When you are moving house, the boxes and the packing seems absolutely endless. The more you have to pack, the more it will cost and the more work it is for you or the professional packing service. So, even when time is short, it’s worth doing all you can to minimise the amount you have to pack up. It can also be very liberating and cathartic, getting rid of the clutter in your life and making a fresh start.

Many of us are stunned, when we come to pack up for a house move, at just how much ‘stuff’ we’ve accumulated. If you’ve been in your home for five years or more, you may well have literally tons of clutter, much of which you never use or need. If you use professional packers, they will pack absolutely everything. Down to the last empty toilet roll. So here’s how to start rationalising it down. Grab some bin bags and boxes and lets get going.

Head for the attic. Most of the stuff hoarded away in attics is never used again. Start with any packing boxes left over from your last move. If you haven’t unpacked them in all this time, it really is worth asking whether you truly need to keep them. It is all too easy to become a hoarder, and it’s a bit senseless to move an unpacked, unlooked at box from one loft to another, all your life.

Head for the shed. Without being too sexist, men especially tend to hoard all manner of rubbish in their sheds. Bits of wood that ‘may come in handy one day’, assorted rags and empty or dried up tins of paints and varnish. Be ruthless. Get rid of anything useless, broken, empty or almost empty. But be careful – a lot of these substances have special disposal rules and need to be taken to a municipal waste disposal centre, plus batteries and electrical equipment.

Call in the council. If you have big items to dispose of, like old fridges, broken lawnmowers, mattresses and more, most councils have special collections which you can phone for. If your new home has appliances with it and yours have seen better days, this can be an ideal and free way to get rid of the old to make way for the new.

Make some money. There are bound to be things you have outgrown, in more ways than one. Kids rooms in particular are excellent example of this. So gather up everything that is now too small, no longer played with – plus those ornaments from Aunty Maud you never like anyway – and get thee to a car boot. Or charity shop, jumble sale, table top or Ebay. You can give away or sell the clutter you no longer need in your life, and make some money into the bargain. You’ll be amazed what some people want, so don’t just throw things away. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

It can be hard, even painful, to get rid of possessions from your past. Yet, it can be very cleansing and make way for new things. You’ll have less to pack and so less to pay for. It’s well worth doing – and remember the maxim: if you haven’t used it or worn it in six months, you just don’t need it. So be as ruthless yet sensible as you can. It makes moving day so much easier, with packing more of a pleasure. Everything going into your new home will be something you love, use and need.

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