Decluttering when you move

There's nothing like moving house to remind you just how much stuff you've accumulated over the years, but there's also no better time to declutter. 

“Decluttering” is a way of removing unnecessary possessions from your home. Ever wonder how you ended up with five identical pairs of shoes, or a drawer full of half-finished craft supplies? Don’t waste the space or effort of moving these unnecessary items to your new home — clean out instead.

Why declutter when you move?

Moving house is a time of change and new beginnings. It’s worth having a think about the possessions you’d like to take with you into that new start, and what you don’t need anymore.

Decluttering while you’re preparing to move house makes a lot of sense. After all, you’re sorting through all your things anyway, so it’s worth deciding what you’d like to keep and what you could do with getting rid of.

How to start decluttering your home?

There are many ways to declutter your home. Here are some steps to help start:

  • Do one area of one room at a time. If you’re trying to do everything at once, you’ll get confused and the task will seem too overwhelming. Start small, like a single drawer or shelf.
  • Create a few piles as you go through your possessions: one for things to definitely keep, one for things to be thrown out, and one for things you’re not sure of yet.
  • Pack the things you’re certain about taking with you, and then take another look through the pile you’re unsure of. It’s likely you’ll make some decisions about those things as you continue decluttering.
  • Be ruthless. All those things you’ve been keeping just in case you might need them “one day” really do need to go. A good rule of thumb is to consider whether you’ve used something within the last year; if not, it’s time to let it go.
  • You’ll be surprised how by quickly the pile of things you’re ready to part with grows. Don’t be tempted to think that packing this pile is an easier option than parting with it completely – that will add more annoyance and time in the long term.

decluttering when you move house

What do you do with all that stuff?

Take your pile of unnecessary and unwanted possessions and divide it into three more piles:

  • Things that are rubbish. These can go straight into the bin, or if you have a lot you could hire a skip or go to the tip.
  • Things that can be donated. If you think there’s more use in some of the things, such as homewares, clothing, or furniture, take them to your local charity shop. Some charity shops will help with pickups, so there’s no excuse for hanging onto these unwanted items.
  • Things that can be sold. If there’s anything of value that you no longer need, you might want to sell it to someone you know or list it online.

And if you need a hand with knowing who to tell about your big move, don’t forget to download and print out our Moving Home Checklist for changing your address.