Use the 4 box system to clean out your house
Box 1: Keep in the family – important photos, heirlooms, documents that you want passed onto other family members. Make sure they store them well, scan them into the computer to keep as a record there. It may be best to give these items to that family member who will inherit them now, so that they don’t get thrown out by accident during the move.
Box 2: Move with me – this could be items like artwork that you will put up in new home.
Box 3: Appraisal / Sell – those items that you are not going to keep, but that are too valuable to throw away.
Box 4: Donate or Throw away.
Start with the least used rooms first (they usually have less clutter, and will therefore be easier to empty).
Work in small increments of time, for example: every morning from 10-noon. Then stop and go on with your day, so you don’t get overwhelmed with a 10 hour day of cleaning.
Hire cleaning or movers that will do small jobs to help for difficult areas: (attic, basement, garage)
Involve family and friends to help, one at a time, with a specific task. Like, a grand child can come one Saturday to clean out the attic. On another day, someone else can go through papers and files with you to help determine what to keep and what to dispose of.
Set a timeline that you want things done by, for example:
I want the house cleaned out by_______________________
I want to start looking at homes by ____________________
Ideally I like to move by ____________________________
Discuss these timelines with those who will be helping you, and be sure to keep communicating as you go along. These could change and you want your helpers to be aware of this so you have the same mindset about when things will get done by.
Before looking at other homes, sit down and make a list of what is most important to have in a new place. Be specific, think about what you love about your home. For example: I really want to look out my bedroom window and see trees, or I really like to have a large bathroom. Whatever it is, so that you can have that in mind when you are looking at other places.
Do the same as above as to where you want to live: which town, neighborhood, area. For example, It is important that we go to the same church, so we don’t want to be too far from it.