It’s amazing how much clutter we accumulate in life. It’s often not until we move house that we realise just how many unused items we insist on keeping hold of, but moving house is the ideal opportunity to have a good clear out.
Moving items that you don’t want, need or use to your new home is a fruitless exercise and one that will cost you both in terms of time and space.
Here’s our ‘top five’ list of things you should get rid of before you move house. It’s also worth checking out our guide to five packing tips for when you move house.
1. Old household paperwork
Old bills, bank statements, out of date electrical appliance guarantees etc are heavy, bulky and take up a huge amount of room. Have a thorough clear out of your household filing and get rid of anything you no longer need (ensuring you shred anything that contains personal information).
Then, make a resolution to sign up for paperless billing/statements where available. Not only will this save you space in your new home, you can also give yourself a pat on the back for saving paper!
2. Old magazines
Do you struggle to part with old issues of your favourite magazine? If so, you’re not alone!
Yet, with the prevalence of the internet amongst all age groups, how many of us would really take the time to look back through past editions to find information rather than simply Googling our question? How outdated would the information be in the old magazine issues? And how much space do they take up in your home?
If you’ve got treasured magazines that you can’t bear to simply throw in the recycling (and they’re not too old/out of date), consider taking them to your local doctor’s surgery or hospital waiting room. Otherwise it’s time to be brave and visit the recycling centre.
3. Old clothes
A study found that 85% of women have clothes in their wardrobe that don’t fit them. Keeping clothes that no longer fit, or that you hope to one day squeeze into, not only takes up unnecessary space in your wardrobe, it’s also bad for your self-esteem.
Have a thorough clear out of your clothes, shoes and accessories, only keeping items that you wear regularly and that make you feel good about yourself!
Old items can be recycled or given to a charity shop, and newer items can be sold on eBay (or a similar site) and you can enjoy spending your profit on new items when you’re settled in your new home!
4. Books you won’t re-read
Do you have a bookshelf full of books that you can’t bear to throw away but know you’ll never re-read?
Why not gift them to friends that you think will enjoy them? Books are bulky, heavy items that we often move from home to home without reading them in between because we make emotionally connections to them.
By giving them to loved ones you’re able to cut down on clutter and give someone else the pleasure of reading a book that you’ve enjoyed.
5. Kitchen gadgets and appliances
At the time that bread maker/smoothie maker/juicer/cupcake maker (delete as appropriate) seemed like a must-have item, but if it’s been gathering dust at the back of a cupboard for more than a few months it might well be time to take it to your local charity shop.
Kitchen space is usually in short supply, so don’t take up unnecessary space with gadgets and appliances that just don’t get used.
6. Medicines and vitamins
This is something you must do not only when you’re moving out. Expired medicines may be very dangerous for your health so occasionally sort through your medicine cabinet and dispose of anything past its use-by date.
Ask your local pharmacist about the best way to dispose of unused or out of date medicines.
7. Make up and perfumes
Do you know how long you’ve had each of the items in your make-up bag? Similarly to out of date medicines, out of date cosmetics can have serious consequences for our health, including triggering allergies.
How many broken pieces of jewellery and mismatched earrings are you holding on to, planning to one day get it repaired or confident that you’ll one day find the earring’s missing partner?
You move is the time to clear through your jewellery – if you haven’t found or repaired any items by now the truth is you probably never will.
Any items that you no longer wear should also be cleared out – perhaps give any unwanted items to a friend or female family member, or alternatively you could consider selling them.
If you have old mobile phones or laptops you no longer use, you may sell them to someone or sell their parts.
If you don’t know someone that needs them, there are lots of online services that will give you an online quote based on the item’s condition etc. so you know how much you’ll receive before sending the item away.
When you are packing the stuff from your kitchen, throw away any food that has expired, is past its best, or just not suitable for moving a considerable distance if your new place isn’t very near.
Neighbours are sure to be appreciative of any food items you don’t want to take with you, or alternatively consider donating items to your local Foodbank.
There are so many memories that you have in that old place of yours. But now is the time you have to say goodbye to them. You can keep some old cards and gifts that are sentimental to you but be realistic about how much you want to take with you.