Wednesday 29 April 2015

Moving House: Decluttering

Whilst packing for our house move I'm having a massive Declutter session. This is resulting in boxes of packing and (almost as many boxes) of things to sell. In fact I've probably got enough for a car boot sale.... if only I have a car with a boot to be able to do it with! I remember when I was little we used to live on a really busy road and me and my sister would spend Sunday afternoons with a table in the front garden selling our old toys, gone are those days. For 1) it is probably now illegal (most things are) and b) I live on a side road with my kids so it's not got as much 'traffic' as other roads. To this end I am left with only one other option turn to the Internet.

I've currently got my 'clutter' listed on Sheffield Forum and Preloved - with some items on ebay. I hate ebay it takes so much in fees but sometimes you need items gone (a bed) and you have to take the last resort hit.  I also use Gumtree but won't pay to boost my listing after so many days which means I spend time copying and pasting it onto another advert to re-list.

I have hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of kids books to sell. I am so reluctant to give these to a charity shop after the way I have seen some of them deal with 'leftover' books.  I'd really prefer them to go to a home that will love them as much as we do.  Biggest problem is ...... I really don't want to have to post them.  Not only does Paypal take a % of the selling fee but then you have the post office to queue up at, the materials to post, and ........ well you may as well have given them away.

Anyone got any great hints or tips?

But it's not just kids toys and books that I have, there are loads of things I've found (like cables for computers and phones we have 6 or 7 years ago!).... what do you do with those?  Here's some hints and tips I've found while answering my own questions.

Declutter a room at a time

When you look at your house as a whole you might think "Where do I start", aim for one room a day (or a week) depending on how much time you have to declutter in.   I find decluttering whilst packing  the easiest way.
So far this week I have accomplished an (almost) packed front room, an (almost) packed dining room and need to make a start on the playroom today.

Declutter the easy stuff first

Can you walk into a room and instantly think "that can go?" ..... get it listed for sale first - depending what it is you may have sold it before the rest of the room is decluttered.

It's not always that easy tho, as I've discovered.  We have a shoe cupboard that we don't use.  It has been sat in the cellar for 6 months.  I would LOVE to put it up for sale but I can't bring it upstairs to take good pictures and the husband really is no help.  To this extent I am positive it will end up coming to the new house where it will go back in the cellar!

Source your disposal options.

Before you begin, investigate selling, recycling, donating and give away options for the items you choose to declutter. The more prepared you are for the task, the simpler it will be (but time consuming) All have their pro's and con's.  Here's my list (in order of preference).

- Preloved
- Sheffield Forum
- Gumtree
- Ebay
- Friday Ad's
- Freegle
- Mumsnet/ Netmums - for kids stuff

If you have any others please let me know

Don't keep things out of guilt, obligation or holding onto the past. 

Yes, so many items may carry a sentimental meaning.  When it come to my children I have to be really ruthless. (do you know the pain I am going through getting rid of the Thomas The Tank Engine book collection or the Limited Edition covers I bought for my favourite pushchair?).
I have a memory box (soon to be 2 boxes) for them of things like their first shoe or hospital band but I have had to part with so much else.
Your great great great grandma may have wanted the huge clock in the hallway passed down as a family heirloom but does it really fit with YOUR house?  do you really want to keep it?  or are you doing so to keep others happy?

Do not keep it 'just because'

A home does not need enough linen, crockery, cutlery, or pantry supplies to serve as a hotel. Every time we move I have a huge clearout - I end up throwing away all the Tupperware without lids that I've kept "just in case" I find it, all the chipped cups or mismatched plates.   Depending on your budget you could do what we did last time and give away all your old crockery/ cutlery and buy new in your new house.  I also get rid of all my baking trays and buy new ones.

We have a Frothy Machine - I loved this frothy machine for hot chocolate ......... 3 years ago.  It has sat on top of the cupboard unused since we moved house 18 months ago, I really should part with it but .........


If you haven't worn it for a year, or it no longer fits ...... get rid of it.  Clothing can sell really well as a bundle, not so individually unless it is a named brand and you have time for ebay.  I tend to sell my clothing bundles locally as people on ebay can be so nitpicky and they will try and get a refund because the 'size 12 doesn't fit them' or they have noticed a speck of dirt on the hem you didn't see.  Paypal/ ebay in my experience will 9 times out of 10 side with the buyer leaving you out of pocket (as chances of it is easier to let them keep the items then you pay for them to return them).

Old mobile phones

There are loads of companies who are willing to buy them for recycling, don't expect to make too much from your old Nokia 3210 or U-Phone.

Unwanted electrical goods

The urge to just grab a bin bag (if they are broken) is soo easy, however these all need to be recycled properly.  Some councils offer to do this (ours don't) so it's best to contact your local recycling centre.  If working then you could try selling them on, if you aren't able to do this some charities accept working electrical items, however many I've checked out won't due to health and safety/ fire concerns.  It's best to ask them before loading up a bag and handing it over.

Stop buying more clutter.

By far the top principle when moving house.  Decluttering is a waste of time if you simply replace the old stuff with new (it also saves you money!)

Good Luck.........

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