Should I Try the “Move Out Method” to Declutter My Home?

You Ask, We Answer: Should I Try the “Move Out Method” to Declutter My Home?

If you’ve ever moved, you know that nothing serves as a greater motivator for decluttering and organizing your home than the looming deadline of moving trucks pulling up outside your home. When we move, we become ruthless editors of our own space–most likely in a way that even a deep spring cleaning doesn’t inspire. After all, no one wants to put in the effort of packing things we don’t need and unpacking them in a pristine new space. So, what if we employed this same discerning eye to decluttering our Connecticut homes when we’re not moving? Read on to learn about the “move out method” for decluttering and organizing your home, and why now is the perfect time to use it.

What is the “move out method”?

Coined by Katie Holdefehr in her book, “Embrace Your Space,” the “move out method” is a method of organizing and decluttering your current space as if you had a set moving date on the calendar.

The thought behind this method of organizing comes from Hodefehr’s own experience with big moves: Having moved house several times, she realized nothing made her as motivated as the “threat” of moving trucks on the horizon. And if you’ve ever moved house, you know what she’s talking about! Suddenly, the items we continue to hang on to when decluttering become the very things we target because we can’t bear the thought of packing and unpacking them, only to have them clutter up our clean new living quarters.

So, why not apply that keen organizing eye, and the speed with which we declutter when we move, to our current Connecticut homes?

How do I use the “move out method” to declutter and organize my home?

Holdefehr suggests setting a strict “moving date” that you can work towards meeting. This will help instill a sense of urgency that you might otherwise not have. Depending on how much organizing you have to do, you might want to schedule your faux moving date several weeks out to meet your goals. Write it down, add it to your calendar, and send yourself calendar reminders to hold yourself accountable for meeting this target date. After all, you’d do the same if you were actually moving, so go for it!

Next, pull everything out of whatever it is you’re organizing, just as you would if you were really packing. If you’re tackling the pantry, pull out all the food, spices, and storage containers and put them on the table and countertops. If you’re organizing your closet, pull out all the clothes, shoes, and hangers, then lay your clothes on the bed and the shoes on the floor surrounding it. Repeat for any area that requires your organizing and decluttering eye.

Now that everything is spread out before you, pick up each item (yes, even that half empty jar of oregano!) and ask yourself if you’d want to go through the trouble of packing it. That single sock, those shoes with the crack in the sole, the jeans you’re hoping will come back in style–use your “moving eye” to discern if you’d go through with packing and unpacking it in your new space. If the answer is no or if maybe, it gets tossed. Of course, if it’s an item that can be reused or re-worn, then put it in a donation box or bag, or in a recycling receptacle when applicable.

Next, and this is crucial: Reward yourself with a snack.

Finally, use this opportunity of bare closets and shelves to clean them. Vacuum floors, wipe down shelves, and repair any shelving or storage units so they function correctly. Now, move your newly edited things back into their rightful place. Congratulations! You’ve motivated yourself into decluttering and organizing your Connecticut home into its clean, beautiful state once more. Enjoy!


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