Ten tips for decluttering before your next move

So you’ve decided to move. You’ve got the most professional removal company lined up to pack and move your belongings. You know that you don’t need everything you own and it’s time to declutter — but where to start?! 

These 10 tips will make decluttering your home of your unneeded belongings go smoothly:

  1. Walk around the house and make a plan. 

    Think realistically about how long you need to declutter each room and write down the number of hours. You may even decide to section off parts of the room to be done separately (if there is a large built in wardrobe or a large bookshelf, for example). 

  2. Estimate the total hours you think it will take.

    If you aren’t sure, just give it your best guess and then add a bit. If your move is still a while away, divide your total estimated hours by the number of weeks remaining before your move. You’ll now have a good idea of what you need to do to keep on track. If you’re just hoping to achieve a grand clear-out, then think realistically about how many hours you can commit to each month or week leading up to your move.

  3. Note down specific times for decluttering in your diary.

    This will ensure you actually get round to doing it.

  4. Start with quick wins first.

    If you know that there is a cupboard with a lot of junk in it, start with that. It will make you feel great immediately.

  5. Diarise bigger tasks into manageable ones.

    On the other hand, if you know there is a cupboard full of photos or something else that will take a lot of time, diarise to do them an hour at a time. These things take longer the longer you spend on them.  So just doing a bit at a time will be more beneficial.

  6. Buddy up.

    If you are going to be going through something that will create some painful memories, make sure you have someone with you or on the other end of the phone for when you have finished.

  7. Set aside space.

    It’s useful to have space or boxes ready for different categories of items you will come across when clearing, for things to:

    • Give to family

    • Give to charity

    • Give away online (eg. Freecycle)

    • Return to the lender

    • Sell at a boot sale

    • Sell online (eg. Gumtree, eBay)

    • Dispose of at the tip

  8. Plan help.

    If you know you will need help with large items to go to the tip, book the help in advance (paid, or friends and family) so that as soon as you have finished a particular area, the items are gone and you can immediately see your progress.

  9. Clear completed sections ASAP.

    Take away bags for family, friends and the charity shop as soon as you can so that you can enjoy the space you have created.

  10. Plan for sale items.

    As with going to the tip, organise your boot sale (if you are prepared to do one) in advance and record it in your diary.

It is important that you don’t over-do it. Never get lots of stuff out at once and make a massive mess when you don’t have enough time to tidy up afterwards (this is why it’s imperative to set aside time to do it properly) because this will make the task more stressful. When you’re finally done and enjoying your new home, remember: Don’t fill it up again!

Ashley Jordan at One Stop Organisers is a Professional Organiser, helping seniors and busy professionals based in South-West London and the United Kingdom to move home without stress.

Do you need help? Don’t worry: As "Professional Declutterers", One Stop Organisers is here for you. We can create a bespoke Clutter-Clear Plan for you so that you can do-it-yourself. Alternatively, we can work with you or for you to declutter your home, subject to your clear instructions. Why not give Ashley a call or check out One Stop Organisers online.