If you’ve accumulated a garage full of boxes and cupboards brimming with all sorts of mystery items over the years, there’s no better time to declutter than when moving house. Decluttering before a move means that you’ll have less to pack, move, and unpack. It’s also a great time for you to take stock of your possessions and clear out any broken, unwanted, or unused items. But where to begin?

Start small, and plan ahead

The thought of decluttering an entire home can be a daunting one. Break up your decluttering into tasks based on rooms, or even types of items such as books, clothes or CDs. Be realistic about the time your decluttering will take, too, and allow yourself enough time to work systematically through your decluttering. Set aside a few hours per day, week, or even per month depending on your schedule—and motivation.

Divide and conquer

Once you’ve decided on the order that you’ll approach your decluttering, prepare a series of boxes or large garbage bags for your items. Separate these boxes or bags into different piles: the “keep” pile, the “donate” pile, and the “throw away” pile. Depending on your schedule, you may also wish to pack the “keep” items into packing boxes ready to be shipped to your new home. This will save you time later on, although if your move is some time away, you will want to ensure that you only pack away items that you definitely won’t be using in the near future.

Be ruthless

It can be tempting to hold on to items for sentimentality’s sake, or out of a belief that they might come in handy down the track. One good way to test whether something should be thrown out or donated is the time test. If you haven’t used something in longer than six months, chances are you won’t miss it, and you can get rid of it without too much worry. Other items that can be discarded include single-use kitchen gadgets—do you really need that popcorn maker?—broken items that you’ve been meaning to repair, or “backup” items that you’ve been holding on to for no real reason. These might include obsolete technology and so on.

It’s just stuff!

As difficult as it can be to let go of some of those household items, it’s important to remember that they’re just stuff. Most of them you won’t miss, and any that you do find yourself missing can easily be replaced. After decluttering your home, you’ll be almost guaranteed to feel more relaxed—and you’ll definitely appreciate having fewer things to pack and move!