Moving home has got to be one of the most stressful times in your life – I know, I’ve done it 15 times in 20 years. It is possible to make the process of relocating easier and cheaper by only moving what you use and love.
The two stages of moving house
Stage 1 – decluttering for selling
If your house is going on the market, this is the first opportunity for you to start packing. Real estate agents will often talk about decluttering or depersonalising your home before the photos are taken and the first open home takes place. Now if you have heaps of stuff, you might be panicking just a bit.
People want to be able to see themselves in your home. Do you have so many personal ‘treasures’ around that people can’t see beyond you and your family? Now realistically you’re going to have to pack those photos and trinkets and memory walls away anyway, right? So my tip is to pack those up now ready for your move and to make your space a bit more of a neutral zone for people to project their life and things and family upon. And because no one wants to be packing things twice, pack them in a proper packing box ready to go the first time and then that job can be ticked off your list too. Talk to the fabulous staff at Leader Removals about the best boxes for the job.
People want to know how much storage they are getting with your house, so they are going to be peeking in those cupboards (all of them). What you don’t want them to see, are cupboards that are crammed full because that will make them worry that their stuff is just not going to fit into your space. Get rid of anything that you know is going to be thrown out or donated at some stage. You definitely don’t want to pay to move these items. You also need to be removing any reason for people not to buy your place, and lack of storage can be a big deal-breaker.
Start packing but get the boxes off the premises. You don’t want people to worry that there was no room for you to actually unpack while you were living in your house. You’re going to have to pack anyway, right? So get packing early, and then find a place to store them. Talk to Leaders about hiring some space for the period between putting your house on the market and then moving into your new home.
Stage 2 – the countdown to moving
Moving can be an expensive process. Every single piece of furniture, box of mementos, small and large appliance and teddy bear will add to the cost of your removal. There is no better time to reconsider your belongings than when you are packing. After all, you have to look at everything anyway, so why not do so with a skip bin nearby.
An easy win – get rid of everything that is broken or a project that never got started (or finished). Old appliances like fridges and barbecues can cost between $30-$80 each to move. If you were planning on updating these anyway, don’t pay to move them. Also consider all of those bits and pieces that are sitting around waiting for ‘one day’. If you haven’t got around to doing those projects by now, chances are you never will. Let it all go.
Seriously consider your large pieces of furniture – especially if this move is about downsizing or relocating a long way away. Will your current furniture fit into your new home? Take the time to do the measurements and if they aren’t going to work in your new home, take action to start selling or donating these pieces straight away. If your move is interstate each cubic metre is going to cost you approximately $60 - $100 to move. That’s the equivalent of one good size fridge. It doesn’t take long to rack the cost up to move items you may not be in love with anymore. It may not cost you much more to buy new items at the other end.
Getting rid of other people’s stuff – especially your children’s! If you are still responsible for storing your children’s possessions after they have moved out, it’s time to get them to come and collect it all. If that’s not possible, consider sending them the bill for their share of the move.
Old clothes and linen – you may be surprised how much space a family’s clothes, linen and towels can actually take up. Go through every wardrobe and get rid of anything that hasn’t been worn in the last 12 months or so. With regards to linen, most families tend to use the same sets over and over again. Either get rid of the older set and replace it with the newer ones hiding up the back of the linen cupboard, or admit you are never going to use the sheet sets you don’t really like and get rid of those instead. Any item that is still in good condition can be donated.
Children’s toys – firstly get rid of any broken toys or those that are missing pieces. If your children have a lot of toys (and whose don’t) you could consider asking your children to pick their favourites to keep, or to choose items that they are ready to donate for someone else to enjoy. You may be surprised how much you can get rid of by going through this process.
Electronics – let go of all of your old bits and pieces. Chances are you have your old mobile phones, cables, headphones and other electronic paraphernalia sitting in your house somewhere. Once you have matched up the cables to your current devices, bundle up all of the rest for recycling. For details on where you can drop these items off, see http://recyclingnearyou.com.au/computers/ACT. Don’t forget to recycle the old manuals and boxes these items came in as well.
Books and magazines – these take up a lot of space in the moving truck. Choose the books and magazines you want to keep, rather than packing everything for sorting out at the other end. Donate the ones you no longer want or need.
The time you spend de-cluttering your home can equate to big savings at moving time. And another bonus is you will only need to unpack the items you have decided you use or love.
Marika – Space To Be