Declutter as if you are moving house

There is nothing like the prospect of moving house to motivate a person to get rid of their clutter. My son and his family have been doing this for a few of months now. Initially it was to make room for the new baby that is on the way but then they decided they had had enough of renting a home from someone who wasn’t keen to maintain it. So they decided to move house.

He is lucky because he has a very easy way to get rid of his clutter. And that is to fill up the trunk of our car every time we have reason to go to his house. I think he actually invents reason for us to drop by just so we can take another load away. But that is OK as I go to the thrift store every week and am glad to help him out by dropping the decluttered items off there.

So this week they have started moving in and are already finding that maybe the configuration of the new home may cause them to have to declutter more things. My son is very good at decluttering, as you can imagine because he watched me doing it for years before he moved out. So he is happy to let go of as much stuff as possible. I am not sure whether the rest of the family are so keen but, as I said before, moving is a great motivator. He told me just yesterday how proud he was of his stepdaughter who has been very compliant at sorting and letting go of some of her stuff.

So where am I heading with this post. Well, my great motivation to declutter was to eventually move into a smaller home. My son and his family are also being motivated by moving. So why not use that as an approach for anyone to look at their possessions in a different way. If you are finding yourself stuck for ideas of things to declutter or have things you are on the fence about decluttering, why not ask yourself the question of ~ “If I were forced to unexpectedly and suddenly move house would I want to…

  1.  …move this stuff.
  2. …pay to move stuff I don’t really use or love.
  3. …really want to find space for this stuff in my new home.

Because let me tell you, sometimes these situation sneak up on you. Life happens and the next thing you know your current home is not right for you or not where you need to be. Sometimes life happens and you can no longer care for the size home you have or the amount of stuff that is in it. So now is the time to get your home in the sort of order that is easier to manage now and easy to transfer elsewhere if life happens.

I bet there will be some great comments from people who have found themselves in just this situation or knows someone who did. There will even be stories of those who found themselves having to help someone else who found themselves in this position.

Today’s Mini Mission

“If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we’d be happy with more?” — Unknown


Continue reading with these posts:

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  • A yard sale with a difference In response to a comment on Monday I mentioned the idea that if there is a lack of ways to donate your stuff in the area where you live then why not have a free garage sale. Yes you read […]
  • Never too young to learn to declutter I was at my son's house on Sunday to pick up some packaging he wanted us to put in our recycling and trash as he had bought a new sofa and his bins were full. He also had several items to […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. Fantastic story, Colleen. This scenario is how I get most of my decluttering inspiration. Hubby and I have been seriously considering a move now rather than later, and I keep thinking, “I don’t want to move this stuff” or “This is a helpful thing for me, so yes, I will move this” and this mental conversation has also been really great in keeping me from purchasing more stuff. Hubby saw a chef on TV use some gadget and mentioned that we should get one. Uh no! I recall the accident with those fancy-dancy herb cutting scissors.

    • Any inspiration is good inspiration I think Michelle. Did you point out to your husband that only a chef would get enough use out of such a gadget to make it worth owning?

      • Well, there you go! True enough. Just give me a knife and I can slice n’ dice with the best of them!

  2. Ah yes, decluttering to move (or pretend you’re moving). We moved last winter, in and out of our same house as we did huge changes. As we moved our stuff out to storage for three months, we evaluated what we wanted to keep. When we moved back in, we had to reconfigure every room. Even now, after being a declutterer for many years, and moving 4 times in the past 12 years, we still have extra stuff hanging around, mostly bits of furniture which we still love.
    Colleen, you’d be proud of me–did I ever mention that I gave away my large weaving loom? I just wasn’t using it. If I want to weave again (probably, yes), I will purchase a smaller one that fits my home and my style of weaving.

    • Hi Willow, I remember you giving away a loom at some stage or maybe that was when you were procrastinating about it. Good for you either way. And, there is nothing wrong with extra stuff if it is stuff you love.

