You've read all the guides about the best way to pack up your belonging for moving house.
You know that one of the first things you're supposed to do is Declutter.
But where/how the heck do you start?!
You're already completely and utterly overwhelmed at just the thoughts of it, but by taking just 5 simple steps, it is totally possible!
Step 1: Attic/Garage
The attic and garage are usually where most of us dump things we only use once a year (there's where the Christmas Decorations went!) or are only used in particular seasons.
It's unlikely that you have stored anything sentimental, so this is a good place to start clearing away clutter that won't leave you an emotional wreck, that you can easily dispose of.
Here's a few rules to get you started:
Get rid of anything that you haven't used or looked at in the last 12 months.
Ask yourself why items are in the garage/attic and not in the main house - do you really want them?
Once one thing gets left on the floor, more are sure to follow. So keep your floor space clear by using shelving systems.
Don't store anything here that could be affected by extreme weather.
Step 2: Bedroom
This is another fairly easy starting point, as most of us only use about 20% of the contents of our wardrobes.
Here's a few pointers to help you clear out your bedroom
Start by sorting through your clothes. If you can't remember wearing it, or when you'll get to wear it next, discard it!
You can donate clothes to charity shops, or list them for sale on the likes of eBay.
Get rid of expired or empty bottles of make up and body lotion.
Only keep essentials on your bedside table and dressing table.
Get rid of old receipts, bus/train tickets or other paper that you no longer require.
Step 3: Living Room
Ideally your living room is where you want to spend time relaxing, but there's a fair chance there'll be unwanted items lurking there to spoil your mood. It makes sense to keep this room as clear of clutter as possible!
Here's some easy places to start:
Get rid of old TV remotes and unused or broken leads/wires.
Put all your old newspapers and magazines into the recycling bin if you no longer need them.
Donate unwanted books, CDs and DVDs to your local charity shop.
Organise your photographs - these could be stored in your newly-decluttered attic, or on a bookshelf if they're in an album.
Step 4: Bathroom
Who has one body, and one head, yet insists on 7 bottles of bodywash, 10 shampoo bottles and 15 bottles of hair conditioner? Yep! We're all guilty of storing far too many expired and unused toiletries in the bathroom!
Here's some tips to minimise bathroom clutter:
Throw away all expired, mouldy or empty bottles
You really only need 1 shampoo, conditioner and shower gel/bodywash open at one time, so if you have multiple open bottles, combine them into one where possible - when you move house, you ideally only want one cardboard box to hold all your toiletries!
It is understandable to have unopened spare bottles, but if you have a surplus, consider donating them to charity.
Donate or get rid of unused towels. Discard any old or stained ones that you no longer use. A special note about donating: many Vet Clinics or Animal Rescue Centres say they'll accept donated towels/bedlinen etc for the animals in their care, but it's always an excellent idea to doublecheck with them before rocking up with a bootful of scraps! I have a much-loved towel. It's far too dog-eared to make it anywhere near my hand-towel rail, and currently is used on the floor when I have a shower. There is no way in any universe that anyone will accept it for donation, and I know some day (probably soon!), it'll be going in the bin! If you're thinking of donating for the use of animals, consider whether an injured/traumatised dog/cat would look at it and think "ooh good, I could snuggle into that!" Otherwise, it should really go into the bin!
Step 5: Kitchen
The kitchen is often known as the Heart of The Home. We spend a lot of time in there! And often where we go, clutter will often follow! Sometimes, looking at the same area, you don't notice the clutter after a while.
Now is the time to take a good hard look!
Some top tips for decluttering a kitchen:
Get rid of expired food including bottles and/or jars of sauces.
Take an extra-good look at the drawer that usually houses takeaway menus/old receipts/pens/old lighters/old batteries etc. Everybody has one! Get Discarding!
Donate any unwanted cups, mugs, plates and crockery to your local charity shop, You might even consider donating these things to a local organisation that helps those who are homeless get set up with their own place. Imagine moving into your own new place and at the same time helping somebody move into their own new place?!
These are just a few tips to get you started on the decluttering process. Once you get started, you may find you can declutter a lot more in each room. Just remember that the aim of decluttering before you move house is so that you're not bogged down with packing items that you haven't touched in at least a year, or perhaps haven't even unpacked from when you moved into your current place! Believe me, it does happen!
You will then have a much clearer view of how much packing materials, boxes etc you'll need to move your belongings to your new place!