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How to declutter before moving to LA

The deal is done, the decision is made – you are moving to LA. Congratulations! There’s no doubt this is an exciting time in your life. But every move has a certain amount of stress involved, no matter where you’re moving. We are here for you, to help make your transition to Los Angeles easier. There’s one thing you can do that’s guaranteed to help the situation – declutter before moving to LA!

That way you can settle into your new LA home without any baggage, emotional and otherwise. Look at decluttering before a move as an opportunity to go through your possessions and reevaluate their importance in your life. It’s a chance to get rid of some things you haven’t used in a while. Or ever. Plus, you’ll probably have a laugh at some of your poor fashion choices.

Decluttering before moving is a big task – give yourself time

Bearing in mind that moving, especially to a different city, is a process that takes a lot of time and effort, you should set aside enough time to do it right. It’s not something that should be done in a day, or even a week. It’s best to start decluttering a month prior to your move to LA. That way you can do it in little chunks. This slow method will ensure it’s done most effectively, with you actually getting rid of unneeded things. And it will reduce the amount of stress.

To declutter before moving means to go through all the things you have accumulated in your home over the years. Among those things, there’s bound to be some objects that bring up memories and all sorts of emotions, good and bad. That’s why you should start early and go at it 3 hours at a time. Anything longer than that won’t be productive. You’ll just feel overwhelmed and stuck if you try to do it all in one day. If you stick to 3 hours per day, you will be efficient. If you declutter one room  each week before moving, you can consider it a success. To stay motivated, reward yourself after you’re done. It can be with a glass of wine, a nice walk or a piece of fine chocolate. Anything that works for you.

The first thing to do is to sort out your paperwork

Get a folder in which you can store all your valuable documents. This includes:

  • passports

    Keep your important documents in folders
    Organize your important documents in folders before moving
  • birth certificates
  • marriage certificates
  • death certificates
  • diplomas
  • contracts
  • other important documents.

You definitely don’t want to lose these. Organize them neatly and then move on to other items.

Use a keep, toss or donate system to declutter before moving

This is a system that has proved its efficiency over and over again. Start with the bulky stuff. You are moving to LA so there’s no way you’re gonna use that snow blower. If you are moving from a house into an apartment, you can say goodbye to all of your gardening tools. Bye, bye lawn mower, goodbye rake and hoes. Depending on their state you can either sell it or give it to someone. Your friends will appreciate a gift. But there’s no shame in selling them if you bought them not too long ago.

Declutter your wardrobe before you move

Certainly you own some clothing items that won’t be needed in sunny LA. Especially, if you currently live up north. So go through your:

Declutter before moving - winter clothes
Declutter your winter gear – you’re not gonna need it in sunny LA
  • jackets
  • coats
  • boots
  • scarfs
  • mittens
  • caps
  • big sweaters and declutter before moving!

You might be emotionally attached to some of your clothes, but try to keep in mind it’s just stuff. Do a photo session of yourself in your warm winter clothes and then donate it to a local charity.  You can always remember it fondly and look at those pictures. But once you’re on warm LA beaches, you most likely won’t even think about it.

Use visualization method to declutter before moving

By the time you are packing and decluttering, you will know the size of your new home in Los Angeles. Given the high prices of LA real estate, the chances are high that not all of your belongings will fit in your new home. So when deciding which things go with you and which go to the curb, use visualization. Try to imagine yourself in your new home, in your new circumstances. Do you see yourself using that particular chair or coffee maker? If not, don’t even bother schlepping it across country, only to get rid of it later. Do it now! You’ll feel better and your cost of moving will be lower. Now if that doesn’t earn you an extra glass of wine or a bar of chocolate, I don’t know what will.

Get things done

In this long process of decluttering, it’s helpful to set precise goals. Three hours each day. One room per week. And also, do it completely. This means you are finished for the day only after you have packed and labeled the box of things you are taking with you. Don’t leave things half done. Also pack a box for charity, put it in your car and drop it off there. Then you can enjoy your reward guilt-free.  As you make progress, the number of packed boxes will rise, as will the amount of space needed for them. So think ahead, and clear out a corner of your house for the packed things. Put the heavier boxes on the bottom, and stack them with lighter ones that contain fragile things.

Of course, there might be some items that are impossible to part with. Or just some things that can’t fit into your new living space. In that case, you can always rent a storage unit and keep your valued objects at a safe place. Here you can read more on LA storage solutions.

Now that you have this information, you can start decluttering. When it gets hard, just think of how great your new life in LA will be, without all those things you don’t really need.

July 30, 2017

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