      • Those ‘extra’ bits of furniture are actually two rocking chairs from my grandmother which we do use. It’s just that it’s hard to find places for rockers where they don’t bump into other furniture. Also we have a teak stand (small square table)–we can’t really get teak easily anymore and we love teak! We had to choose–teak stand or sold wood book case. We kept the stand because we love teak. It’s all about choices, isn’t it?

        • Sounds like you need a veranda for those rocking chairs. I could just see you sitting on the porch on your rocking chair, knitting and watching the world go by,

  3. Great post! I read all of your posts, but don’t often comment. I’ve suddenly found myself in a position where I need to move house and I’ve been busy working through a small room or closet every day trying to declutter. I’ve lived in my current house for 13 years and in a house just down the road (6 doors away) for 3 years before that, so I’ve let a lot of stuff build up. It’s a real relief to have something that is forcing me to take action. I’m hoping to maintain a more minimal lifestyle in my new home 🙂

    • Well good for you Tamsyn. So you don’t need to pretend you are actually in the thick of it. I hope it all goes well for you and you are much happier in your new uncluttered home.

  4. I’ve been trying to purge lately, but know I am keeping way too much stuff that is still good or “that I might use/wear someday”. One morning I woke up with a different question in my head. What if I asked myself, “Would I replace this if I lost everything?” That question would result in keeping a fraction of what I’m still keeping now. Then I started thinking about where I might want to live if I lost everything. And that got me thinking about a move that would take me thousands of miles away. And then I thought how great it would be to have pared down enough that I could make such a move in short order if I found the right place. Another friend has been purging as IF she were to move onto a houseboat. All these little tricks can be more powerful than you might expect.

  5. I’m having a garage sale this weekend and I can’t wait to finally get my accumulated clutter gone for good. I’ve been “decluttering” items for a year (since the last garage sale) but not really getting rid of them as they’ve just been added to the garage sale pile. Well this weekend the pile will be gone. Wahoo!

  6. This declutter reason has been #1 to me for quite a while now. Our move two years ago from our 4 bedroom house in the suburbs to our current 2 bedroom apartment in the city was so traumatic that I have spent the past two years culling even more so that our next move will be easier. I think that I am pretty well sold on the idea of getting rid of everything (mostly furniture) and replacing what I need in the new city if it is a long distance move. My dream goal would be not to need a moving truck at all, just pack the car and ship some boxes. I have about one year, maybe two before we move again, so I’m trying hard to work towards that goal. I just donated our printer – it was big and too fussy about ink. I rarely used it. I can walk a few blocks here to get something printed at a shipping store.

    • Good for you Claire. I hope you reach your goal. And as for that printer, good riddance to it. I took a different route and swapped my inkjet for a laser and boy am I getting far better bang for my buck. And just recently I discovered you can foil laser printed matter using foil sheet and a laminating machine. I don’t have the laminator but I do have free access to one. So that adds another nice dimension to my crafting options as well. Of course I lost the choice of printing in colour but that hasn’t been a hinderance and I was resigned to that before changing.

      • Thanks Colleen. I just found that I only printed off the rarest of things. Not long after buying it it would tell us a certain color of ink was empty even though we rarely printed in color. Then it would not function for anything else until we replaced that color. It wouldn’t print in black only, it wouldn’t even scan! I went two years messing with it but it was more trouble than it was worth. I’d rather walk to the copy store!

        • That sounds about right to me Claire. Most the ink gets used up because the printer squirts it out to clear the jets every time you turn it on and after it has been sitting without printing for an extended period. So for all inkjet printers most of the ink is wasted.

