Things are usually pretty hectic in the lead up to a move, packing everything, sorting out the removalists, changing utilities, forwarding your mail etc. It’s only once you start to unpack in the weeks after the move that you start throwing out and selling all the things you realise you don’t need anymore.
While it’s great to declutter after the move, it also means you paid to move all the things you’re no longer going to keep. If you can do it before you move, decluttering will save you time and money in the long run.
Start packing with a few weeks to spare so you can take the time to assess just what you’re carrying around from place to place. You’ve seen the new home you’re moving to, so try to picture where everything you’re packing will go. If it doesn’t have a place in the new home and it’s not an important heirloom, consider whether you really want to cart it over to storage in the new house, and the next one, and the next…
Anything you’re not taking with you can be sorted into one of four piles;
Sell – We live in an age of online shopping at our fingertips. Anything of value – clothes, furniture, appliances – can often be sold via apps such as GumTree or Ebay.
Charity/give away – Anything you don’t want anymore that’s still useable will be wanted by someone. If you don’t have a friend you can give it to, take it to a local charity store like Lifeline or Vinnies. Remember; one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Linen/padding – Old sheets, towels and clothes that are too stained, ripped or worn can still be used. Put all of these aside as padding for all your breakables during the move, and leave any leftovers to use for cleaning the house once it’s empty. It’ll save you money on packing paper, bubble wrap and rags, and you can just throw them away as you unpack.
Throw away – Don’t be afraid to throw things away. If you haven’t used an item for years, there’s a pretty good chance you won’t use it for years to come. Ideally, time your clean-out to make use of a local curbside pick-up.
There will be some things you won’t need on the other end but still want to carry around. This might be things like old trophies, photo albums, or even baby clothes and toys if they might be used in years to come. If you know they’ll just go into storage at the other end, pack them together and mark the box as storage. That way you won’t have to unpack and repack once you’re in the new home.
If you have access to the new place and it’s local, take an overnight bag and sleeping gear before moving day. Chances are after a big day of moving you’re not going to want to unpack. This way you can shower and crash in clean clothes, without having to dig around in dozens of boxes for pyjamas, sheets and toiletries.