Decluttering when you move

Moving house? There's also no better time to declutter to start fresh and avoid taking the things you don't use to a new home.

Your Home
5 min read
There's nothing like moving to a new house to remind you just how much stuff you've accumulated over the years.

There’s nothing like moving to a new house to remind you just how much stuff you’ve accumulated over the years. Ever wonder how you ended up with five identical pairs of shoes, or a drawer full of half-finished craft supplies? Don’t bother taking these unnecessary items with you — unleash your inner Marie Kondo (of Netflix’s “Tidying Up” fame) and move into your new home, stress-free.

Why declutter when you move?

Decluttering while you’re preparing to move homes makes a lot of sense. After all, you’re sorting through your things anyway, so it’s worth deciding what you’d like to keep and what you can part ways with.


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How to declutter your home

Not sure where to start? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Focus on one area at a time: If you’re trying to cover many parts of your home at any given time, you’ll get confused and the task will seem overwhelming. Start small with a single drawer or shelf, before moving on to a larger area like a section of the bedroom or living room.
  • Create a few piles as you go through your possessions: One for things to keep, one for things to be thrown out, and one for things you’re not sure what to do with just yet.
  • Pack the things you’re certain about taking with you: And then take another look through the pile you’re unsure of. It’s likely you’ll make some decisions about those things as you continue decluttering.
  • Be ruthless: All those things you’ve been keeping in case you might need them “one day” really do need to go. A good rule of thumb is to consider whether you’ve used something within the last year; if not, it’s time to let it go.

decluttering when you move house, man and child packing a box full of clothing

How do you get rid of all this stuff?

Here are some ways to help you sort your “to throw” things out. Take your pile of unnecessary possessions and sub-divide it into the following three piles:

  1. Things to throw away: If you’ve got batteries, phones, computers or electronic equipment to get rid of, head to your local council or e-waste centres (for example, City of Melbourne provides its residents with some great recycling tips and details of drop-off points) to ensure they are disposed of safely. Soft plastics can be handed over at many local supermarkets, while lots of items can be put into general recycling. Try to limit what goes into landfills where you can – you’ll feel good about decluttering and help the environment at the same time!
  2. Things that can be donated: If some of your things are still in good condition (such as homewares, clothing or furniture) consider taking them down to your local op-shop. You could also donate them to charity. In fact, some charity shops will help with pickups and even have clothing bins located throughout cities – so there’s no excuse for keeping these unwanted items.
  3. Things that can be sold: If there’s anything of value that you no longer need, why not put them up for sale online? Popular websites like Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree or eBay are jam-packed with pre-loved clothing, furniture and household items. You could even set up a stall at community markets or hold a garage sale in your neighbourhood.

And if you need a hand with knowing who to tell about your big move, don’t forget to download and print out our Moving Home Checklist for changing your address.

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