  7. Ho Colleen! You had me in mind when you wrote this, didntcha? For the benefit of those who don’t know my story:
    We’ve been decluttering for about 4 years. Last fall we came to the realization that our large country property was too much for Ian to manage (600′ of driveway means lots of mowing and snow clearing). We have subdivided the property, kept a smaller part and are having a house built closer to the road. We listed our property for sale at the beginning of May to take advantage of the summer selling season. We are in the midst of an economic slump so I had anticipated a summer sitting in the basement sorting and disposing of more stuff in preparation for the move in September. What I did NOT anticipate was selling the place THE VERY FIRST DAY it was on the market! So, here I am on a fast track to a very higgledy-piggledy summer, living in our travel trailer with stuff stored hither and yon. Despite the large amount of stuff we disposed of in the run-up to selling, I know that I am packing and moving stuff that I shouldn’t be packing and moving. So be it. My pennance for being a perfectionist and having to have the ‘right’ home for things. We are selling a couple of china cabinets and leaving behind the storage cubbys and we will not be replacing them in the new house. This will be my impetus to continue the decluttering in the new place. The moral of this story is obviously — DO NOT WAIT, do it NOW.

    • bravo on that last statement!

    • Great story Wendy and thanking you for sharing that with the other readers. And although you weren’t the inspiration for the post I sure did have you in mind while I was writing it. Especially when I wrote that last paragraph. After spending summer in the trailer you might decide there is a whole lot more stuff you don’t need to keep.

  8. I did that 4 years ago. I challenged myself to pretend we were moving to a house with less rooms, and to up the challenge I pretended it was far enough away that shipping was difficult. I enlisted my sister to help make decisions on items I was overly sentimental about. Harsh but fair. Wouldn’t you know it, 3 months into this pretend exercise I was staging my house for sale and we really DID move! To a house with the same square footage but less rooms, less levels (a one story) and less storage space too! Good thing I had already started decluttering mindfully. It was good to have done it before the great, urgent push of a real moving day.

    The “new” house is still being cleared and purged over 3 years later. It’s truly a never ending process when there are so many interests living under the same roof. I think I should pretend to list the house again… it sure was nice coming home to an immaculately staged house.

    • Hi creativeme, thank you for sharing your story with the other readers. It is great examples like this that inspire others to give it a try. And yours was a good example of suddenly moving. I am glad you had made such great inroads before the shift. I also wish you continued success with decluttering what you don’t need or love.

  9. We actually are moving – for the 7th time in 10 years. We relocated interstate in December 2012 and I thought we’d culled significantly before-hand but our efforts then (and those for the preceding moves) are nothing compared to now! We only received the Notice to Vacate a fortnight ago and have already donated 13 large boxes to various local op-shops – and packed 15 to take with us. Hopefully we can maintain similar momentum and ratio!

    • I should add that as well as the op-shop donations, we’ve been eBaying madly – plus consigning other stuff to the bins (rubbish and recycling).

  10. Colleen, this is a good post. As you all know, we are looking toward a move at the end of the summer. I have very little to declutter of my things but Mom still has way more than she can take. I have been a person who keeps a minimal amount of things except books and craft items. Well now I have decluttered even those. It’s wonderful. Now if I could just get Mom to do the same.

    • Have you talked to your mom about the rash decision she will have to make in a hurry if the time arrives suddenly. It is much better for her to take her time choosing and decluttering now when she has the time to do so. I am sure you have tried this tactic but I just thought I would mention it in case you hadn’t worded it that way. Sometimes it seems like you have given the same advice over and over again but small nuances in the way you say it can make a world of difference.

      • I have tried that. She says she needs to get stuff done and then other things get in the way. I am trying to figure out how to stop the interruptions.

        • Deb J.,
          Your Mom’s response reminds me of a conversation I recently had with my sister regarding our Mom. My sister says, “Mom always says she’s too busy….what is she so busy doing?” Of course, it was a rhetorical question, but really, they are in their mid-eighties and in my Mom’s case, she pays to have everything done for her. She doesn’t even cook, haha! I guess for them, busy is just a state of mind, not reality.

          • Kimberley, my mom is actually busy. The kitchen is HER domain and everyone else is to stay out. She cooks most of the meals. I have been able roger her to let me in once in awhile. Mom is the Energizer Bunny. She still runs rings around me even at age 87.

