Help!! Need plan of attack for decluttering before move! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 08-24-2010, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
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We just signed a contract on a house (haven't closed on it, just an agreement of terms). BUT, we have to get our current house ready to sell and on the market!

I need a good plan of attack. Downstairs, we have a living room, dining room, kitchen, and den. The "living room" is really a playroom. We have four tall bookshelves full of books and baskets -- all toys. Upstairs are the bedrooms and bathrooms.

I'm thinking that I need to seriously declutter in every room and then "stage" each room to look like a model home (read: getting rid of practically everything but necessities).

What's the best way to do it? If we want to get it on the market immediately, is it worth having a big garage/moving sale or should I donate it all to Goodwill. I'm thinking I'll get rid of boxes of toys, books, knicknacks, vases, and maybe a few pieces of furniture. Although I wonder if we should try to sell the furniture on craigslist or something.

Should I declutter room by room? One closet at a time? Do you think packing up all non-necessities and putting them in the garage would be bad or should I rent a storage unit?


Mama to DS 10/04, DD 12/06, and DD 11/09 my baby
Missing DS 10/08
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#2 of 4 Old 08-25-2010, 12:22 AM
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i recommend using an auction house if you have a LOT of stuff that is fairly decent. they'll put it into a larger auction, keep tabs of the money that came in, give you the money less their fees (often, their fees are a percentage plus the basic cost for them to haul it away, store it, and get it ready for auction).

so, i would do three piles: trash/recycling; donations; and auctionhouse. what you are keeping, go ahead and keep in the rooms themselves, or pack up to take to the next place.

i would, personally, go room by room. when you are finished with that room, put out the trash, go and make the donation, and then separate the boxes between "moving" and "auction." you can keep them in the rooms until you are ready for the auction house to pick everything up.

call the auction house and set a date for them to come and pick everything up. this will give you a firm deadline. it will be easier to declutter quickly.

once you have all of the items packed that you want to move with you (non-essentialls), it is not a problem to store these in a place like the garage. Just make sure it is organized and not crammed with stuff. if it is crammed, then go ahead and rent a storage room.

keep the necessities at your home. remember, you still have to live there for a bit. you just want to make it easy for you to clean up if you need to do a quick clean before the people come to see the house.
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#3 of 4 Old 08-25-2010, 02:57 AM
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We merged the de-cluttering and packing into one stage. I packed as much as I could and it went to a storage facility a couple of boxes at a time. We lived with the minimum. It was far easier to keep clean, and it was less work than going through the house to de-clutter and then again to pack.

If you have a lot of stuff you could get an auction house to take a look. My inlaws looked into an auction when they had to deal with the estate of a relative though, and the auction house said that it wasn't worth their time. There just wasn't enough valuable stuff.

It takes a lot of time to organize a yard sale or to sell on kijiji or craigslist. Even freecycle can be a pain. When we've moved I've sold the big stuff that I could get rid of fast, and then I just donated the rest. I found a charity that helps set women up in their own apartments after they leave shelters and they were really happy to take everything I had.

Julie - Mom to Elizabeth (Libby) age 6, Penelope (Penny) age 5, Elliott age 29 months, and Oscar who is 1 year old!
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#4 of 4 Old 08-25-2010, 11:46 AM
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Rather than having to drive to a storage unit, I would get one of those "pods". Have them park it in your driveway for a couple weeks, and fill it up as you go room by room. Have them move it before the open house. They will store it for awhile, and then deliver it to your new house.

I agree with pp about keeping only the minimum. Pack up almost everything. It will be easier to keep clean.

Garage sale vs. donate depends on how much time/money you have/need.

As you get closer to the move date, it might get too overwhelming to decide keep/toss/sell on everything. At that point, just put it in a box and move it. Once you are in your new space, you can take your time opening the non-essential boxes. In a fresh clean space, it will be an easier decision to get rid of stuff since there won't be a place for it. Plus, you will know you haven't needed it for months, and it will be easier to just let it never resurface.

Good luck mama!!
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