Hoarder room packed with stored boxes, electronics, files, business equipment and household items.

Decluttering Your Junk Before a Move: Why Future You Will Thank You

There are a lot of fantastic things about moving to a new home: enjoying more space, exploring new surroundings, discovering things growing in a new garden, embracing a fresh opportunity to organise your stuff…

There are a lot of awful things about moving house: putting up with all the viewings, waiting through months of conveyancing, packing everything you own into cardboard boxes, being forced to embrace a fresh opportunity to organise your stuff…

That’s the thing about a house move. It’s not just the actual house you’ve got to worry about. It’s also the endless parade of furniture, clothes, pictures, books, toys, tech, shoes, bags, crockery… you get the idea. And that’s before you’ve even taken into account whatever you’ve got squirrelled away in the loft, garage or garden shed.

The conscientious thing to do in these situations is to have a big old sort out. This is true even if you’re not usually the conscientious sort. Trust us: not only will it help make your house look its best for viewings, it’ll also make the job of packing it all up that little bit easier.

Goodness me, where will you start?!

How much of a decluttering job you’re looking at will depend on:

  1. How long you’ve been in your house
  2. How big your family is
  3. Where you fall on the spectrum of minimalist to hoarder

The first thing to do is to take a good look around yourself and assess the situation. How out of hand has the situation got? How much time are you going to need to sort it out? Do you have a lot of stuff that can be sold? Is most of it just rubbish? Are you going to be able to handle it yourself? Will you need to ask/bribe loved ones to help? Should you just order a skip and be done with it?

Once you’ve decided where you stand and how much there is to do, there’s nothing for it but to actually get started (sorry). The most efficient way is probably to address one area at a time. You could use the Marie Kondo method from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in which you are instructed to collect together all like things from around your house in a certain special order… or you could just do it the normal way. Whatever floats your boat.

Can it be sold? Ebay or Facebook Marketplace are great for general sellable stuff. You might want to try local antique shops or auction houses for more valuable specialised items, and Vinted or Depop can be good bets for clothes. Failing that, there’s always a good old fashioned car boot sale, if you think you’re brave enough.

Can it be donated? You might decide you can’t be bothered with the faff of trying to sell stuff. And no one would blame you. In this case, charity shops are your friend! Depending on the size of the haul to be donated, you may be able to arrange a collection.

Can it be recycled? Old paperwork and the like might be quite obviously recyclable, but that’s not all. Scrap metal can usually be taken away and reused, and many local council recycling centres will take things like hard plastics, electronics and fabric. In other words, it’s well worth checking before chucking!

Is it really worth it?!

When you’re knee-deep in a decade’s worth of outgrown kids’ clothes, you may find yourself wondering what the hell you’ve started. We hear you. In that moment it will almost certainly seem like a better option to just shove it all in a box and worry about it later. 

However! Ask yourself whether you really want to spend time packing unwanted belongings in boxes in order to pay to move them to another property AND THEN to have to unload them again at the other side. 

No matter how tedious the decluttering process might seem, trust us when we say future you will be grateful it’s done.

If you’re contemplating a move and want to talk about preparations, getting organised and making things as easy as possible, we’d love to chat. We’ll even go as far as to say we’ll do our best to offer you a service that brings you joy, Marie Kondo style. 

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