Not many of us are natural minimalists. Plenty of us are more, let’s say, maximalists. Clutter seems to be magnetically attracted to us and honestly, we’re secretly waiting for a knock on the door from the producers of the show Hoarders. That’s why it can be quite a relief sometimes when it comes time to move house. Finally, you’re forced to go through all of your possessions with a fine tooth comb, and you have the chance to really clean up your act by giving your whole household a thorough decluttering service.
Keeping only the things you love or that are useful, and getting rid of things you no longer need or want, helps you create a life that is more streamlined. And it allows you to live in a home where you can find things more easily and where you’ll spend less time constantly tidying up piles of accumulated belongings.
The bonus of giving your household a decluttering service right before you move is that you will have fewer items to pack and transport, and so the whole moving process will be faster, easier and cheaper.
Keep, sell, throw
There are many ways to successfully purging. Some decluttering experts advocate the Four Box Method, where the idea is to go through each room in your home, armed with separate boxes: one for things you want to keep, one for items to sell or give to charity, one for things to chuck, and one box for things you’re still undecided about.
Others are devotees of the Japanese KonMari method, where you pick up each item you own and decide to keep it only if it “sparks joy” or if it is useful. There’s even “Swedish death cleaning”, a new decluttering technique where you downsize your belongings in recognition of the stark fact that one day, you won’t be able to take anything with you, and that your junk will only be a burden for your loved ones. But hey, if that’s too much for you, you might prefer to stick with the Four Box Method.
Whatever method you use, most decluttering experts advise tackling only one room at a time, rather than attempting to declutter your whole house in one go. Give yourself enough time to ensure you don’t stress out and become overwhelmed with the magnitude of the job. But if you’re moving soon, and want to get it all done asap, don’t be afraid to call in help from a professional decluttering service, which can be surprisingly affordable.
Get a friend to help
As shows like Hoarders have demonstrated, the problem is usually with our psychological attachment to objects, rather than there being any physical difficulty in picking up items and placing them in boxes or garbage bags. Sometimes, what you really need is a truly objective person to help you with the task of discerning trash from treasure. That’s where hiring someone who offers a decluttering service can make things so much easier.
Don’t mistake the idea of a decluttering service as involving a stranger coming in and charging about, dumping your prized possessions in rubbish bags with reckless abandon. It can be as harmless as having an assistant follow you around, taking your directions, but also being critical enough to say “So how long have you had these 23 mascaras anyway? A few years? OK, I think it might be time to liberate some of these,” and “Do you think you’ll actually ever get this broken sewing machine fixed? You know, they’re less than a hundred bucks brand new at Aldi these days,” and “Come on now, 12 pairs of harem pants? Who are you, MC Hammer?”
Or you may go the whole hog and engage someone to assist you with a full decluttering service by completely reorganising all your belongings, room by room: sorting and tidying and removing excess clutter–with your approval naturally.
Your helper can undertake all kinds of decluttering tasks, like organising your DVD and CD libraries, or rearranging your kitchen cupboards and pantry or reorganising your clothes. They can also be tasked with making repeated trips to dispose of junk or to take clothes to Vinnies for you.
And in the end, once you are sitting in a beautiful, tidy, organised home, you’ll find packing up for your move and unpacking in your new house an absolute breeze.