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How to Declutter Before a Move

Mike Darne - January 4, 2018 - 0 comments

So you’re thinking about selling your home in 2018?  We sat down with Ashley Hatcher, a home organizer at Neat Method, who shared some insight on how to declutter to get your home market ready.


Start the purge process as soon as possible. 

Purging before a move has two benefits.  To begin with, purging helps you create more space in your home. This will help it show better once it’s on the market.  Second, purging has an added befit of reducing the amount of stuff you move into your new home.


If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve likely been in your current home for 7+ years.  As much as we hate to admit it, a lot of clutter can build up over that time.  Ashley recommends that you don’t try to take on the purge process all at once.  “At Neat Method, we recommend that clients start by breaking the process down by room.  From there you should set a goal of tackling something manageable every day.”  As you start the purge process, keep the following in mind:


Starting small can help you gain momentum.  You don’t have to tackle an entire room.  Ashley shared that some clients even start with a single kitchen drawer.  “Kick things off by getting rid of an extra measuring cup.”


Move things out as soon as possible.  As soon as you start the purge, it’s important to keep things moving out the door.  “We have found that the longer purged items hang around, the greater the likelihood that they’ll make their way back into your everyday life,” explained Ashley.  “Someone in your home will inevitably walk past a pile and pull out something that they MUST have.”  Keep in mind that purging can be an emotional task.  Returning to items can really reduce your productivity.


Make a plan for where the purged items will end up.  If you want to keep things moving out the door, you don’t want to have to stop and think about where that pile (or piles) will be going.  “When we [Neat Method] help clients purge, we almost always take the purged items with us when we leave each day.” Items that still have life in them can often be donated to local charities – some will even come pick them up.  Below is a short list of charities you may want to consider:


Habitat for Humanity ReStore



Edit down your home “collection.”

In addition to “the purge,” Ashley suggests that homes show better if there is more room for prospective buyers to paint a picture of how their belongings will fill the space.  “Temporarily getting rid of that extra couch or china cabinet can really open a space,” says Ashley.  “A relatively small investment in a storage space or a “moving pod” could help a homeowner fetch a higher price for his/her home.”


When going through this process, Ashley also suggests that people need to be honest with how much time they actually have to do the work themselves.  Hiring movers or a team of organizers can help you get in good shape quickly. Below is a list of companies that can help you with the purge and pre-move process:


Neat Method – specializes in home organization and moving services.

MakeSpace – great solution if you need access to your items.  Make Space will pick up and bring back your items when you need them. At this point, they are only serving DC, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

PODS – storage units that are delivered to your home.  You fill the unit with your belongings and the pod is picked up and stored for you.


If 2018 is the year for you to put your home on the market, to declutter, get started on the purging and editing process as soon as possible.  According to Zillow’s 2017 Consumer Housing Trends Report, “nearly a quarter (24%) of sellers say they would begin the process of selling their homes earlier.”


Ashley Hatcher is a licensed home organizer and leads Neat Method’s Washington DC office.

Check out these posts to find more tips on how to maximize your home’s value while trying to sell!

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Mike Darne
Chief Marketing Officer at UpsideDoor

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