŸ™


1. Clothes that have stains or holes in them. I found a few of my tops had become moth bitten so will be buying some cedar to help with this.

2. Bras that have wiring sticking out.

3. Bras that have lost their shape or colour.

4. Old bedding.

5. Socks without a partner.

6. Underwear with slack in the elastic

7. Earrings without a partner

8. Jewellery that you never wear

Read more: My jewellery organisation

9. Old phones.

10. Excess coat hangers!


1. Any out of date food lurking in the back of your kitchen cupboards!

2. Food which has been in your cupboards longer than a year – you’re never going to use them.

3. Kitchenware you never use, is damaged or you have duplicates of.

4. Tea towels or oven gloves that have holes in them or lost their colouring.

5. Tupperware boxes without lids or vice versa.


1. Books you’ve never read before or ones you know you’ll never read again.

2. Old magazines

3. Old letters – I had kept 10 years(!) worth of bank statements and pay slips that I can easily access online.

4. Dead house plants! Sadly my fern didn’t survive the move. πŸ™

5. DVDs that haven’t been watched or you can watch on Netflix (or your streaming service of choice).

6. Reward/store cards you never use.

7. Pens which don’t work – sorry to all you stationery lovers.

8. Games for consoles you no longer own! I’m very guilty of doing this.

What do you declutter before moving home? Is there anything you’d add to this list I may have forgotten about? Let me know in the comments.


  • Annelise

    June 25, 2019 at 14:58

    Time for some Summer cleaning for me! I’m not moving anytime soon, but this gave me insight and inspiration for some cleaning and organizing this summer to de-clutter.

  • Tiffany

    June 25, 2019 at 13:57

    Just reading this stresses me out! So much work to be done. Whew! I will start and stop over and over again. My garage is the biggest job to be decluttered. Thanks for the push. It’s time to get back on it!

  • Baby Boomer Super Saver

    June 24, 2019 at 19:57

    It’s nice to have a strategy for decluttering. I’ve tried several, such as leaving a box by the door & putting one item in it each day – then when it’s full dropping it off at a donation site.

    Recently, we did try the Kon Mari method (the show was very inspiring, and to book is great, too!). What I liked about it was piling up every bit of clothing on the bed & then having to go through it all to get finished. Same with books – everything came off the bookshelves & we went through them all, one by one. It really helped us to get the job done.

    We’re at the point we’d like to get rid of as much as possible so we don’t have to move it! Just put a bid in on a small house so if we get it, we’ll be following your tips, too!

  • Britt

    June 17, 2019 at 18:30

    When I first moved to this area I lived in 11 different homes/apartments in a 10 year span…. Now that we’re happy here I have NO intention of moving anytime soon. That being said, you definitely have some GREAT tips here for those that are! It can be a stressful situation if you don’t take the time to declutter first – why make yourself work harder?

  • Faye

    June 17, 2019 at 17:10

    I’ve just moved back home after finishing university and I’m doing the exact same thing! It’s a process but it’s so satisfying clearing out everything x

  • Yaz

    June 17, 2019 at 07:52

    I’m about to move away to a much smaller space after years of living in fairly spacious homes – so this post has been very helpful. I think your method is good and I’m going to have to be a bit harsh with myself! I will probably donate a chunk of stuff to Charity shops and whack some of my more collectable bits on eBay to perhaps recover a bit of money lost in the move too!

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