Declutter before you move
“I’m not sure if we need this item, but I can’t decide now, so we’ll just bring it to the new house with us and deal with it when we get there...”
If you hire a removal company, this decision will end up costing you money! If you want to save money moving house, make time to sort through your items before you pack them. Remember that removals quotes are calculated according to the volume of items to be moved, so the less you can transport, the less your move will cost..
Finish what you start
Make sure that you have time to finish what you start. If your free time is in short supply, you may decide to concentrate on the small wins – get one little thing done each day. That way you won’t be surrounded by piles of things to sort out, which can make life really uncomfortable.
Donate and help others
Don’t be a hoarder! Instead, donate your things to someone else that needs them, like a charity shop or on Freecycle. Not only will you get the warm, glowy feeling of doing a good deed, you will give yourself the gift of ‘more space’.
Don’t get sidetracked
This is one of the biggest dangers to your decluttering project. One minute you are deciding on things to keep vs. get rid of, and twenty minutes later you notice that you’ve spent all that time just reading old letters and looking at family photographs. If you have a large amount of sentimental possessions, it’s not likely that you will be getting rid of them anyway, so just place them straight into your moving boxes before they get the chance to distract you!
Get some help
If you find it hard to stay focused, ask a friend to help keep you on track. The task won’t feel so daunting if you have company. If you don’t have a lot of time, calling in some reinforcements will help get the job done. Perhaps you could thank your friends by treating them to a takeaway at the end of the day.
Limit your space
An interesting concept is to decide that all the things you are going to keep will have to fit into a limited space. You could buy a certain amount of packing boxes and decide that once they are full, nothing else can be moved. This will be a great incentive to take only the most important things with you and can really help you to take stock of what you actually need.
When sorting out your wardrobes, a good way of determining what to keep and what to get rid of is to ask yourself “When did I last wear this?” If you haven’t worn it within the last year, it’s time to let go. If you are keeping an item “just in case” or if you think that one day you might gain or lose weight to fit into it, then do yourself a favour and give yourself the space instead!
Try things on – If you have something that you haven’t worn in a while and aren’t sure whether to keep it or not, try it on. Do you feel good in it? If the answer is ‘no’, then do not waste any more precious space on a garment that doesn’t flatter you.
When you know it has to go
- You haven’t used it in 12 months or more
- You no longer have a use for it
- It is broken beyond repair
- You borrowed it – give it back!
- You have more than one of the same item – choose your favourite and keep that.
- You don’t remember what it’s for
Make sure that you dispose of your old items responsibly – don’t be wasteful; recycle, sell or donate as much as you can and send as little as possible to landfill. Visit recyclenow.com for helpful advice on recycling anything from bicycles to baked bean tins. Our article, 'Recycling when moving home', can also help you with recycling your items before a house move.
Don’t cut corners with your removal firm
When your decluttering spree is complete, you will be ready to get quotes for moving home. It’s good to save money, but it will help your stress levels if you make sure that you have chosen a reputable company. Choose a removals firm that is prepared to visit you to survey the job before your moving day, has insurance, friendly uniformed staff, and is happy to provide you with good references on request.
For help with choosing your movers, read our article ‘Questions to ask your removals firm’.