how to declutter
30th September 2019 by Property Deal Store Administrator in Investors, Refurbishments

Preparing to Move: How to De-Clutter

As you’ve probably heard, if not experienced, moving house is one of the most stressful things that you will likely have to do in life, so it pays to give yourself a head start.

It’s amazing how quickly personal effects can build up over short periods of time, especially if you have a family. De-cluttering not only makes moving house simpler, it’s also a form of stress relief in itself so it’s an exercise well worth completing in advance of your impending upheaval.

Here we’ll look at the different types of clutter that’s likely all around you, but first, let’s set some ground rules. Or, one very important ground rule…

The 12-month rule

To de-clutter effectively, you need to tap into your ruthless side. If something hasn’t been used, looked at, worn, or required in the last year, it has to go.

Sentimental things aside.

If you’re feeling extra ruthless, set a tighter rule – 6 months, 3 months, or even 1 month!

Set your rule from the beginning and then for each item that doesn’t fit in with your rule, sell it, scrap it, or give it away.

So, what do you need to go through…?


Most companies these days give you the option to go ‘paperless’ but even if you have, you will likely have ancient paperwork lying around that can be consigned to the shredder. Even if you’re organised and have everything split neatly into ring binders, there’s likely a lot of papers that you no longer need to keep for your records.

Go through everything and recycle what you don’t need.


If you’re a bit of a fashion junkie or just a hoarder of all your old gear, it can be pretty hard to lay down your rule in your wardrobe, but it all starts here!

Even if things still have tags on, they’ve got to go.

Old technology/electronics

I doubt you’ve got any need for those old camera’s, your Nokia 3310, or your old DVD’s, it’s time to move on.

Pictures and frames

Moving to a new house gives you a great opportunity to refresh your decorations and ornaments. Not only that, if you’ve got kids or animals, picture frames don’t usually last too long. Maybe it’s time for a new set?

Of course, some may hold treasured memories and you don’t want to part with them – put them in your sentimental box if you’re that way inclined (more on that later).


Do you have a garage full of old boxes that all your current stuff came in? It’s time to deal with them – are they useful or not?

Some boxes will be ideal to help with your move or to store some sentimental items for safekeeping, whilst others will serve no purpose at all because of their shape. It’s tip run time!

Garages and outbuildings

As well as boxes, what else has been discarded into the nether regions of your garage to be dealt with some other time?

You’ll likely need to leave it empty for the next occupiers so start with first things first – as many tip runs as it takes to get rid of everything you no longer need. Or, if you’ve more to go than you first thought – a skip.

Just like everything we’ve mentioned above, these areas need you to be ruthless with your rule.

Sports gear/gym equipment

I know you always meant to use your exercise bike every day, but it’s been three years. It has to go. So do those golf clubs from twenty years ago and the bike with three wheels.

Clear it all out. Sell or scrap.

Kids toys, schoolwork and old baby stuff

If you’re a bit sentimental this is definitely not an easy one. But obey your rule you must (well, for the most part.)

Things like first clothes, teddys, and other keepsakes need to stay, but things like bouncy chairs, travel cots and prams might be able to provide other families with the same kind of happy memories you’ve had whilst clearing up a lot of space for you.

Seasonal decorations

Yes, Christmas. Solely responsible for filling lofts and garages with festive knick-knacks for generations. Is it time for a new tree or lights that are guaranteed to work come December?

Do you want to start again with new decorations in your new home?

It’s worth considering what you definitely want to keep and what you don’t. This stuff takes up a lot of space considering it’s only used one month a year.

Outdoor furniture

It takes up a lot of room when it’s away for winter, will you get another summer out of it?

Sentimental stuff

These things could come from any of the above categories. They mean everything to you but are likely worthless to anyone else…

You might not look at them for years at a time but every time you do those great memories come flooding back. Keep these things safe and have a special place for them at your new home.

Be ruthless but not heartless. You make your own rules in this category.

Where to start?

To succeed and become a master of the de-clutter, you need to take it one space at a time.

Pick a room a day, or even a drawer a day, whatever isn’t too overwhelming. Remember too that it’s a lot of the smaller things that take the most time so if you don’t visually see much progress day to day that doesn’t mean it’s not being made.

Stick to your rule as best you can, even if you adopt a slightly different rule for different types of clutter.

Make your move easier and de-stress in the process. It’s a win-win!

All the best,


– Janice Minihan, director and co-founder at Property Deal Store


I hope you took value from this and if you’re moving I wish you the best of luck with your upcoming move. If you’re a landlord and looking to provide an above and beyond service to your tenants, why not get a copy of this in PDF form and send it to all your prospective tenants? Join Property Deal Store for free and get immediate access to not only all our downloadable resources, but also all our current property deals provided by our expert sourcers and see how you could build up your portfolio!

Wishing you prosperity in property,