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How To Declutter Before Moving House


According to a study by Post Office Money and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), the average cost of moving in the UK is now almost £12,000. This total includes everything from stamp duty to surveyor’s fees. Bearing this in mind any amount you can save on the cost of removals is welcome. This makes decluttering before you move a very sensible idea. Getting rid of any items you don‘t need also helps you to get a completely fresh start in your new home.

The problem with decluttering is it can seem like a really formidable task. It’s amazing how easy it is to build up a mountain of items “just in case” or “for when it fits”. Decluttering at any time is good for your health and reduces stress. A house move is a very good excuse for ridding yourself of all this excess. So take a deep breath and take a look at some of our tips for making it easier to declutter before a move.  

Start early and plan effectively

As soon as you know you’re moving home you need to commence operation declutter. You will need:

  • Strong bin bags
  • Strong boxes
  • Labels
  • Packing tape
  • Scissors
  • Snacks and drinks

Making sure you have everything you need at hand before you start saves time as you go along. The bin bags are obviously for anything that is broken and unusable. The boxes should be marked keep and give away. The number of bags and boxes you need is going to depend on how much of a hoarder you’ve been. Be realistic, if you have shelf upon shelf of ornaments and books, and wardrobes full of clothes, a couple of bin bags and boxes is not going to get the job done.  

Have an organised system

You have your boxes and bags correctly marked; now you need to develop a system for methodically going through each room of the house. You know your own home, and how big a job sorting through each room is going to be. It’s a good idea to allot time slots based on the work involved, with some sort of reward at the end to keep you motivated. It’s amazing how motivating even a glass of wine and a take away can be. Depending on how many items you have to dispose of after each room you are going to have to either allocate storage in an area of your home or garage, or arrange for the items to be dropped off or collected after each room. Make sure you have this planned before you start.  

Don’t let distractions get in the way

Let’s face it; you’re never going to throw away your old photo albums. All that will happen if you pick them up is you’ll open them and spend the next three hours reminiscing. Before you know it, the day will be over and you’ll be no further on with the job. If you have sentimental items that you’re going to keep no matter what, just pack them away for the move, without looking at them or discussing them. Another main form of distraction is technology. While you’re decluttering switch off your phone, computer and tablet. There is no major need to answer those texts straight away and don’t even think about updating Facebook with “just decluttering for the move”. It’s just a distraction you don’t need and we doubt anyone is actually that interested.  

Stick to the “good use” rule

There is one very important question you should be asking yourself about your possessions; “Can I put this to good use”. That doesn’t mean you may be able to use it should some bizarre turn of events take place. It means this is something you are regularly making good use of. There are people in this world who always have a spare on hand “just in case”. There may be some positives to this, but pretty soon you have a mountain of spare kettles, toasters, drills…You can never prepare for every eventuality and don’t forget you’re trying to save money on those removal costs by cutting down the volume. There are many charities out there, such as the British Heart Foundation , Oxfam and Age UK who are more than happy to take items off your hands, to raise funds in their shops. If you haven’t worn that dress for a year, donate it to someone who will.  

Seek help and motivation

As you sit there in the middle of the bedroom, depressed by the fact that you’ve been working for hours and you feel like you’re treading water you’re going to be tempted to give up, and just take everything with you. A great way to stop this happening is to enlist some friends to help out. It’s a good idea if you choose people who will stick with it and keep you motivated, not those who suggest a trip to the pub at the drop of a hat. You get double benefits from doing this. You’re more likely to stay on track, and you should get the job done quicker, with all the extra help. Hopefully we’ve made decluttering before you move a little less daunting. Remember, it may be a big task but it could save you money on the move. You also get a good start in your new home, with all the extra space.

How To Declutter Before Moving House

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