  11. My friend worked on weekends as a mover for extra income. He laughingly tells of the # of free take out containers people paid him to move.

    • That made me laugh Gail as I like to use those containers myself. Most of them end up decluttered to my daughter when she comes to dinner but her partner can’t make it. He gets his dinner in one of those containers and I tell her not to bother giving it back. My son on the other hand is so efficient at returning every container I send to him that they always all come back.

  12. I use this to help me declutter regularly because I know I want to eventually downsize. Something else I do to help me declutter, especially if I cannot decide on decluttering an item, I ask myself if my children would want to keep it if something happened to me. They have such a different mindset. I asked one of my children the other day if he wanted to keep cards that had been sent to him from grandparents, etc. I could tell he did not want to hurt my feelings but he told me that he really didn’t have a use for them. I was so proud of him, he really gets it and it made such perfect sense.

    • Hi Jen my son isn’t sentimental about stuff either. As he has been moving house I have seen lots of things he accepted from me when he moved out of home come back for me to donate. I am glad that he has no qualms about passing stuff back to me to declutter. He know I am not at all precious about that, quite the opposite I am proud of him.

  13. Your son has a very convenient method of decluttering.
    We helped an elderly couple pack and load the moving truck. There were boxes and boxes of empty jam jars that she wanted packaged to take with them. She said she wanted to make jam but it was obvious by the quantity of empty store bought jam jars (with labels in good condition) that she wasn’t a practising jam maker. There were boxes and boxes of jam jars and other boxes and boxes of similar value stuff. Broken furniture that they wanted to take a class to repair and re-finish it. Boxes of fabric as she wanted to learn to sew. This enormous truck for one elderly couple and it cost them a lot of money that they didn’t have spare. There was no convincing them otherwise.

    I hope to move house in the next year, I’ve been waiting for my youngest to finish school to begin looking at our options. I worked this timeline out just over four years ago which is when I began decluttering, I didn’t think it would take this long! I’m guessing the original ‘vision’ has been upgraded a number of times and technology has given us new options. I’m hoping that the next shift will light and quick.

    I’ve watched a number of neighbours come and go from the house next door and there seems to be a disproportionate number of boxes (which I assume contains and belongings and stuff) compared to the amount of furniture in the trucks. Friends of ours packed and shifted into their new house and unpacked in six hours and that sounds ideal to me. Their philosophy is that if takes longer than that, they must have too much clutter.

    Earlier this year I helped a friend declutter and stage her house for sale. They plan to go from five bedrooms plus office to three bedrooms. It was a huge effort to get it ready for sale but really what we achieved was getting them to fit into a five bedroom house. The motivating message as we worked was “Do you want to pack this up and shift it to the next house?”
    I’m not sure if they realise that once it sells, we have to start over to get them to fit into a much smaller house with fewer storage cupboards.

    • Hi Moni, that elderly couple sound as frugal as me but more by aspiration rather than reality. I am looking forward to your moving house and how all that pans out. Should make for good reading in a year or so.

      • Colleen – the elderly couple had borrowed money to pay for the truck but only, say, a quarter of it was useful, the rest was stuff that had no value but was being paid at a cubic rate for transporting. I understand they were moving in with an elderly relative who needed caregivers and their stuff was to be loaded into a garage. It didnt all fit in the garage so was covered in tarps. I heard from their son that its still there ten years later. I daresay its likely weather damaged.

  14. Hi Colleen! Great post! As I have no intention of moving, because I really like my house, I have been downsizing the furniture and the stuff to create room. I like space, the more, the merrier. So, as I also have to clean that space I settled to have less stuff, which makes cleaning very easy, and gives me all the space I crave. If ever I have to move houses I feel confident that I can live in a smaller space, as I am working towards eliminating all the big pieces of furniture from my house. 🙂

    • I am well aware of your situation and goals Andréia and I wish you every success. You have come along in leaps and bounds since the time you first started coming to 365 Less Things for inspiration. It has been a joy to witness your progress.

