It’s time to move. You’ve committed to the new house, or the new job across the country, or that cute apartment just across town.

Before the house movers come, it’s up to you to make not just their job easier, but yours. It’s time to declutter.

Movers and packers will pack and move everything if you ask them to, but then, you’ll have to deal with the whole pile of clutter on the other end — and you’ll pay to move it.

Decluttering can be intimidating. Divide your space into smaller territories. Set aside a specific time each day to tackle one of these areas, purge and pack.

When you’re ready, take a hard look at your possessions and thin the herd. Here are a few questions that will help you make the difficult decision of whether to get rid of that thing you think you need.

  1. Does it give you joy? If an object doesn’t make you happy, get rid of it. This simple question will help you shed guilt over that gift your friend gave you that you never really loved, or that inherited item that your beloved family member probably didn’t care that much about anyway.
  2. Do you use it? If you’re saving something because you think you’ll use it someday, because you loved it once but haven’t touched it in a year, because you think it will become a collector’s item even though it’s currently worth about 99 cents, or because you just know you’ll fit into it again after that diet, you probably don’t need it in your life. There’s a saying to think about: Whatever you own, owns you.
  3. Does it fit into your new life? The answer might actually be yes. Maybe you have a new design scheme in mind, and that Japanese lantern will fit right in. Or maybe you’d like to have shelves that are clutter-free and give you peace when you look at them — in which case, all of those cutesy figurines you collected in a fit of late-night shopping need to go to the local thrift store. People change. Lives change. It’s OK. Let it go.

Whatever you decide to eliminate might benefit someone else. Donate it, live lighter and have a happier move.