Decluttering Your Basement – 4 Steps to Lighten Up Before You Move

If you have a basement in your home, chances are it’s become the resting place for odds and ends – everything from seasonal items, old furniture, boxes of memorabilia, food storage, and who-knows-what-else.

If you’re like most people, you put things in your basement for a good reason:  you don’t want them cluttering up your day-to-day living space.

Now that you’re getting ready to move, judgment day is nigh. Before you pack up everything in your basement and ship it to your new house, here are 4 steps you should follow to lighten up before you move.

Take Inventory

Before you jump right in and begin boxing things up, systematically go around your basement and identify what you want to bring with you. Do you want to bring a broken lamp or a toaster you’ve meant to fix?  Do you want to pack up canned food and haul it along with you? Do you want to deal with the headache of finding a place in your new home for your clutter? A detailed inventory is your best way to understand what you have, what’s important to you, and what you want to bring along.


Designate an area of your basement to be a place where you organize things.  Rather than leave everything where it is, you can clean out a corner and begin moving things there that you want to take with you.  

Lighten Your Load  

A move is a great time to do an accounting of your life and your stuff.  If you’re like most people, you’ve probably accumulated a lot of junk over the years, and your basement is perhaps home to much of it.  Nothing is more stressful during a move than having to pack up junk and unpack it at your new home.

Your move is a perfect time to re-think your relationship with your stuff.  If it doesn’t make your life better, doesn’t bring back good memories, or worse, brings back bad ones, give it away to a charity (like Goodwill or the Salvation Army), sell it in a yard sale, recycle it, or throw it away.  Your move is a chance to start over.

Pack What’s Left

Now that you’ve lightened up a bit, you can begin to pack things in preparation for your move.  Here’s a list of the basics:

Materials needed:

  • Permanent markers – Stick with black markers for easy visibility.
  • Packing tape – Your best choice for closing boxes is heavy-duty packing tape and dispensers, available in cost-saving multi-packs.
  • Duct Tape – Useful for reinforcing pre-cut handles of boxes, and tape closed doors of ovens, fridges, and even dressers.
  • Masking tape – Handy for taping bags of odds and ends to the inside of boxes so little things don’t get lost.
  • Ziploc bags – Get Ziploc bags in a few sizes – Gallon, quart, and sandwich. Secure all bags containing cables, brackets, screws, and nails using tape to the back or inside of your items or boxes to save you time setting up when you arrive.  
  • Garbage Bags –  Get a good supply of large garbage bags and kitchen bags – Large size garbage bags are useful for items like sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, linens, and so on. Kitchen size bags are a more manageable and lighter solution than larger bags for some items.  Label the outside of any bags with duct tape and a description of its contents.

Good luck with your decluttering! If you need a hand with your move, contact us for a quote!


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