When faced with packing up your entire life into some cardboard boxes, it can be overwhelming to realise just how much stuff you’ve accumulated over the years. If you’re moving long-distance, downsizing or even moving into a bigger place, you probably don’t want to take all your clutter with you too. Follow this advice and you’ll have streamlined your belongings before you know it.
Decluttering can sound scary. It’s a big deal to streamline your possessions, and you might feel more like keeping hold of your old bits and pieces if you’re making a big change and moving to a new house. However, moving is a perfect time to start fresh, and that means ditching the clutter and allowing yourself some more space.
Try to group your items together when you’re decluttering. If you can see how many of one thing you have all together, you’re more likely to choose your favourite, and donate or throw away the rest. For example, if you’ve got 10 drinking glasses, but only five match and the rest are mismatched – keep hold of your matching set and donate the rest. If you’ve got three red tee-shirts, choose to keep the one that fits the best, washes nicely and is the best quality.
It can be emotional to say goodbye to some more personal belongings. Don’t force yourself to give up belongings if they have sentimental value to you. They are part of what makes you, you! However, you can consider downsizing, or ‘digitizing’ these belongings so it’s easier to say
goodbye. It’s easy to accumulate hundreds of children’s drawings and paintings, and with nowhere to keep them they can get quite overwhelming. Take photographs of each piece, and store them all on your phone, laptop or tablet in a special folder. You and your family can look back at every piece of art your little one has ever done… without having to have them covering every available surface!
How many bottles of shower gel and shampoo do you have in your bathroom right now? If the number is in double figures, don’t worry – just follow these tips.
Before you move, aim to have streamlined your basic toiletries to 1 or 2 bottles of shampoo and conditioner, 1 or 2 bottles of shower gel, and 1 bubble bath (if you’re moving to a house with a bathtub – if not, it’s time to say goodbye to those bubbles!). Bottles of shampoo and shower gel can be tricky to transport – nobody wants to unpack a box at their new home to find everything covered in sticky shampoo.
Nearly-empty plastic bottles of product can be emptied and washed out ready to be recycled. Check the individual recycling instructions on the packaging as some lids or pump attachments have to be disposed of with your regular rubbish. If you’ve got a surplus of unopened or barely-used toiletries that you don’t fancy boxing up and bringing with you, why not donate them to a local homeless shelter or another charity where they’re sure to be put to use?
Textile goods can be some of the easiest to declutter. You can donate old or unwanted clothes to charity, and ripped or stained clothes can be bagged up and sold to certain organisations which recycle fabric. Look through your wardrobe as if you’re shopping – are there items that you’d pass up if they were for sale in a store? If yes, it’s time to get rid!
Aim to streamline around 30% of your wardrobe when you move house. It’s enough to make a big change – which can be welcome when you’re deciding to move house – but not so much that you feel like you haven’t got enough clothes and shoes!
Try not to have too many duplicates of the same items – if you’ve got two black winter coats, for example, try to choose between them and donate one to charity. After all – you can’t wear two coats at once!
The kitchen is usually Clutter Central in the average home. It’s easy to accumulate random cutlery, mismatched plates and bowls, and a whole host of various glasses and cups. Again, try to streamline your kitchen items by about 30% – more if you’re being ambitious.
Opt for quality items when it comes to cookware. If you have several old frying pans that have lost their non-stick coating and leave your food tasting like burnt metal, it’s time to get rid of them, and invest in one high-quality piece that you’ll use in your new house for years to come.
Dispose of cracked or stained bowls and plates. Be honest – you never use them, and even putting them away in the cupboard is a bit of a chore. If your cupboards are bursting at the seams, see if any friends or family members need any new dishes or cookware. You could hold an “open house” – a great way to say goodbye to local friends and help you declutter in the process!
Are there items in your home that you’re planning on moving with you just ‘because’? Furniture that you don’t feel particularly connected to can quickly make your home feel a bit stale and impersonal. If you don’t feel like it fits with the rest of your belongings, or if you actively dislike it (we’ve all got a piece of furniture that we hate!), then it’s time to donate it. A lot of charity stores will pick up larger items, so try to keep all of your donations together and send them all off in one go.
Don’t try to declutter all of your belongings all at once. It’s a process – a process that you’ll find a lot easier if you approach it slowly. As soon as you decide to move house, keep some photos of your new space to look at and visualise your belongings there. Hopefully you’ll want to keep
your new home as clutter-free and peaceful as possible. We hope this article helped you get there!