Cleaning out your apartment: 6 tips to make moving easier

  • Before you start sorting out, you should decide whether you want to clear out your apartment yourself or seek professional help. It is also important to make a precise plan. Prepare the action as best as possible to save work and stress.
  • The KonMari method or the 4-box method is particularly popular when clearing out. Use one of the methods to gradually work your way through the apartment and allow yourself to take breaks in between.
  • You should definitely get the things you have sorted out of the apartment as quickly as possible to get rid of the ballast. You can give away, sell or donate anything that is still in good condition.

Cleaning out the apartment: Young woman sits on the floor and sorts her clothes.

If you live in an apartment for a longer period of time, Unnecessary items quickly accumulate. Transporting these things when moving can be a lot of hassle. Plus, when you want to move, you have a thousand things to think about and your mind can be a mess. This can quickly cause stress and Put a strain on your psyche. A simple one Solution to counteract these problems: Sorting out.

The fewer things you own, the less work you have to do when actually moving and you can start the moving phase with less stress. One successful clearing campaign however, must be well thought out. You will find out which steps are important and how best to approach the project in the following sections.

1. Decide whether you will clean out on your own or get help

Whether you are cleaning out your apartment alone or yourself professional help from a clearing and moving company seek, depends on how much you want to sort out. Besides, you should pay attention to the costs involvedthat comes with a professional service.

If you just want to sort out a few of your things in the apartment, it’s probably easier to do it yourself. However, for example, have one entire basement or garage with things you no longer need, professional help could be worthwhile. Below we have listed the advantages and disadvantages of clearing out your apartment yourself:


  • You keep track
  • cheaper costs
  • Securing valuable, long-forgotten personal items


  • longer duration
  • high organizational effort
  • Damage that occurs during clearing out is usually not insured

2. Create a plan with a deadline

Decluttering: checklist with pen and coffee.

Writing down each step helps keep track.

Make a precise plan what to do, in what order to do it is and by when it has to be done. This will allow you to proceed in a more structured manner and also save yourself emotional stress.

The best thing to do is create a checklist of all the things that need to be done. Later you can check off all the points that have been completed, which provides additional motivation. Also, sort the items on the checklist according to priorities, duration and workload.

Tip: Be realistic about your schedule. It’s better to plan a buffer so that you don’t come under time pressure if you need longer to complete a step.

It is also important that you set a realistic deadline, By when everything has to be done. Don’t set these too far into the future, as this could put you in danger of postponing the tasks too much. However, keep in mind that too tight a deadline could cause stress.

3. Choose an appropriate method

In order to make cleaning out your apartment easier, several approaches have already been developed on how to approach the project systematically. For example, there is the KonMari methodthe Tabula Rasa method or the four box method. If you’re at a loss when it comes to decluttering and don’t know where to start, it might make sense to try one of these methods.

We have explained this to you in more detail in the table below:

method characteristics
KonMari method
  • idea inspired by minimalism
  • Sort by category, not by room/area
  • Categories: Clothing, books, papers, odds and ends, memorabilia
  • Decision criterion: Does the item bring me joy?
  • well suited before moving
Tabula rasa method
  • Take everything out of wardrobes, dressers, etc. and put it in boxes
  • Only get the things you really need within a set period of time
  • All items that are still in the boxes after this period can go
  • Not ideal if you don’t have much time before the move, as moving things back and forth is very complex and time-consuming
Four box method
  • Go through each room (living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, hallway) or category one at a time
  • four boxes with labels: Keep, Unclear, Give away/Sell and Dispose of/Trash
  • goes particularly quickly
  • well suited before moving

4. Prepare yourself and the apartment

Clearing out the apartment: Woman makes the bed neatly.

A clean and tidy apartment makes it easier for you to keep an overview and the necessary motivation when sorting out things.

To make it easier for you to get started, it is advisable to do it before clearing out tidy up the apartment and work surfaces and cleaning the individual rooms such as the bathroom. This allows you to sort things out in a structured manner and not get lost in the chaos.

After you have put things in order, It’s best to put the boxes you previously got ready for the things you’ve sorted outso that you can always keep track of everything while clearing out.

You can also take pictures of the areas you want to sort out before clearing out. This means that after you’re done with an area, you have a direct before and after comparisonwhich will definitely motivate you to keep going.

Tip: A nice atmosphere helps you get the right motivation. Make yourself comfortable with a delicious drink, an exciting podcast or your favorite playlist and enjoy the time for yourself.

5. Do it one at a time and reward yourself every now and then

Sorting things out can become very tedious and stressful in the long run. Therefore, it is important to proceed one by one and yourself stick exactly to the checklist created beforehand. This makes it easier for you to keep track of how much of the overall project has already been completed and how much is still missing. The upcoming move will be stressful enough, so you should avoid unnecessary stress. Plan definitely take breaks to reward yourself and take a quick breath.

Danger: If you wait too long to continue decluttering, you will have a hard time regaining the motivation you need. You should also not make yourself too comfortable during the break. The best thing to do is take a short walk or treat yourself to a delicious snack in between.

It is also recommended throughout the entire process to check the focus again and againso as not to lose sight of the goal. Keep asking yourself these questions:

  • Does the item bring me joy? Do I love this item?
  • Do I actually use this item? (at least once a year)
  • Does the item suit me and my life?

6. Remove the discarded items from the apartment immediately

Sort out the apartment: containers with boxes and old items.

Things that you don’t want to give away, sell or donate should be disposed of with bulky waste, for example.

It is very important that you sort out the things Do not initially store it in the house, basement or garage. On the one hand, the emotional baggage is only gone when you finally dispose of the items and, on the other hand, you can’t use any more boxes of stuff that you’ve already sorted out when you move. This would only cause unnecessary work and prolong the move.

So lay as quickly as possible The date on which you take all the boxes with the sorted things out of the house. The items, furniture, and clothing that you get rid of that are still in good condition or that you can repair, you can donate, give away or sell. You can do everything else Simply dispose of it in the trash or bulky waste.

Image credits: Adobe Stock/zinkevych, Adobe Stock/fotogestoeber, Adobe Stock/Satjawat, Adobe Stock/Birgit Reitz-Hofmann (sorted chronologically or according to the order of the images used in the buying guide)