So, your house has sold, the date is set and you are ready to move house – or are you?!
Look around your home and you will see exactly how much STUFF you have to pack and move.
This is enough to daunt even the most cheery of us!
Moving house is the only time in your life that you have to touch literally everything you own, pack it, move it, and then unpack it all at the other end.
Its a lot of work, time and effort – and can be a very daunting prospect.
Moving is stressful enough without having to sort through everything you own before you go.
“I’ll sort it after we move”
People tend therefore to say that they will sort out as they unpack at the new house, and only keep what they really need.
This is just delaying the inevitable (and procrastinating in the process) – and people usually find that once they have moved into the new house, its just too easy to fill up a room/garage/shed with items that you will get round to sorting out “one day” and then you are left with the same issues as before.
After all – theres more things to deal with once you move, and once again, sorting your stuff becomes last on the priorities.
I’ve lost count of times that I’ve heard people say that they still have boxes to open from their move – often several months if not years ago!
Why waste the space in your home, and not feel that you love every part of it?
Ideally you would have sorted all your stuff out prior to putting the house on the market – so it appeared as large and spacious as possible – and got the best price possible too – but even those who are savvy enough to stage their homes in todays tough to sell times may just have moved items out of sight (loft, garage anyone!) – and thats still leaving things too late.
What do we have, and is it worth moving?
The problem is that while most of us live in homes that have lots of STUFF, we don’t always realise exactly what there is, and I estimate that we use at most around half of what we have – the other half is kept “just in case” or “for sentimental reasons”.
When getting packed up for the move, ask yourself this telling question – “are you prepared to pay someone to move all these items?”
9 times out of 10 when people see the items in question, they realise that the time, effort and money to move everything they own is not a sensible choice.
Removals companies quote on space required, and charge based on the size of the transport required for the move, therefore it makes sense to move only what you actually need, and to declutter prior to moving.
Get help when moving your stuff
TIP – declutter your home before you get the removals companies in to quote for the job – as they will quote on what they see – which could be way more than what you are actually taking with you – keep costs down where possible.
Another great tip is to do some delegation when it comes to moving.
Theres enough to deal with when moving house, that having to pack up all your belongings can add unnecessary stress to the situation – so I always advise people to save themselves time and hassles by getting their properties packed up by the removals men rather than having to do it themselves.
If you have never seen this done its a sight to behold as they do it all so quickly and efficiently, in a fraction of the time it would take you (and also for very little expense when you think of the time and effort it would take you to do the same).
HOWEVER – Its worth noting here that they don’t know what is and isn’t useful or necessary to you to take with you and so pack everything (I had a client who was unpacking and found that the removals men had packed old lightbulbs, individually in a box – these were by her old back door waiting to be taken out to the rubbish!, and we had an empty box of cereal wrapped in paper in a box of kitchen items as well!).
Your time is much better spent not packing it up, but sorting it out prior to them packing.
How do you get started?
A whole house is a huge task, and its easy to get overwhelmed and just decide its easier to do nothing.
My advice is to start in the places that are least used (loft, cellar, garage, shed etc…) as these are the places that you will be able to declutter the most easily, and that will spur you on to the more difficult living areas.
They are also the places that won’t affect your day to day living – which is going to be disrupted enough nearer the move, so its easier to start on these places first.
In most of these places you will have put things to store, in case you need them one day, or with the intention of selling or giving away one day.
THIS IS THE DAY!
I find that asking yourself the question “DO I NEED THIS IN MY NEW LIFE AT MY NEW HOUSE” helps to solidify what is actually important to you.
A new house is like a new year – you are full of good intentions and a vision of what your new life will be like – nows the time to really focus on what you want your new home to look like and your new life to be like, and that vision will help to make you more ruthless in your choices.
Of course, we all need to have some items that we want to keep purely for sentimental reasons, but I advise that people keep these items to a minimum (a plastic storage box “MEMORY BOX” per person works well – and only allow yourself to fill this one box – once full you will have to decide whats not important any more before you allow yourself to add to it – this works really well with childrens items, as these can really get out of control!).
Another way to keep items to a minimum is to photograph them and create an album of the pictures, these are usually just as good as the actual items in triggering memories, and will take up a fraction of the space.
Think about your new life – will you really use that bread maker if you haven’t yet (and its been in the cupboard for 8 years!), do you want to take up painting again (therefore all your paints and paper would definitely be required), you have to prioritise what will be important to you, and therefore it will be easier to make decisions about what to get rid of.
Get the family involved
If you are downsizing and moving away from the family home, no doubt you will have lots of items from when your children were living at home.
Now is the time to invite the family over and sort through their own stuff – make it a fun afternoon where you share memories, but also be firm that nothing of theirs will be going with you – they can take what they want of theirs to their own homes now!
Whats really important to you?
People have a tendency to hang on to everything they have – they think that their stuff defines them, it has been collected over their lifetimes, and is precious.
Now don’t get me wrong, a lot of your possessions are just that – but just as much stuff comes into your house and lost amongst everything else that you really don’t care about or need (the obvious is junk mail, broken items etc..).
Think how you’ll feel on moving in day
It is only by sorting through and getting rid of the unwanted items in your home that you will feel more able to enjoy all those things that really matter – and trust me – it will be a joy to unpack those boxes at the other end, when all you are opening up and seeing are the things that mean the most to you.
Keep in mind that day when you are arranging your new home, and how much better you’ll feel that you have sorted the stuff BEFORE it came with you.
You’ll feel free and ready to move onto the new chapter of your life!