Moving overseas is often the perfect time to get around to de-cluttering your home. This is particularly useful if you are working to a tight budget and want to minimise the cost of your overseas removal. You don’t want to end up paying to transport items that will not be used in your new home so the sooner you start organising your belongings, the better.
Start with a plan. Decide either to allocate 30 minutes to an hour a day until the job is finished or dedicate two or three full days or evenings to work on the project. Whatever you decide, you should write down your plan as you will be more likely to stick to it. Make of list of which rooms to tackle first. It is helpful to finish de-cluttering a room before you move on to the next. You will feel more in control and motivated and it will be easier to track your progress. It is also satisfying to cross a room off your list!
The equipment you will need is basic: bin bags, sticky notes and marker pens. Label each bin bag with a sticky note with the following titles: ‘Charity Shop’, ‘Friends & Family’, ‘Bin’ and ‘Recycle’. You may be considering selling items on e-bay or at a car boot sale, in which case create labels and bags for these items. Follow your plan and go through the house room by room, emptying draws, bookshelves, cupboards and fill up the bin bags. Think how grateful the local charity shop will be!
When tackling your wardrobe, consider the climate at your new destination and if you really need all of those jumpers and coats. Don’t forget that many supermarket car parks now have recycling bins for shoes and sometimes clothes also.
For larger items of furniture, you may want to consider ‘Freecycle’ which is a website where you can offer to donate unwanted items to a good home. Local residents associations often have similar schemes also. Alternatively, your local council will be able to provide advice about removing bulky items. Most of the time, it is cheaper to move larger household items rather than replace them at your destination so you don’t need to be too ruthless in this area. Remember that chests of drawers and bookcases can be painted to fit in with new colour schemes.
When sorting out the children’s bedrooms and playrooms, be careful not to give away too many of the children’s toys as such familiar items will help the children settle in. Cuddly toys and teddies can also be stuffed into empty drawers and cupboards when moving items of furniture to use up empty space.