Let it go: declutter your home in preparation for listing

If you’re thinking of moving house, there’s often feelings of high emotion alongside the excitement; the kind that comes with moving on. This is particularly true when it’s time to start thinking about what you want to take with you. Decluttering is essential, but it can also be overwhelming. So, here is some advice to help you make the hard choices a little bit easier and start the move to a new place with room to breathe.

No second chances

When making the gut-wrenching decision of what will stay and what will go, there should be a ‘no second chances’ mentality. Sometimes referred to in psychology circles as the OHIO (Only Handle It Once) rule, this will help you in making decisions that are final instead of putting something aside “for the moment”, to be decided later. To make things easier, be decisive with your ‘keep’ and ‘throw’ piles and don’t allow yourself any take backs.

Place a value on your memories

Something that even self professed declutter lovers have trouble with is getting rid of the sentimental stuff. So, if you’re holding on to a whole lot of things like your drawings from kindergarten, sports trophies or cassette mix tapes, it’s time to start narrowing it down by keeping the memory but not the item. Get yourself a box and label it ‘Memories’ and allow yourself to fill one box, and one box only. Try to take the time to work out which items have significant physical importance as opposed to purely emotional. This should help you significantly with choosing what to keep.

Start the countdown

We know that letting go can be extremely difficult, so the ‘6-month box’ or the ‘Maybe Box’ is your last chance to be indecisive and work through this process in your own time. Most people have many items that that don’t get used but are left “in case”. To help eliminate these items, take a box and label it with the date, 6 months from now, and put it away. If these things haven’t been used, needed or thought of then you can safely, without anxiety, throw them away.

Let go of old phases

“All the gear with no idea” is a phrase that resonates with anyone who has jumped on a hobby without taking it anywhere else. As well intentioned as the pursuit may be, or however much we may like the idea of having these items, it’s time to face the fact that they just don’t get used. It can be very difficult to admit that those once great ideas and aspirations haven’t come to fruition. However, the physical and emotional space that you are sacrificing by keeping these old ‘hobbies’ behind isn’t worth taking somewhere new. So, it’s time to think about selling or giving away the things that you picked up but haven’t picked up again. This applies also to your wardrobe and the fashion trends that have come and since gone.

Give it to a good home

To ease the guilt of giving away items of great sentimental value, plan for where they will go when they leave your house. Read up on charities that take clothes, furniture or whatever it is that you may be letting go of and see which ones most align with you. Alternatively, you could make a day of it and find a market stall near you to try and sell your special items. In an era of upcycling, this is a great way to dispose of your things in a mindful way. If a physical market seems like a bit much for you, head online for one the many Buy, Swap, Sell groups and websites.

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