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Why you should declutter before moving house

Why you should declutter before you move house.

If you're planning to move home, congratulations!

Whilst exciting, moving home can be one of the most stressful events in our lives.

You may not be able to alter any of the stages of a sale, but there are things that you can do to make your move as stress-free and cost effective as possible.

Many of us move because we either need more space or because we are downsizing and once we have our moving date we pack up our worldly goods into the removal van ready to start again somewhere else.

Moving home is the perfect opportunity to edit your belongings so that you only take with you what you really want or need. Think of it as a fresh start, a chance to edit what you have. We accumulate a lot of stuff over the years but if we no longer need or use these items then why pay to transport and store them?

The advantage of decluttering before you move is twofold - there is less to pack/unpack, and there are fewer items to pay a removals company to transport, saving you money and time.

Here's a quick guide to how to declutter before your house move.

Start now.

If you have some weeks/months before your move is taking place, this is perfect so start now. Putting it off until just before you get your keys will be really stressful and make the sale/donation of larger items more difficult. Decluttering little and often in the weeks beforehand is more manageable.

How to declutter. Go through your rooms one at a time starting with the rooms that you use the least as these should be the easiest.

Make 4 piles of your belongings - keep, donate, sell, throw.

Make sure that anything in the donate pile gets delivered to the charity shop once you have finished a decluttering session (some shops such as British Heart Foundation will offer a weekly collection which can be really useful when you are under pressure or have larger items). If you have items that you are keeping to pass on to family members, do it now, why wait? If you have valuable items that you wish to sell then get those listed as soon as possible so that they have gone before moving day.

This is a great opportunity to declutter children's toys that are no longer used and return borrowed items to other family members or friends.

If you can't decide on whether to keep something, ask yourself 'Do I use it?', 'Do I love it', 'Do I need it', Do I already have something that does the same job"?

After this process, you should only be left with a pile to keep, which can be packed into removal boxes if you know you won't need those items before you move.

Whilst you cannot pack all of your belongings ahead of time, it is possible to pack some of the lesser used items as you go. Do ask yourself the question though, if I don't need it now, why am I keeping it?

You may find that it's time to let go of it after all.

Similarly, if you have more than one of the same item, could you donate the other one?

Time to pack.

When it comes to packing, use boxes that are strong enough for the items they will contain. Books and kitchen items are very heavy and need reinforced boxes. For clothes, removal companies can supply wardrobe boxes with built-in hangers which make moving clothes easy.

Work your way through each room and label the boxes once full with the room that they need to go in at the other end and what they contain, so that you always know where everything is. If there are boxes you know you will need straight away write 'open first' on them.

Keep important items to hand - tea, coffee, kettle, basic cooking equipment, change of clothes, toiletries, and medication. It may be late when you finally get your keys and no one wants to unpack 10 boxes just to find the kettle.

Your removals company should be happy to deliver your boxes to the relevant rooms for you.

If you have labelled everything up and decluttered before you moved then unpacking should be much easier leaving you more time to enjoy your new home.

If this all sounds too stressful, remember you can always hire a professional to help.

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