Most experts agree that moving house is one of the most stressful things you’ll ever do, because it interrupts your routine, forces you to leave a support system behind, and depletes your bank account. However, the clutter that invariably comes with moving may also be to blame. Studies show that clutter overloads the senses, which triggers a stress response. Many factors of relocating are beyond your control, but you can cut down on clutter to reduce moving stress and make your home much more presentable to potential buyers with these simple tips.
Quickly Tidy Up Each Night
Things can easily get out of place when you’re moving. When you’re busy packing boxes, mail can pile up, items you’re not ready to pack can get left out and about, and you can lose the motivation to nag the kids to tidy up their toys. But clutter can grow quickly if you don’t stay on top of it.
You’ll be surprised what you can achieve if you spend between five to seven minutes each night tidying up, especially if you get your partner and children to pitch in. This speed-cleaning effort should help you keep the clutter at bay.
Box Up Miscellaneous Items
When you’re cleaning, you’ll often come across items that don’t quite fit with the other possessions you’re packing. These items are invariably left out until you decide what to do with them. But we all know what items left out become: clutter.
Instead, try a different tactic. Get an extra moving box for these miscellaneous items. Whenever you come across an item that doesn’t seem like it belongs, put it in the box. You can always retrieve it and put it in another box at a later date. And until you find the right packing partners for it, it’s not adding to the chaos in your home.
Rationalise What You Really Want
One of the biggest clutter culprits when you’re moving house is the boxes you’re packing to get ready for the big day. Of course this is unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean you need to accept a mountain of cardboard. It stands to reason that the fewer boxes you have, the less clutter you’ll have.
Taking the opportunity to rationalise what you really want to pack is another great way to cut down on clutter, both during your move and once you arrive in your new home. Ask yourself a few key questions as you pack up. When was the last time someone used this item? Do I love this item? How is this item serving me or my family? The answers to these questions should guide you towards a decision about whether you should keep or discard your possessions.
As a starting point, those clothes you hoped you’d fit back into one day, the old toys your kids no longer play with, and the sentimental junk you received when Great-Aunt Mabel passed away are all strong candidates for clearing out of your home.
Get Rid of Clutter as You Go
The secret to killing clutter is not just planning what to do with your unwanted items, but actually following through. Once you’ve decided to let go of all those items, take actions to donate or sell them at the first available opportunity.
Speak to family members and friends to determine whether they want your stuff, and deliver it to take it out of your house. Post valuable items on eBay and Gumtree to get rid of them. Put up some posters around your neighbourhood, and actually hold that garage sale. Drive out to your local Salvos or St Vinnies and donate any items you haven’t got rid of to charity.
Taking the first opportunity to offload the items you don’t want to move with will help keep your home clutter-free.
Rent a Storage Unit
If your clutter is really overwhelming, you might consider renting a storage unit. Before your moving date, you can put items in heavily cluttered areas, such as your garage or your attic, into your storage unit. This will help make these areas much more presentable to potential buyers and allow you to focus on packing up the items you use more regularly.
Storage facilities typically offer short-, medium-, and long-term leases, so you can take as much time as you need to retrieve your stuff. There’s no pressure, as you can extend your lease at any time. Take a short-term lease so you can retrieve your items as soon as you’re settled in your new home, or choose a longer lease period if you’re not sure where to put your possessions.
Relocating doesn’t have to make your house look like a warzone. With these tips, you can keep your clutter in check to reduce your moving stress and make your home more beautiful for potential buyers.