If you’re moving house…

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If you’re moving house, here are 5 quick house clearance tips.

House clearances are often very stressful. You may have been recently bereaved and you’re still coming to terms with your loss; clearing a house is also difficult because it takes a lot of time, energy and planning. With some forethought and help from friends and family, however, you can make it go as well as possible.

1. Plan your moves

You should aim to spend half a day (four to five hours) on each room, so work this into your time budget with extra time tacked onto the end. You’ll be surprised how uncovering old keepsakes and long-forgotten trinkets can stall you – have a kettle and tea bags handy and give yourself time to think and talk. Don’t rush yourselves, but don’t bottle up memories and emotions either.

2. Use colour-coding for everything

A traffic light system is best if you want to separate things into “keeping in the family”, “selling or charity shop” and “disposal or recycling” piles. Use green, yellow and red stickers – green for recycling, yellow for selling and red for keeping and be strict. This is one of the toughest tasks here, as it can be hard to part with Granny’s baking dishes, but do you have space for them? You can keep just one, but which one? Try to be calm and logical here.

3. How much is in each pile?

When you’ve sorted everything into their piles, you have to work out how much is in each one. Try to estimate how many regular-sized skips you’ll need for each – you’ll probably only need a skip for the green-labelled items, but it’s handy to have size and weight estimates.

4. Have a removal company ready

You’ll need to transport the red-labelled things carefully so that nothing gets damaged. When it comes to the yellow-labels, things can go two ways. For the more valuable items, you could send them to one of the many specialist auctions across Ireland from Rosss.ie. House clearance auctions get a lot of custom and you’ll be secure in the knowledge that your loved one’s possessions will be treated well and professionally. The smaller and less-valuable items can go to charity, which is always a comforting thing to do.

For the green pile, things are easier. You can put them in a skip or the boot of your car and take them to the dump or recycling centre. If there’s white goods and other electrical appliances, then you can offer newer ones to a housing charity or ask the council to take older ones away.

5. Stay safe and secure

It’s not a small job, clearing a house. There’s the physical effort, as well as the dust, loose staples and nails, the splinters and the stubbed toes… Take your time and lift heavy items properly. Make sure you’re not on your own and leave especially heavy items where they are until you have enough people to move them safely. Then there’s the more modern threats of identity theft. If you’re disposing of old bank statements, for example, use a shredder so no-one can use the personal information for wrongdoing. Take things easy and make sure you have regular rest breaks – it can be a tough time, so be kind to yourself.

Header photo copyright of Nick Rice via Flickr

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