Are you moving houses? If you are like most people, this can be an incredibly emotional and stressful time, especially if you are moving from a house that fulfills one or more the following criteria:
- You have lived in it for a number of year
- It is large
- There are many people calling it home – you, your partner, kids and pets!
When you are emptying a house, you realize just how much you have accumulated over time – lots of things you absolutely cannot do without, but many that you have not used for years and could have discarded years ago.
Whether you choose to pack for the move yourself or hire professionals to do it for you, there will be plenty to do before moving day.
This is first in a series of blogs on making your move to another property as easy as possible. We will be giving you ideas on how to get through the experience with minimum stress and exhaustion.
If you are not working, keep aside two days for each room in your house – one to de-clutter and one to pack up. If you are working full time or even part-time, increase the days allotted to each room to three or four, and set your moving date accordingly.
Part 1 – De-cluttering
As soon as you have decided that a move is inevitable, start de-cluttering your house, and getting rid of things you don’t use or will not need in the new home – yes, deep down you know there are plenty of things around like that!
Always start from the top – your attic, the box-room or where ever you keep things not needed on a regular basis. Keep “donate boxes” and “trash bags” handy. Start with an area 3’x3’. Go through everything within that area. Anything you have not used in the past six months can be put in the donation or trash receptacles. Avoid the urge to hang on to something you “may need”. If you have not used it in the past six months, there is very little probability of you needing it in the next six years. You absolutely have to resist the urge to open up that box of old family pictures and home videos! Stay focused; nothing takes up as much time as a box full of memories. With a whole house to move, this is time you can ill-afford to lose!
Once you are done with one 3’x3’ area, move on to the next area of the same size right beside it. Keep going on like this, until you’ve gone around the room.
When you’re done, you’ll actually be surprised with how much clutter you’ve managed to remove from the room. Throw the trash bags away as soon as you are done with the room. If you’re planning on raising funds with the items in the “donate boxes”, seal them and put them away in the garage until the day you hold your version of a yard sale. Otherwise, put them in the car and drop them off at your favorite charity. Do either one before the boxes get opened and your son pulls out his favorite plush bunny from infancy; your daughter, her Dorothy costume from fourth grade and your husband the cleats he wore when he scored the winning touchdown in high school.
Move to the next group of rooms that are clutter magnets – bedrooms. In each room, start with the closet, sorting through one shelf at a time. Again, keep the donation boxes handy and use the six month rule. Harden your heart against every item of clothing that can’t be worn in front of your childhood best friend, not matter how comfortable or utilitarian it may be. Shoes, accessories, books and toys all go in the donation boxes. Label the boxes clearly (“boys clothing, 12 y/o” or “girls shoes, size 6”) and seal them. Again, drop them off at a deserving charity immediately and think no more of them.
Similarly, go through every room. Use the 6 months and 3’x3’ rule in each, and you’ll be genuinely surprised at how much there is to get rid off.
If you have a study, you’ll know it contains more things than you’ll need in the new home. Get rid of old receipts and bills, three year old newsletters from the kids’ schools etc. Buy clear folders and place important documents in these. Seal them in clearly labeled boxes and keep them safely in your bedroom. You must transport these documents in your car.
Once you have de-cluttered properly, you’ll be left with the things that you’re sure to need in your new home. In the next few blogs, we’ll give you advice on how best to pack and transport them, so stay tuned!
Keep visiting PropertyZaar.com for great advice on all things related to your house – from finding it, to moving in and maintenance.”