Some people have never decluttered their homes a day in their lives. If you haven’t gotten the chance to declutter but would like to, moving presents the perfect opportunity for you. In the process of moving, you will be forced to go through your belongings one by one. This allows you to evaluate which items you need and which things you don’t.
Decluttering before a move is significantly more difficult than decluttering a single room. You’ll be going through each item in your home. To make the process easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you declutter your home when moving. Check it out below.
Start your decluttering early
You should begin the decluttering process as soon as you find out that you’ll be moving houses. If you can’t start decluttering, you should at least be making a plan in your head regarding your decluttering process.
Remember, you won’t be able to declutter everything in a single day. If possible, start a few months in advance. This allows you to take your time decluttering each room. The more time you have, the less stressful the process will be.
Also, you’ll be able to make better decisions and provide fair consideration for each item because you’ll have enough time to think things through.
Try not to accumulate over time
If you’ve followed our previous tip and have started decluttering early, then you surely have more than enough time to evaluate each of your belongings. When assessing your belongings, consider whether you need to take the item with you to your new home.
In general, you should have a bias towards disposing of, selling or donating your items, rather than keeping them. Having this mindset allows you to better abandon accumulating things.
Evaluate everything before decluttering
The act of packing, picking up, and lifting heavy boxes can provide us with an appreciation for what we can carry. If you decide to hire a removal company to help you with the move, you may pay extra for too many belongings, which may cause delays or not fit the van size you have chosen.
Moving home allows you to question your ownership of items. Ask yourself why you own what you own and if these objects will be useful to you in your new home. By doing this, you’ll be able to significantly cut down on the number of boxes you’ll be bringing to your new property.
Pro decluttering tip: Scan for dust
Run your fingers down your unused glasses, old Tupperware, and those extra kitchen appliances you had no idea you owned. Then, check if there’s dust on your finger.
Although this trick is simple, it allows you to judge an item’s usefulness. If the thing has been accumulating dust, chances are you probably can continue to live your life without it.
Regardless of whether or not you’ve heard the term “sentimental clutter” before, you more than likely have some in your home. Sentimental clutter refers to the objects that have sentimental value that you don’t need, don’t use, or don’t like.
Sentimental clutter comes in many forms: gifts, souvenirs, inherited items, heirlooms, etc. Although getting rid of them can be quite tricky, you’ll thank yourself in the future for letting them go. Remember, you aren’t required to keep every birthday card you receive.
How to declutter before moving house
Make a list of tasks
When decluttering, you’ll want to make a central list of projects with specific action steps. This will help you stay on track and help you have the whole house decluttered by moving day.
Now, your list should not be a simple list that you can jot down on a napkin. Instead, you’ll want to make a detailed list. If you’re an old-school note-taker, a paper list or a spiral notebook should serve you just fine.
If you’re a more visual person, you can make a paper or digital mind map. Regardless, the objective is to keep all of the action steps in one place and make it accessible to all the members of your household.
If you’d like to make a detailed digital decluttering plan, you have a couple of options:
- Spreadsheets. A simple spreadsheet can go a long way. You can create lists in spreadsheet software such as Excel, Numbers, or Google Sheets. You’ll be able to sort according to columns in the spreadsheet. A few information categories to consider adding include the task, the target date, the person responsible, and a column to indicate whether the job has been finished or not.
- Task management apps. There are many applications out there that specialize in task management and to-do lists. You may consider using Evernote, Asana, or an app of your choice. For our needs, the free version of each app should do just fine.
Options for decluttering
1. Bulky waste collection
Your local council may provide bulky waste collection services for your household (most councils in the UK do offer this service). The service allows you to dispose of large items of household waste that either cannot be put out for your standard trash collection or do not fit in the bin. Items to be collected include large objects such as furniture, televisions, etc.
For more information, check your local council’s website and search for bulky waste collection. Alternatively, you can apply for special collection of large waste items here.
2. Furniture upcycling
Another great option is to upcycle your furniture through a service such as the Freecycle Network. It is a grassroots and entirely nonprofit organization of people who give and get stuff for free in their own cities and neighborhoods.
The goal of upcycling services is to encourage reuse and to keep useable items out of landfills. Local volunteers commonly moderate local groups, and membership to upcycling communities is typically free.
If furniture upcycling is not available in your particular area, not to worry. You still have other options.
3. Local recycling center
Most towns have a local recycling center. They accept household items to be processed and recycled. This effectively allows the lifespan of an object to be extended, rather than allowing an item to simply be thrown away.
Search your local council’s recycling center and see which items are accepted to be recycled on-site. Check the opening times and visit on a weekday if you can (recycling centers tend to be very busy on weekends).
In addition to this, check what proof of ID is needed to enter the site (a driving license would normally be sufficient).
If you live in London, you can also find local recycling banks on London Recycles.
4. Charity shops
One of the best options to get rid of old unwanted items is to donate to charity shops. Sure, your items may not be useful to you any longer. However, they may serve as life-changing donations to people who really need it. Remember, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
By donating to charity shops, you’re hitting two birds with one stone. First, you’re getting rid of unnecessary belongings. Second, you’re making a difference in someone else’s life.
Call your local charity shop in advance and see if they can accept your books, clothes, furniture, etc.