No one can deny that moving home is a stressful exercise. Uprooting yourself, your family and everything you own takes a lot of organisation and can be a huge hassle if not managed correctly.

Take a look around your home; there’s bound to be many items that you never use, or use very infrequently, or just haven’t bothered to get rid of. It seems that no matter how much storage space we have in our homes, it always gets filled! If something has been sitting in a box in the garage for the past few years, moving is a great time to re-evaluate if you really need it.

Where to start

Starting can be the hardest part when it comes to decluttering. You may start with the best of intentions and then quickly become overwhelmed by the task. It can be mentally exhausting also to confront how much ‘stuff’ you have and how emotionally attached to some of it you can be.
A good starting point where hopefully there would not be too much emotional attachment is the kitchen. Get yourself 3 boxes or bags and designate them as follows:

Then you can begin by going through your kitchen one cupboard at a time.

Try to keep emotional attachments out of it – if something is not being used then it’s time to move it on. Auntie Mildred’s wedding gift of an unused set of cheese knives is unlikely to ever be used if it’s been sitting in your cupboard since your wedding 5 years ago! Try not to worry about being wasteful. If you spent a lot of money on something you don’t use, the money is still gone, regardless of whether you keep it or get rid of it. Try instead to wipe the slate clean when decluttering and to set a goal with all future purchases to make them more mindful and intentional.

Keep at it

Continue on room by room after you’ve completed decluttering the kitchen. Try to avoid starting a fourth pile of ‘undecided’ items as this can quickly grow out of control! Rather than procrastinating on difficult items, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I need this?
  • Do I use this?
  • Does this item add value to my life?

For an item to be kept you should aim to answer ‘yes’ to at least two of these. It’s fine to keep something purely for sentimental value however you may want to question if an object it is really adding value to your life. It’s amazing how much stuff we hold onto out of obligation – either to ourselves or to others who may have gifted us items that we’re considering getting rid of.
After you’ve decluttered every room of your home you will be left with 2 piles of items to get rid of.
The first pile is items that are essentially rubbish. Dispose of this responsibly. Recycle what you can – items such as phones, computers and printers that are no longer working can be recycled. Contact your local council to see where these items can be dropped off. Community recycling centres are a great resource and will take many items you consider to be rubbish off our hands for free.

The second pile is items you no longer want or need but which can be either donated or sold. Contact your local charity store to see what they can take if you want a quick and easy solution – they will always take clothing, shoes, kitchen items, toys and bric-a-brac that is in reasonable condition. If you want to earn some money from your unwanted items (and who doesn’t), you can hold a garage sale to sell your items or list them online on a website such as Gumtree or ebay.

Once you have successfully decluttered your home you will find the packing process so much easier. Not only will you be more organised and efficient with your packing but minimising your home contents to move is a great way to save money. Most removalists charge per cubic footage or by weight of your home contents so only moving what you really need to makes perfect sense.

Article submitted by Sheree Jones – Budget Self Pack Containers


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  • You just can’t procrastinate with your clutter anymore when you are moving.


  • I like to keep culling what we have and use. It would be essential to do this when you are moving.


  • Decluttering is essential all of the time, but particularly when moving as there is no point in moving and taking clutter to a new home.


  • It’s definitely a massive job! We did it recently and these are great tips. We have a ton of massive bags to the op shop, just accumulate to much over time!


  • It is so surprising wen you actually stop and start going through things how much we hang on to that we don’t need! These are great tips and you can actually make a fair bit of money by selling things online that you no longer need, or by donating it, you’re helping someone else which is a good thing too!


  • Super tips. We need to declutter so will be applying these ideas.


  • I’ve been de cluttering for quite some time and I have to say that the sell pile is quite sizeable. I’m quite often adding to it and have some success selling a handful of items here and there. It’s not good if you just want the stuff gone. So I’d would say don’t keep your sell pile for more than 2 weeks to give it a good chance at selling and then remove it from your house by donating it or (sadly) binning it. Another danger of a sell pile (especially if it’s somewhere visible) is that you walk past, see something in it and then decide that maybe you just can’t part with it after all


  • All very useful tips and not just for moving but to get organised!


  • This applies to daily life. Sometimes I look around my house and think “Who owns all this Stuff!?”


  • I think this applies to more than just moving. I once had someone tell me to calculate the space of my cupboard and work out how much it costed me tom store clothes etc by putting an ongoing cost to the items I keep


  • I love this article! I am about to move interstate so this is handy to know :)


  • Good tips, but you need time for this. With the last move we made we had to pack so quickly, that there was no time to divide the stuff in these 3 categories. It was just pack everything and move.

    • Yep, agreed. A rushed move is never quite as organised but you do what you have to do!


  • This s useful for everyday decluttering too.


  • Decluttering always takes so much time. But then you feel so much better. It’s lovely to see a clean and spacious environment! :-)

    • It’s well worth the time you put in and then once it’s done it’s much easier to clean and keep things tidy.

      • It is time well spent because in the end it frees up time for other activities.


  • Great tips. I find that once a year going through each room and having a mini ‘cull’ is also a great way of keeping random ‘stuff’ to a minimum.

    • Absolutely. Always hardest to do this in the kids rooms though – mine are expert hoarders!


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