Moving home is an exciting time for most people, although it’s sometimes very stressful too! One big bonus of moving house is the opportunity to declutter and get rid of your unwanted stuff, keeping only the essentials. If you've been watching Marie Kondo's show on Netflix, like us, you'll know how difficult and emotional the choice can be, but ultimately it's very rewarding.
Deciding what to keep and what to leave gives you a fresh start when arriving at your new home, without all the clutter that’s built up over the years. An added bonus is that the move will be cheaper and easier with fewer items to pack. So, what should you keep and what should you leave behind when moving house?
Deciding What to Take to Your New Home
Before you start packing, go through everything you own and figure out the things you don’t really need or have never used. Anything that just feels like it's weighing you down - that doesn't 'spark joy', as Marie says - can be jettisoned if it has no practical purpose. Sorting through your stuff before packing will save you a lot of time in packing and unpacking, whilst saving you a significant amount of money – the more stuff you need to move, the more expensive it gets! This is even more important for people moving long distances, such as to another city, across the country or even to another country.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Give yourself plenty of time before your move to sort through everything properly and make sure you’re only taking the things you really need. By leaving it till last minute, you’ll end up packing everything simply because you won’t have the time to check it, or doing it in such a rush that you throw away something you wanted to keep.
Make a List of Items You Want to Keep
Make your way through each room and write down all the things you want to take with you, and the things you will leave behind. Try to keep this list to the absolute essentials, the stuff you know you’ll need in your new home. Be realistic, and consider the costs involved.
Get Everything Out of the Containers
When sorting a room, take everything out of the cupboards and drawers, and place it in the centre of the room or wherever there is space. Do the same for your clothes. Stacking things in piles will give you a good sense of the amount of stuff you have and the essential things that you need.
Place the Items into Separate Piles
This is where you have to be ruthless. Make two piles, one to keep and the other to dispose of. You can sort the ‘don’t keep’ pile into: sell online, donate and recycle.
What Should Go into Your Keep Pile?
The best thing to ask yourself is ‘how often have I used this item or piece of clothing in the last year?’ Clothing should be worn at least twice in the past year, but ultimately it’s for you to decide. If you haven’t used it and you want to keep it just in case, be ruthless – it’s better to go to charity.
What Should You Donate and What Should You Sell?
Any items in good shape but that you’re not likely to use should go to the donate pile, or, if you want to make a bit of money by selling it online or by car boot, then put it into your sale pile instead. Any broken things that you can't repair should just be binned. Ask your local council how to get rid of items like furniture and large electronics.