getting organised before a big move

by - August 10, 2015

There is officially just 68 days until I say goodbye to the Harbour City and head north to start a new life in a new city. As I sit here in my lounge room contemplating the measly seven boxes I've already packed versus the sheer amount of stuff left in my kitchen and on my lounge room shelves, the reality of the logistics involved is really starting to set in.

Copyright: 123RF Stock Photo

I know people move every day - some just down the street and some to the other side of the world. My neighbours - a family of three - recently packed up their unit to move to Paris and here I am stressing out about packing up to move 917km up the road. But no matter how far you move, I guess the organisation involved is just the same.

I'm hoping the process will help me declutter a bit too. I've already taken three box loads to the local second-hand bookstore and I'm sure the Salvos will get more than a few bags worth of clothes and shoes once I get to packing up my wardrobe.

"Unwanted, unused and unloved items in your environment always cost you space and energy but when you move the stakes are even higher," says Aby Garvey from website Simplify 101. "Unnecessary items now cost you time and money — two very precious commodities when you’re faced with packing up every single thing you own and moving it from point A to point B."

But how do you decide what to take and what to toss, sell or donate? Aby advises starting with these categories.

Things that don’t fit … either in size, taste or style.

"This can be anything from furniture to clothing…if it no longer suits your taste, you now have a great excuse to let it go," she says.

Gifts you’ve been given but have never used.

"You really aren’t obligated to keep forever everything everyone has ever given you," says Aby. "You can appreciate the person and the sentiment of the gift without actually holding onto the gift indefinitely. I know it’s hard but it really is OK. Pass the item on to someone who will use it and love it."


Get rid of anything that is more than seven years old and isn’t needed for accounting purposes, legal reasons or permanent records. Burn or shred unneeded documents that contain personal information. Recycle the rest.

Magazines and books

"Donate books you've read and won't read again to a friend, library or daycare centre (if appropriate)," suggests Aby.

I've also read about another decluttering/packing technique that I plan to try this week. You're meant to go room by room throughout the house searching for things you no longer use, need or love. This doesn’t have to be a major clean-out-the-cabinets effort, just a scavenger hunt of sorts. The idea is to take a box and fill it up as quickly as you can with things you don’t want to take to your new home. I'll let you know how it works out!

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  1. When you're done at yours, can you come and declutter mine??