Some families find themselves moving to a new home every couple of years — whether it’s due to job relocation or a family member is serving in the military.

If you’ve ever moved before, you know this is an eye-opening occasion to see each and every one of your belongings as you pack them into boxes.

While you are already unloading every cabinet and emptying out each room, you may as well take advantage of this time to declutter your home.

Why Declutter in the First Place

When you are already in the midst of a stressful move, why should you bother decluttering in the first place?

While it may seem overwhelming to add yet another task to your stressful list of to-dos, this is easier to do while you already have to go through your belongings anyway.

It can also become fun if you turn it into a competitive “game” with your family or play your favorite music.

Taking this opportunity will be helpful in the long run as a decluttered house helps reduce stress, and owning fewer possessions makes for easier packing during your next move.

Option 1: Declutter House, Then Pack it Up

If multitasking is not your strength, or you have a tendency to get distracted easily, then you may prefer to mentally separate your task of decluttering from your task of packing.

If this is the route you prefer, then it helps to write a list of each room and space that needs to be decluttered, including typically overlooked areas like the garage, attic, and basement.

While targeting one room at a time, you can follow these steps: empty, clean, sort, remove, sort again, and reload.

Breaking down your whole house into smaller tasks will help you to get it done more quickly.

Then you will be ready to pack, knowing that you have fewer things to box up.

Option 2: Declutter While Packing

Another option is to declutter while you are packing up your house.

Since you are already going to be spending time in each room picking up every item to pack into a box, you might as well take those moments to decide if it’s worth keeping.

Typically when decluttering, you create containers to designate items to keep, trash, or donate.  In this case, your packing box would be the location to place the kept items.

For those you decide not to keep, you can directly place them in a trash bag or donation bin.  Combining the decluttering with packing will help save time, which you may have very little of while getting ready for a move.

Option 3: Declutter While Unpacking

If you are extremely short on time due to a last-minute notice of relocating, then you may prefer to save your decluttering for when you are unpacking at your new home.

This is a great option if you are rushed to move on the front end but will have plenty of time once you arrive at your new location, allowing you to assess what is in each box.

Similarly to packing, when you unpack you will physically handle each item, determining where its new home should be.

This is a great opportunity to decide if you really want to keep this item, especially if your new home is smaller with less storage.

When you’re getting ready for the big move, all of these options will result in a less stressful process.

You may prefer one option over another, or you may want to implement a little of each — decluttering before, during, and after — resulting in an efficient parting from unwanted possessions.

When you finally begin to settle in the new home, make sure to regularly keep it clean to simplify future decluttering.