  15. Hi Colleen,

    This is such a great topic! I started my serious declutter journey mostly for this reason (remembering our horrible move from our old house to our current house)… Our old house had a ton of storage, not as much living space… I tried but could not get anyone to help me declutter before we left there. I got the books and photos decluttered by myself but not really anything else. We had movers but my husband and I still had to make innumerable car trips every night after work for days… awful!!! This was for the odds and ends that don’t look like much in a spacious basement but fill up the car quickly… where to put it all in the current house???

    Our current house has more living space but no basement, the kind of attic where you can only crawl, an attached one car garage… I started out with “zones” in the attic and was proud to have things organized up there… But after decluttering started in earnest here I decided that nothing in the attic would be much better…

    I make forays into the attic in the spring and fall to find stuff to part with… The other seasons make the temperature up there too extreme. The other consideration for attics like ours (aside from temperature) is the older we get, we may become physically unable to get up there (pull down ladder, climb up, crawl, come back down ladder with arms full…)

    It will be a process for sure but it already looks better than when I started. Off the top of my head, some things I got rid of from the attic – suitcases, overnight bag, sentimental clothing (some of it), some extra dishes, some Christmas décor, some knick knacks, old magazines and books. Remaining stuff: oversized sunhats, butterfly net, dishes, sentimental clothing, framed prints, Easter & Christmas décor and maybe a cooler. There is quite a bit of empty space… getting there little by little 🙂

    • Good for you Peggy. Yes those attic spaces can be a real hazard, I am glad I have never had one. I guess these is always an attic space but we have never had one of those build in ladders to it so not encouraging to use. I am especially glad we didn’t use that space in America because we had a rat issue in the attic at one point. Wouldn’t want them in amongst our stuff. Yuk

  16. Hi, Colleen!
    You are talking to me. My mom passed away in October at 93. I was her main caregiver and, at her death, inherited her home of 45 years. I’ve been sorting, shredding, recycling, donating and throwing out ever since. I didn’t want to stay here but didn’t know how I would get rid of an old house in a fraying neighborhood.
    Then my niece approached me with a very sensible plan. She is weighed down with student loans and can’t buy a new house but she loved Grandma’s house. I showed her all the problems and potential problems; she showed me a budget and estimates for a security system, new bathroom and eventually kitchen. She has the energy to paint and polish up the rest of the house. She even wants to keep all the furniture because she doesn’t have enough to fill a four bedroom home. Deal! She’s moving in October 1.
    I’m relieved, pretty much ecstatic. But I still have to plow through papers, pictures, books and clothing and I’m losing steam. I’ve been working on the living room and dining room for months and it looks like I haven’t done a thing. I thought it was better to stick to one area instead of jumping around but now I’m feeling panicked because this still isn’t done and I’ve got the kitchen, bathroom, two bedrooms that are bedrooms, one bedroom that’s a study/library, one bedroom that’s a junk room I can’t walk through and a similarly junk filled sun room that I haven’t touched. The basement and attic are good to go because I cleared them years ago. The two car garage is unusable but it’s filled with my sister’s junk – not my problem!
    I’m a list maker and I sketch out some to-dos for each day. I’ve been keeping a list of all the things I’ve disposed of, donated, gifted, recycled (1,418 so far) and I found it helpful at tax time to track my donations. Do you have any ideas to help me? Everything I touch is so personal and sometimes I feel like I’m throwing away my life and my mom’s – and my grandmother’s because her stuff is here too.

    • So Joanie, is your niece going to be renting-to-buy the place off you or what is the deal? I only ask that because of the sort of squatters rights laws that can exist in certain places. Arrangements need to be documented so a person can’t take over another person’s property.

      As for the decluttering. Paperwork and photos sound like the hardest place to begin. I would be working on the items that make the fastest different first. It give a person the feeling of making quick strides, then it doesn’t feel so bad when the pace slows on the harder stuff. Even among the paper work there will be easy things to deal with and harder stuff. It is easy for me to say but you can’t allow yourself to feel guilty about letting stuff go. I think in your situation I would feel angry to be left to deal with it. Which is why I keep encouraging my parents and in-laws to deal with it now.

