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Moving 101: Declutter your home

Posted on 2014-09-09

Packing for a move can be extremely overwhelming. We’ve all stood looking around our houses and wondering just how we’ve managed to accumulate so much stuff in such a short space of time. However, moving house is the ideal excuse for a good clear out – so you can start afresh in your new home – you just need a good system in place.

Before you start to pack, think about your new place, what space it offers to you and how you want it to look. Many of us hang onto things we don’t want, need or even like – especially if they were a gift. Use this time to be really ruthless about what you do and don’t take with you. The less stuff you take – the easier your move will be!

Leave yourself plenty of time for this and tackle the project room by room, working methodically to ensure you don’t miss anything. If you can’t face an entire room, work through smaller areas such as your wardrobe or the kitchen cupboards.

We’re all guilty of throwing random odds and ends into a box when packing, which gets relegated to a spare room or attic, not to be seen again until your next move. This is exactly what we want to avoid!

Plan to sort items into at least three piles, one to take with you, one for charity and one for the local tip or recycling centre. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could even set aside items for selling at the car-boot, but be really honest with yourself as to whether you’ll make time for this – otherwise it’ll all go straight back in a box and to your new house.

Have plenty of black bin bags or boxes to hand and some sticky labels – crucial if you don’t want a well-meaning flatmate or partner to throw away the wrong pile of belongings! Also handy are wet wipes, a lint-free cloth, bubble wrap, boxes and tape so you can clean and pack lesser-used items as you go.

As you work through your piles, ask yourself the following questions, to make sure you really are only taking the right things with you:

  • Is it useful? If so, have I used it in the past six months?
  • Is it in good condition, or does it need repairing? Can I repair it now or will it be a longer terms project? Will I get round to it?
  • Do I have more than one of these? Do I need more than one?
  • Is this item essential? Does it save me time or money?
  • Do I like it? Will it look nice or serve the same purpose in my new house?
  • Is it valuable in either monetary or sentimental terms?
  • Where will I keep it? Does it have a home? Will there be room for it?

Be really honest with yourself. It can be hard to part from items you’ve had for a long time, or that were given to you. But, if you’re not using or enjoying them, wouldn’t they be better off in a house where they will be cherished by someone else? You could even invite some friends over to see if there’s anything they’d like.

Once you’ve decided to keep an item, give it a wipe with a wet wipe or a wash in soapy water, dry it and pack it, unless you’ll still be using it before you move, in which case, put it back in its correct place.

When you’re done, try to take the left over items to the charity shop or tip straight away. If this isn’t possible, put them in the car or by the front door so you can do it next time you go out.

It may seem a lot of effort to sort your possessions like this, but it will make your move and unpacking a whole lot easier and your new home will be less cluttered from the very first day - and think of all the new things you can buy to replace it all!

Need more help planning your move? Download the HomeLet Let’s Move app for free and you won’t miss a thing!

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