Decluttering To Move House: Tips For A Stress-Free Shift
Start as soon as possible.
Decluttering to move house often takes longer than you think, and life is already busy. Even if you don’t have a confirmed date, decluttering and getting organised is always good. Don’t put it off.
Are you downsizing?
If you are downsizing, decluttering to move house means thinking about your future home and what will comfortably fit.
Culling ruthlessly is a gateway to a seamless entry into the smaller abode. You don’t want to be surrounded by boxes with nowhere to unpack them.
Are you staging and selling your home?
All real estate agents recommend a clutter-free home for inspections, and that includes inside cupboards. Prospective buyers will not only look at how much floor space there is – they like to peek inside your pantry and wardrobes. Overstuffed cupboards convey the message that there is insufficient storage. And that maybe you haven’t looked after the house very well.
If you are upsizing and don’t want to throw away items you will need for the next home, consider an external storage facility or an onsite storage pod. Offsite is a much better look. But remember either way, those services add to your costs significantly. So sometimes it makes more sense to replace your items in the future than store them now. Especially if replacement is a ‘maybe’ prospect.
For items you are storing, pack them thoughtfully as you go. Tea towels and shopping bags are good for packing up the breakables if you don’t have bubble wrap. Pack in an organised way (putting like with like) and label the boxes diligently, and on multiple sides.
Decluttering to move house – think about your categories.
Break your sorting process into logical categories.
(1) Keep. Can remain in the home if it is still in use and/or necessary for staging.
(2) Discard. If you start early, you can fill up your bins regularly and get the most out of your council rates. If there are bulky items or a high volume, you could consider (from cheapest to most expensive) a trip to the tip/recycling centre, hiring a skip, or utilising a rubbish removal company like 1800 Got Junk or Hard Rubbish 2 Go (Melbourne). But don’t forget to recycle! Paper, e-waste, paint, fabrics, and a lot of other things can be kept out of landfill.
(3) Donate. Get familiar with your local op shops and community Facebook groups, so that your items can be rehomed responsibly.
(4) Store offsite. This may be necessary if you are minimising your home to stage it.
Other categories may include giving items to certain people and actioning items (mending/replacing/scanning/shredding, etc). Try and tie up as many loose ends as possible.
Take it area by area.
I like to start with the kitchen because it’s a highly-used space and the rewards are instant. But you can start wherever feels comfortable for you. If you are having regular open-for-inspections, try to finish up with some empty shelves where you can place your kettle, toaster, half-worn jackets and other items on open days. Remember, there is meant to be no sign of life for prospective buyers!
Decluttering to move house – involve the whole family and go through everything.
Give smaller kids an empty box and have them fill it with items they no longer need. Adults and older kids can be given two boxes – donate and discard. Give them as much responsibility as they can handle – it’s a busy time. Try not to override their decluttering decisions. If it’s theirs and they don’t want it, why should you?
Every cupboard, every pair of socks, every power tool. Having a completely intentional and beloved set of belongings for your move will make your next home truly blissful. Do it for your future self.
Remember to ask for help.
Many hands make light work. Family and friends or a professional organiser can help reduce overwhelm and hours spent.
See this post for shifting house in 11 easy steps.