When it comes to planning your big move, there are so many things to do and plan for (you might find our free moving checklist will help!) that decluttering may be the last thing on your mind, but trust us – there are a lot of benefits to be gained from having a good clear out before you go!
To be in with the best chance of selling, ideally you should declutter or begin to declutter before you put your property on the market. You want to make the space look as inviting and minimalist as possible so that prospective buyers are focused on the features of the building rather than your piles of stuff! Moving house is a great opportunity for having a really good clear out and getting rid of things that you no longer need, and beginning the process before you’ve even put the house up for sale will help get you into the mindset that “yes, this is really happening and we are moving!” so that hopefully other things will begin to fall into place!
Although the prospect of rummaging through everything you own and sorting it into piles can be daunting, once you get started it can be really cathartic and once you have finished you should experience a tremendous sense of achievement too. Decluttering is reported to reduce stress and anxiety, will make you home look tidier and will reduce allergens. You can sell some of your unwanted things or donate them to charity and it also means you’ll have less stuff to haul to your new place and unpack when you get there too, giving you more chance of a fresh start – if that is what you are after.
Most of us have heard of the Marie Kondo technique of decluttering, where you get rid of anything that doesn’t ‘spark joy.’ When considering each item be ruthless and get rid of anything that does not serve a purpose or has no sentimental value.
Speaking to Metro about ways to declutter, Terry Fisher of We Buy Any Home gave his top tips for decluttering before a move:
Break it into time slots
Don’t leave it until the day before the estate agent comes to take photos to do your decluttering. Terry suggests that you give yourself at least a week to go through each room in the house – perhaps even longer depending on how long you have lived there.
Break your decluttering mission down into small manageable chunks so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by the process. Even if you can only do an hour a day during the working week, this is all progress towards your goal. Set yourself a certain amount of space to do each day, for example, half a room or 3 cupboards with some breaks in between. This will make it much more palatable and achievable!
Sort into 5 categories
Sort your items into five categories:
- Donate or sell
If you have large items of furniture to donate then many charities will come and collect them for free. Or you can list them on Facebook marketplace for collection. If your move is imminent then you could start packing your ‘Keep’ pile into boxes ready to go – just make sure you label it well so it doesn’t get thrown away by mistake!
Check expiry dates
We all know store cupboard food can go off – but what about medicines and other products? If you’ve got some really old cosmetics lying about then they’re probably not safe to use any more – and the same goes for any out-of-date pills, ointments, paints and cleaning products.
Do one room at a time
In order to reduce your chances of becoming overwhelmed, just focus on one room at a time and don’t get side-tracked. Don’t start another room until the room you are working on is done.
Group similar items
Putting useful things together can help you to stay organised and find them easily in your new home. Stuff like stationery, lightbulbs, batteries, cables and tools. Then you can start as you mean to go on once you reach the new place.
Get some help
Sometimes it can be hard to make some of those decluttering decisions on tour own. If you declutter with a partner then you may argue over what to keep and what to save. If you have a trusted friend that can help and give it to you straight on why you need to throw away those turquoise stilettos from 1986, then you may find you work well together as a team as they may be able to help you be less sentimental about what you keep or give away.
If you’re really struggling you could also hire a professional declutterer to help. APDO is the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers in the UK and you can look on their website to find a declutterer near you.
If you’ve run out of time for a full declutter, you’ve sorted your stuff but can’t bear to throw it away yet or you’re just looking for somewhere to stash it while the house sale goes through so that you don’t scare off perspective buyers with your enormous teapot collection, then consider putting it in temporary storage. We have secure, stone built storage facilities right here in the centre of Bridport and we can even pack it and move it for you – and move it to your new home once you are ready for it!
Picture credit: Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels