How to de clutter when moving

When packing to move house you should only take with you items that you

  • use
  • need
  • love

Be kind to yourself and don’t carry clutter and items from old house to new house that you haven’t used or even seen in years.  Allow your new home to be a fresh start with less clutter and fill with belongs that you enjoy looking at and make you feel good!

Before moving to a new house is a perfect time to sort through your things.  I have heard many times people say I’m packing everything and sorting it when I get to the new house, if you are disciplined enough this may work but more than likely, you won’t have time and life gets in the way of you removing all the extra clutter and before you know it is put away in the garage, top of the wardrobes or in corners of the house, creating clutter…. again.

How to clear the clutter

Be prepared

  1. 3 Box/baskets/tubs
  2. Sorting labels

Label each box as follows:

  • donate
  • sell
  • rubbish

As you are packing put the items that you are going to donate, sell and throw out in the appropriate boxes. Once the donate and rubbish boxes are full place items in a large garbage bag.  Put the donate items aside, marked DONATE and throw the rubbish into the bin.

Next week I will share more about deciding between donating or selling your items.

What is clutter?

Ask yourself some of the following questions when you are looking at an item and confused whether you should keep or purge it:

Do you need it?
Do I love it?
Does it make me happy when I look at it?
Do you use it regularly?
When was the last time you used it?
Does it give you happy and pleasant memories?
Is it in good condition?
Do you have the time to finish the project you started?
Do you have the time to fix it?
Do I have the space to keep it?
Will I really read it again?
Is it still relevant?
Am I legally required to keep it?
Does it fit?

If you answered no to any of the above you need to purge this item.  As this months quote suggests you don’t keep the items that you don’t enjoy looking at and no longer need.  

I created this FREE printable for you to print and have by your side when sorting through your clutter

Parting with sentimental items

2 very common clutter dilemmas:

  • Am I keeping it because I will feel guilty of purging it?
  • It was a gift, I can’t get rid of it!

I hear often that many people are keeping sentimental items in box, gifts they were given over the years, memories from childhood, items received from a lost loved one.  Usually these items are sitting in the top of the wardrobe in a box that is rarely opened.

Purging sentimental items:

  • Look through your box and find items that you are happy to display, that give you fond memories of people and moments in time that you enjoyed.
  • For those items left, pass it onto somebody else that you know will honor this item
  • Is the sentimental item too good to use?  Nothing is too good for you!  Unpack that beautiful dinner set you got at your wedding and use it, as every time you will use it you will be greeted with the beautiful memories from your special day.  What a brilliant way to start the day!
  • If you feel you are only reminded of a memory by looking at the item take a photo of it and create a special album filled with treasured ornaments from the past, include stories about the item with the photo so future generation can read about it

Read more tips here about how to part with sentimental items

my favourite tip found in the link above is to take photo’s of the kids artwork!

What sentimental item are you finding hard to
part with?

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Kim May 2, 2013 - 9:40 AM

Perfect timing! We are moving in 2 months, I have PLENTY of time to pack, but ALWAYS do things at the last minute, so today you have given me a starting place!!!

Katrina May 2, 2013 - 9:50 AM

Kim if you have the time try and start going through a few of the boxes at the tops of the cupboards, in the garage and even sort through your wardrobes. All the items that you haven’t touched in so long could possibly be purged and can save the trip to the new house. You will enjoy this series 🙂

Carly Joyce May 2, 2013 - 9:42 AM

We have been renting for eight years and are now ready to purchase our first home! Hard rubbish is in a fortnight too so the timing couldn’t have been more perfect 🙂

Katrina May 2, 2013 - 9:50 AM

That’s great new Carly, congrats on buying your first home. I hope you enjoy all the tips!

Cleaning Carpet Central Coast May 2, 2013 - 9:50 AM

What a great post, have just shared it on my facebook page here: for all our customers to read 🙂

If i wasnt meant to share Kat, please let me know and i will remove it.

Leigh xx

Katrina May 2, 2013 - 9:59 AM

That is very kind of you to share, thank you so much

Alanah Hooi May 2, 2013 - 8:38 PM

I move regularly with my husbands work, we have lived overseas twice where our belongings went into storage and we could only bring with us that which fitted in a suitcase to sustain us and our only child at the time. I have become a bit of a nazi with our belongings and believe in the six monthly purge of the household. We recently just moved again and the removalist couldn’t believe that we were a family of four!

We keep all our sentimental items in a plastic storage box each and I am very selective with the items in there.

The printable you created is exactly right and what I usually say to myself each and every time I move or go through our belongings.

Great post!

Lorraine May 2, 2013 - 8:59 PM

Typo? * does it make *you happy when *I* look at it?

Michelle Bancroft May 2, 2013 - 9:43 PM

Another one who is moving in a couple of months and have been hunting through your website for some tips since we made the choice to move.
I started in the kitchen and did exactly what you said with every cupboard – event the pantry. I have one cupboard and the drawers to go.
My son has done is toy box (which we have removed from his room and will be asking a grandparent to redecorate to go into DD’s room at the new house). He has only kept what toys he loves and enjoys playing with. The rest (after getting picked through by his sister!) went to playgroup to share with our friends there.
The master bedroom is next, which is going to be tricky. My clothes are clutter – so thats one of the big tasks right there.
One commentI do have though; I have 2 plastic tubs of memories that are from my DD that passed away. I know you say about taking photos, and creating a memory album – but sometimes you need the texture too. I know that I have plenty of “crap” that I hold onto that were gifts etc, but these two boxes, while belonging to a whole lot of sadness also bring joy when I can summon courage to go through them. Sometimes there are things you need to keep.

rsc5830 August 12, 2013 - 6:37 AM

I was just thinking you should probably change the part where it says that the “sorting through clutter” list is free 😉

MarcioWilges October 20, 2015 - 6:37 PM

I have always treated any house moving as an opportunity to start afresh. Hence, I take the chance to de-clutter and get rid of any under or unutilized junk. It might be tough to part with them initially but I have to remain strong and stop my hoarding habit.

Kate - Kat's Assistant October 22, 2015 - 11:41 AM

I agree, It is a great chance to declutter and get rid of anything that is of no longer in use.

Mickey August 21, 2017 - 6:10 PM

Our first move as a family of four coming up. We have just decided to sell our first home we built together. I’m finding it all very emotional and a little overwhelming, but after reading your post I’m finally on a roll. Office done today!! Now on with the rest of the house in prep for it going on the market. Ekk
Thanks again for your posts, tips and encouragement.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 22, 2017 - 8:24 AM

I know this feeling Mickey, we moved just over 18 months ago from the house we built and our children grew up in, I thought it would be a struggle. It was until the day after we moved, I loved our new house and haven’t looked back. You will have photos to look back on and memories that will forever be with you, but your new home is a blank canvas for you to enjoy and create new memories. Good luck with your move x

Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 24, 2017 - 11:42 AM

Thank you Mickey. Hope the rest of the week has been productive for you. Thank you for the feedback!


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