7 reasons to declutter before moving in together


Moving in together

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The decision to move in together can be a scary step for any couple. Help make the transition less painful by discarding or donating extraneous items beforehand. Can't part with those extra throws or clothing you haven't worn in years? Check out these seven reasons to declutter prior to the move to help make the process easier. 


1. First impressions matter

Joint living is a transitory stage of any relationship. Your behavior in the early days of living together is crucial. The last thing you want to do is foster the perception that you are a packrat whose sentimental attachment to your belongings overwhelms your rational thoughts.

There is a reason why the concept of hoarding carries such a stigma in society. If you are holding onto a lot of stuff of dubious necessity now, your partner will naturally wonder how much worse the situation will be once the two of you have built a life together. In the future, there could be entire closets full of mementos that offer little or no utility. You will be quietly if not audibly judged for such behavior.


2. Add some good will

You may hate the idea of getting rid of your stuff. Remember that as long as you donate it to Goodwill or a similar organization, however, your old items will be going to a good cause. Plus, you will probably get a tax benefit as long as you remember to get a receipt for your charitable contribution.


3. Add some cash

Not everything that you are leaving behind should be donated. A lot of your items are worth some money to other people. Make a list of all the things you are leaving behind that have value and place an ad on Craigslist or the like. You can mitigate your moving expenses this way.


4. Holding back the years

You don’t want the other person in your relationship to think that you are still stuck in the past by holding on to random, unnecessary items you purchased before you knew him or her. That sends a terrible message about your commitment to your bold, new living arrangements.

This philosophy is especially important when you are packing keepsakes from previous relationships. If you are keeping something that you would not want your partner to keep, you need to get rid of it.


5. Avoid duplication

Think about all of the electronics, furniture and cooking items that you and your partner each own. From now on, you will be sharing the same living environment. Your couch, the one you love, will obviously stay, but the ugly, lumpy mess your significant other owns can go. Approximately half of the functional items that the two of you own need to be discarded. 


6. We, not me

You may win the battle over the ugly couch, but you will have to make other compromises. Sometimes, the only solution will be to throw out both of your items and then jointly buy a new one. It may not be the best use of money, but this type of decluttering is the easiest way to avoid arguments during the early days of your new living arrangement.


7. Reduce stress

Every item you throw in the garbage is something you do not need to pack and move to your new home. The difference between 50 and 75 boxes may not seem like much now, but you'll notice it on moving day. 


How to declutter

The Box and Banish method is the best way to declutter. Take all of your clutter and place it into boxes. Then, go through every box individually and determine each item's fate. Everything that is not in a Keep Box goes straight to the garbage. 

Afterward, either pack up your boxes and move them to your new home, or employ a concierge storage service to minimize your aggravation. This new type of self-storage is the most convenient method for storing your goods if you are not prepared to trash them.