      I think I will publish your comments in a post tomorrow so we can get lots of great feedback from readers who have found themselves in a similar situation. Let’s see what comes of that.

  17. Hi, Colleen. Great post, topic and reminder. I have asked myself these questions before. Another thing I like to do is to visualize the nice, airy and empty space in a new home and then look at all our furniture, storage solutions and stuff and think about whether each piece or item deserves to start afresh there. Moving also gives you a nice, clean slate to work with, like a canvas on which you can create an uncluttered masterpiece. Of course, you can still create your masterpiece even without the hassle of an actual move.

  18. This has been my (very successful) motivation, with the trip to NZ little seems important any more…

  19. We’re looking at moving from our home of 15 years in another year to 18 months. I’m quite sad in a way because we love our home but it doesn’t meet our family’s needs in the future (my parents will be moving in) and it’s in a neighborhood that’s just okay. I’ve started cleaning out and have gotten rid of over 1000 items (most of them clumps of papers or items we hav never really used) but it’s so slow – I have several medical issues, two part time jobs and go to school full time. Other than doing a little a day, do you have any good tips for making this manageable?

    Thanks!
    Lea

    • Lea,
      You know what your goals are although I am not sure whether you are looking to downsize or upsize your home to accommodate your parent’s. Keep that goal in mind whenever you start decluttering an area. Don’t think too much about the item. Make a quick decision based on your “gut” feeling and go with it. Let the stuff go and don’t ever look back. Even 15 minutes a day will move you towards your goal.

    • Hi Lea!
      I’m sorry you are sad about moving! It’s always bittersweet. I hope it will get more exciting for you in the next year. I think you’re doing great, taking it slow, since you’re so busy with work and school and medical issues. The slow approach works great, because it gets the job done without wearing ourselves down, throwing our backs out, giving up our entire weekends, etc.

      My suggestion to make things more manageable would be to make a list of everything you want to accomplish (moving-wise) in the next 12-18 months. You know, room by room, closet by closet, garage, basement, etc. Not to mention all the other moving tasks you have to face. The more detailed your list, the better. That way, when you have a spare minute, you can do one little thing rather than having to tackle a huge item on your list.

      The very best way to handle a move is to start 12-18 months in advance! Start making your lists right now! Best of luck to you!

    • Hi Lea, do the easiest stuff first. Leave the sentimental and fiddly bits until later when you are more ruthless. Really look at your stuff and decide do I use it or love it. If the answer is no then you probably don’t need it. And mostly, remember it is just stuff. Your memories are in your mind and your heart not in the house or your stuff, so embrace the change and don’t let sentimentality rule your decision making process.
      It is moments like these that I am glad that I have moved house all my life. Home is where the heart is not bricks and mortar.

  20. I haven’t commented in a while because we found out that we’re moving in a few months. Not only are we moving a year early, it is a slightly complicated move (I’ll leave it at that rather than bore you with the details), and we only have 3 months to get ready. Oh, and my husband won’t be home for two of those months. LOL.

    I love the adventure and challenge and privilege of moving to new places, so I’m very excited. Moving (whether real or pretend) is THE best way to get into the de-cluttering mindset. I’m grateful that I started a major de-cluttering effort back in December, which makes things so much easier now that I have a short countdown.

    I read through the comments, and it seems like several of us are moving! Good luck to one and all, whether you are moving across the globe or moving a piece of furniture across the room. 😉

    • Hi Melanie, that sounds like the sort of complicated moves I used to have when my husband got moved around for the military. I think there was only one out of six where he was there for the whole thing and of those six one was short notice to move from Australia to America. Sometimes short notice is the best because there can be no procrastinating.

      • Yep, we’re military! (I don’t usually talk about that online, but what a coincidence that we’ve had similar experiences.) Funny how those husbands seem to disappear when it’s time to move! LOL!!!

