How To Cut The Clutter Before Moving House

* This is a collaborative post

It's no secret that moving house can be a stressful process. From negotiating a price to selecting the right conveyancing solicitors, you suddenly have a lot of decisions to make.

One of the major reasons for that is the amount of possessions that we all seem to accumulate, which then need sorting, packing and transporting to the other end. Instead, seeing your new home as an opportunity for a fresh start is a better option. Take it as a chance to review your possessions and see what you won't need in your new life - there's no better feeling than lightening the load a lot. You don't have to go full on Minimalist, but streamlining your possessions has a lot of benefits. There's less to worry about, less to clean and maintain and so more spare cash and free time. If you've decided that a major declutter is in order before entering your new home, what do you need to do?

Make A Date
Most of us drastically underestimate the sheer volume of stuff we have, and also how long it takes to properly sort through it all. Instead of trying to cram it into a weekend, plan your declutter session. Work out the date of your move and schedule a couple of days to declutter at least a month or two ahead of the moving date. Minimise any other distractions from kids, guests or pets, make a motivational playlist, and make a commitment to really focus on the sort out.

Work Room By Room
Trying to tackle a whole house worth of clutter in a single day or two is madness. Make a plan of which rooms you need to tackle and start with the worst offenders first - these tend to be bedrooms where we hoard clothes, or garages. Start with the worst areas and be ruthless! Remind yourself that these are only possessions and that you're making room for lovely new space in your new home.

Use The Three Pile System
The simplest and fastest way to cut through a lot of clutter is to use the three pile system - one pile for items that you want to keep, one pile for items you will donate, and a final pile for items which need to be recycled. Work quickly and use your gut instinct - if you need to deliberate over something and you really can't decide, usually it should be a no. If an item isn't either useful or beautiful it should probably find a new home.

Streamline, Streamline, Streamline
It's always a good idea to do a second review of the ‘keep’ pile to make sure that there aren't lurking items that you should have disposed of. Bag up anything in good repair or working order and take it to your nearest charity shop - remember to sign up for Gift Aid to raise even more funds for them. If you genuinely don't feel you have time, there are even services who will send a box to your door, or a van if you are donating large items of furniture. In your home waste and recycling pile, make sure you remove anything that is hazardous for safe disposal - old mobile phones, electrical items, batteries etc. Most local authority tips have special disposal facilities for these items, or sometimes supermarkets have collection points. Once you understand better what you have left, you can start planning storage solutions for your new house.

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