How to Declutter before Moving House

If you’re getting ready to move house, chances are you’re realising just how much old junk you have accumulated over the years. Rather than packing it all up only to unpack it and clutter up the new house, why not take the opportunity to declutter before you move.

Decluttering can be a refreshing and invigorating experience. When you get rid of items you no longer need or use, you can open up a space and even make it seem brand new.

When it comes to moving house, decluttering before you move has economic and mental health benefits as well.

Firstly, you won’t waste time and money moving things you don’t want. While sometimes it can be useful to hold onto certain items, like furniture or extra crockery, it’s not always necessary.

Heavy or bulky items are harder to move and take up lots of space. You may need to pay significantly more to transport everything including those extra bits and pieces, even though you may never use them again.

Further, moving house is often a defined fresh start for people. It can be a change for the better, whether it’s moving to be closer to a new job or to have enough space to start a family. However, clutter can impact this positive feeling.

Research has linked clutter with a variety of mental health problems, including anxiety and difficulty focusing. With clutter in your home, you may feel like your fresh start was an illusion.

So, decluttering is clearly an important step when moving. But how do you do it without adding extra stress and pressure on yourself?

Plan ahead

To truly make decluttering work for you and your move, you need to plan ahead. Just as you shouldn’t leave packing all your boxes to the night before, you need to declutter days, if not weeks, in advance.

To save time, you can also combine decluttering and packing into one activity. For instance, approach each room with a two-box system. Have a box for packing what you want to keep and another for what you intend to get rid of.

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Be practical

As you work through your possessions, it’s important to be ruthless. Otherwise, you’re unlikely to throw much away at all. To get you started try asking these two questions:

  • When did I last use this?
  • Does it have a use anymore?

If you haven’t used something in over a year or more (or if you can’t remember the last time), chances are you won’t again.

And while you may have used something recently, if it’s no longer functional and not worth repairing, there’s no point holding on to it.

Of course, exceptions can be made for sentimental items. However, try to limit how much you keep on the basis of sentimentality. A good rule of thumb can be that it all must fit in a shoebox or, at most, a suitcase.

Throw out, donate or sell

Once you’ve decided which items you no longer want to keep, you can start sorting them into further piles.

Anything that is out of date should be thrown away, as should anything that is beyond repair. It can be worth looking into cheap skip bin hire if this is the majority of your decluttering. This way you can dispose of items without having to wait for rubbish day or driving to the tip. Also have a look on What You Can and Can’t Put into a Skip Bin

Have a donation pile for items that are still in good condition but you no longer use. Clothes, shoes, blankets and toys are always wanted.

If you have some extra time to hold a garage sale or list items online, have another pile for high-quality items to sell. These should be desirable items that will sell quickly. This could include label clothes that have been barely worn and functional appliances that are clean and work well.

Ideally, you want to avoid still having them when it gets to moving day. Keep prices realistic and be ready to lower them to guarantee a sale. Consider bunching items together too at cheaper prices. This can be a good way to get rid of smaller pieces like crockery sets or collectibles.

Have a set day for when items must be sold by. If you still have them after this time, donate them. Don’t keep them unless you think you can definitely sell them.

And with these three simple steps, you should find you have far less to move on the day. Then it’s just a matter of setting up your new home. Just don’t let the clutter start to move back in.

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Yashar Pirani

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