        I really hope you enjoyed your time in America. I’m sure it was very different, but I hope everyone treated you well.

        No more procrastinating! That’s my new motto. So far so good……:)

    • Hi, Melanie … and here I was thinking that you must’ve gone on a really nice long holiday!
      😀
      I hope your move goes smoothly.

      • Hi Nicole V! If by “nice long holiday” you mean hiding under my bed, then yes! Haha. I have been keeping up with the 365 blog and all the comments (love them all, as usual, including your guest post!)

        I’m out from under my bed now and tackling my list. I got a couple of things crossed off this week, which is a good start. Thanks for the good wishes!

        Good luck to everyone else moving this year (or next, or the next)!

        • Thanks, Melanie. You have a great attitude about moving to new places. And knowing you (well, virtually, at least :-D) once you knuckle down to get something done, it’ll get done.

          • Thank you, Nicole V! What a nice compliment! We took another half an SUV load of stuff to the Salvation Army today. My fourth haul since December, and it feels great.

            Keep it up, everyone. It adds up, and it’s so worth it.

  21. One advantage of preparing for the ‘eventual move’ is that you can make the most of unexpected opportunities as they arise. Our plan was to build our new house in 2016 — we’re doing it in 2015. The downturn in our economy means that trades (plumbers, electricians, etc.) are available when in boom times they are hard to find. In a slow real estate market we were able to take a good offer right away even though it means putting our stuff into storage for a number of months and ‘camping’ in the interim. This is far better than waiting til we are ‘ready’ and then being stuck owning two homes for a year. Even though I am not as decluttered as I would like to be I am at a stage where I can make the best of the situation. Fortune favors the prepared.

  22. A comment that arrived by email
    I live in Australia and am enjoying your regular tips about decluttering. I live with my husband in a 2 bedroom apartment having moved several years ago from a 5 bedroom house. We had to declutter on a huge scale! I managed to give away beds and other large furniture items to family and friends. In Australia we have “garage sales” where we layout all our items for sale in the garage, anything from tents to desks to CDs, crockery, toys, games and even clothes. We advertise in the “garage sale” column in the newspaper the day before. People come from far and wide to grab a bargain, items do need to be at giveaway prices. You have to remember that you no longer want or needs these things. Anything left at the end of the day is taken to the charity shop. Now living in our small apartment, and since discovering your decluttering tips, I have begun again! It’s amazing how much I can still find and don’t need! Your philosophy of living simply has struck a chord with me and I aspire now to clean and clutter-free living. Thank you for your regular inspirational tips.
    Diane

    • Hi Diane, I am familiar with the garage sale as I also live in Australia. I know the Americans also have garage sales because I used to love attending them when I lived over there. That is where most of my clutter came from. Mind you, since the stuff came cheaply it also made it easy to let it go. I also live in a two bedroom apartment. My reason for decluttering was to downsize to fit into a small place and, obviously, I achieved that goal.

      I am glad you are finding my tips helpful. So where in Australia do you live.

      • Colleen,

        LOL, your comment that most of your clutter came from garage sales in America cracked me up! Oh yes, we love our garage sales. There are too many rules and regulations now, but back in the 1980’s you could find anything you wanted for a few dollars.

  23. Me and my husband are moving next week to our first home and we are doing the decluttering for third day already. Honestly I find it pretty cool because I found amazing stuff that I didn’t even know that have! I agree that it is a bit tiring the whole thing but I try to stay as calm and positive as possible! Thanks for sharing your story! 🙂

  24. I agree with you and I feel the same way! When I see how cluttered my house is I feel that I want to throw away everything! I need to use the spring now and declutter really seriously. Not to mention that in August I’ll be moving house and I really need to give away or toss the things I don’t need. Thank you for sharing your story. Here I found an inforgaphic that I really like and I wanted to share with others. I think it is really helpful for people who are planning to move house soon : http://visual.ly/5-things-not-do-when-moving-house