Mindfully declutter before you move
Many modern Australian building designs are light and airy, with lots of clean lines and open plan spaces. Any home that’s overflowing with furniture and possessions is going to feel cluttered and cramped. Even if you don’t think your home is very cluttered, chances are you have at least a handful of things lying around that you could do without. The closer you look, the more you’ll find.
Get in the right mindset
Sorting through your stuff to decide what stays and goes can be a tall order. To keep yourself motivated, get a picture in your mind of how you’d like your home to look. When you’re fired up to blitz the house, start by asking yourself the hard questions about what you do and don’t need or use. Think about what your most important priorities are in the present and keep this in mind to help you let go of things that aren’t useful to you any more.
Have a process and stick to it
Working through your house one room at a time stops you from feeling overwhelmed. Take it one box, drawer or cupboard at a time and then move on to the next. Choose an area of your home where you can get a quick win to encourage you in your decluttering mission.
The lounge or bedroom can be a really satisfying place to start, as they’re rooms you use a lot so you can enjoy the results of your hard work before you tackle the next room on your list. You can even break it down still further to stop it feeling overwhelming by committing to a time limit and sticking to it without distractions.
The four-box challenge
Sort everything into four piles before they’re boxed or bagged: keep, bin, sell and give away. Definitely resist the temptation to move your discard boxes (i.e. everything that’s not ‘keep’) into a spare room as a temporary measure. Chances are they’ll be there to stay.
Sell valuable items on Gumtree or Facebook marketplace and schedule trips to charity shops at sensible intervals, depending on how fast the piles are growing. And make sure that once you’ve decided on what to donate, you take an extra couple of minutes to carry them to the car so they don’t hang around in a corner for months and cause a hassle when you move!
Target common clutter
There are a few categories of items that always seem to hang around your home for years. Things like small appliances that are broken or never get used, plastic containers without lids, old spices, toiletries and cosmetics, out-of-date tech gadgets and CDs of music you now store on your computer can take up valuable space in your drawers and cupboards. Instead of doing it bit-by-bit, empty out the entire drawer or cupboard at once and sort the contents out into what stays, what goes somewhere else and what gets chucked. All these items can go straight on the junk pile. Garages and spare rooms are often a goldmine of larger bits and bobs that can be discarded or donated. Clearing out old cots and car seats, unwanted toys and books, old pots of paint and broken tools can make space for some well-organised storage. Challenge yourself to fill at least one big garbage bag at a time.
Most of us, if we’re honest have plenty of items in our cupboards that we rarely wear, and which could be sent to the op-shop instead. One clever trick to identify these is to hang all your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction. Whenever you wear something, return it with the hanger the right way round. After six months you’ll be easily able to tell which clothes to keep and which to donate.
Upcycling great memories
Almost any item can be upcycled into something new and improved with just a little bit of work, and doing so can help you save serious cash at a time when you need it the most. There are so many great ideas, you could paint a piece of furniture to create a statement piece for your new lounge, spray paint pots so they all match or frame some fabric from an old piece that is going to the tip. Upcycling is kind to the wallet and is more environmentally friendly too!