Declutter before you pack to move
At this time of year many people are relocating to another house or town, but moving house doesn't have to be chaotic. A little bit of strategic decluttering can make a surprisingly big dent in the packing burden, cutting back on craziness and cost in one, super-effective step!
David Jacobs, regional manager of the Rawson Property Group, shares his favourite (and frequently forgotten) clutter collectors that can be safely weeded out long before moving day.
"Linen cupboards are one of the most overlooked clutter collectors," says Jacobs. "They tend to have a surprising amount of old, unused, mismatched, or plain worn-out items hidden underneath the things we use every day." Jacobs suggests taking a thorough inventory and getting rid of anything you haven't used in twelve months or more. Nobody needs a whole stack of moth-eaten towels, or a collection of cartoon duvet cover sets for a kid's bed they no longer own!
"When it comes to bulkier items that you need to keep, like spare comforters or guest pillows, vacuum bags can also be a huge help," he says. "They dramatically reduce the amount of packing space these items take up, and keep them dust and moisture-free until you're ready to put them to use."
Pro tip: Don't throw old or threadbare sheets, blankets or towels in the bin - rather donate them to a local animal shelter to keep their rescues clean, warm and snug!
Crockery and glassware
Your typical crockery and glassware cupboard tends to hold all manner of orphaned items whose set-mates have long since disappeared. "It may be tempting to hang on to these odd pieces who knows when you're going to need three mismatched parfait glasses, right? - but you'll regret that decision when it comes to packing time," says Jacobs. Unless you want to spend days individually wrapping each and every fragile cup and saucer, Jacobs suggests doing yourself a favour and weeding out anything that isn't part of a complete set. "That set can be two, or four, or whatever makes sense for your family," he says, "but anything that doesn't fit should be thrown away or recycled if possible."
Glassware isn't the only household item prone to leaving orphans - that big dryer in the sky has claimed many a lonely sock in its time. "Moving house is the perfect time to empty your sock drawer and bid farewell to the lurking loners," says Jacobs.
"It may not save you a huge amount of packing space, but it will make for a neater, cleaner closet in your new home."
Pro tip: Single socks make great dusters and polishers, and can be very useful for last minute clean-ups.
Keep a few on hand at your old home to wipe up spills or surprise dust bunnies, and toss them in the bin on your way out - no mess, no fuss!
Pantry and freezer
Pantries and freezers have a habit of hiding items well past their sell-by date, and there's no point in packing up and moving stale or rancid food. Jacobs suggests setting aside an afternoon a week or two before moving day to defrost your freezer (unless it's frost-free) and clearing out any expired food that may be hidden in the ice.
"De-icing your freezer before you move also means there's less chance of leaking meltwater damaging anything in transit," he says. "While you're waiting for it to defrost, take a swing at your pantry and clear out any expired cans and dry foods there as well."