Limiting the costs of clearing out a home


Much of the work we’re involved with inevitably involves some sort of sorting, clearing out and deciding how best to deal with unwanted possessions.  This might be as part of a de-cluttering exercise or as part of a move.

Whatever the scenario, there are various options to consider when dealing with your unwanted things.  Given that time is not an issue, there are some good ways to pass on your unwanted ‘stuff’, but if you’re involved in a move, downsize or declutter which has not been planned (often due to a crisis), then you may not have the time or inclination to carry this out yourself - we're happy to help out in such cases, acting as a co-ordinator for this whole process.

Here are some considerations, time permitting:


1.    Donate it: If the item’s in good condition, you could consider donation – either to a friend, to a charity shop (some will collect), or to other re-use networks, eg  Don’t forget that all items for donation will need to be in an acceptable condition, but that some charities also accept ‘rag’ which can be sold on & re-cycled, so not all material needs to be perfect (in this case label the bag as ‘rag’).  Most charity shops have a list of items they won’t accept, eg electrical items, & this can vary, so check with your local shops.  Some specific charities/networks will collect larger items of furniture and larger quantities of goods.


2.    Sell it: perhaps online (eg e-bay), through an auction house, through other local networks, or organise a (time-intensive but potentially enjoyable) car-boot sale.  Don’t forget that auctioning an item may be worthwhile for valuable items, but that you may well have to pay transport costs and a percentage to the auction house, so make sure you factor this in.  On-line auctions also have a fee attached.


3.    Re-vamp it! – can you cover it, paint it, find another use for it?  Obviously a clear-out is an opportunity to get rid of things, but there will be some items that could be re-used or re-vamped given some creative thinking.


4.    Freecycle/swap it: – these networks are now very popular and it’s good to know that an item is going to be put to good use by someone that genuinely needs it.  Local freecycle organisations can be searched for on


5.    Shred it:  confidential paperwork, or correspondence showing contact details should be shredded.  Either purchase a cross-cut shredder, or save up enough paperwork (at least an archive-box worth) and use a local shredding service which will either shred on site or at their depot – either way make sure they provide you with a Certificate of Destruction.

6.    Recycle it: paper/cardboard, wood, glass, metal, textiles/shoes etc can all usually be separated out and re-cycled at your local refuse centre. 


7.   Throw it out DIY style:  if none of the above apply, you can either hire a skip (for certain types of waste) or take it to your local waste disposal centre yourself if practical.  Bear in mind that disposing of some specified items in a skip can incur extra charges (eg mattresses) - check with your supplier.


8.    Arrange clearance:  this can be relatively costly if your goods aren’t valuable (valuable goods can sometimes off-set the cost of clearance).  Clearance businesses have to pay to dispose of many items at the waste disposal centre – either by weight, or per item (white goods and mattresses carry a set cost, for example), and they will also need to cover their transportation costs and man-hours.  Select a reputable company whose recycling ethics are in line with the latest standards.



If, as part of a move or downsize, an individual is not able or willing to take on such a project, Moving On are able to help co-ordinate this work.  We can work with individuals to de-clutter/sort through possessions in a professional, sensitive way and can offer practical solutions to any problems.


Feel free to contact us here.