A collection of tiny French toy books found in a house clearance in north-east England has sold for an impressive £1,600. Found in Northumberland, the collection is one of only four known in the world, highlights the BBC. For those who have a prized collection, priceless family heirlooms, or other valuable items, preparing for a house clearance can be an overwhelming thought. From getting a head start to staying organised — and when to enlist help — here’s how you can efficiently go about a house clearance while prioritising your valuables.
The earlier, the better — how to prepare
Moving house was ranked as the ‘most stressful life event’ by 57% of Brits, according to one survey conducted by Legal & General. For those who are anticipating a large clean-out, getting started as early as possible will allow for ample time for all aspects of the clearance process, especially when prioritsing valuables that need extra care. Giving yourself plenty of time can be particularly helpful if you’ll be clearing your own property, as you’ll need to gather the right packing supplies and sort through your things — not to mention clean up along the way.
“To eliminate moving stress, we always recommend preparing in phases,” suggests Clea Shearer of The Home Edit, a full-service home organisation company whose clients include Gwyneth Paltrow. “Two to four weeks before packing, you should begin the purging process. Once you eliminate the items that aren’t moving with you to the new house, you can begin to pack your belongings, moving room by room.” Planning ahead will also allow you to get together the right packing materials, which can further ensure that any valuables are properly packed away with minimal chance of damage.
An organised approach
Clearing a property can easily become a messy, unorganised endeavor, especially if you don’t know where to start. However, taking an organised approach can be a great way to get everything done much more efficiently. One HGTV post recommends creating a binder specifically designated for your move at least two months beforehand. Including categories within the binder — including checklists, schedules, inventory, etc. Adding a tab for your valuables can also allow you to keep track of sorting, packing, and anything else that may need to be done, thus ensuring that you don’t mistakenly leave something out.
When it comes to executing the process of clearing out your home and packing up, an Apartment Therapy post highlights the value in using various organisational techniques. In addition to packing the least used items first, it’s recommended to create color-coded labels for each room in the new house. Designating ‘donate’ and ‘toss’ boxes ready as you’re packing can further help organise the process, and will ensure that you don’t mistakenly throw out anything of value. “Even if you’ve done a good job of decluttering before starting to pack, you may be able to purge even more as you’re actually putting things in boxes,” the post points out.
Saving time — and energy
Britons spend the equivalent of 10 days a year (237 hours) cleaning their homes, according to one study. Carving out the time to clean the house on a regular basis takes enough time as it is, though a house clearance can present as a massive undertaking, especially when taking into consideration tasks such as deep cleaning and sorting through valuable possessions. For those who need to focus on properly sorting through and packing away possessions such as a valuable art collection, family heirlooms, etc., enlisting the help of a professional clearance service can be a great way to save time and energy while allowing you to focus on what’s important.
Having a range of options to choose from — such as being able to select which rooms that you want the professionals to tackle — can be particularly beneficial when looking to prioritise your valuables. For example, hiring a cleaning service can give you the opportunity to deep clean more personal areas of the house, such as an office or bedroom, while the professionals tidy up or deep clean other rooms. This can also be optimal if you wish to handle most of the work yourself, but have the professionals handle any last-minute cleaning of the empty house. As such, this will allow you to sort through documents or a prized collection, all the while ensuring that the house is cleared on time and in a thorough manner — without excessive amounts of stress.
Moving while preparing for a house clearance can easily make for a stressful event, especially when worrying about taking care of valuables in the process. By getting an early start, staying organised in various ways, and reaching out for help when you need it, you’ll be able to efficiently clean out your home and move on to the next in no time.
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