I have moved more than the average person during my lifetime. I moved to Germany back at the beginning of 1973 and moved back to Florida 17 years later with an overseas container full of belongings (that was NOT a military shipment).
Since then I have moved an additonal 16 times - yes, I did say SIXTEEN times! So when it comes to getting rid of clutter, I consider myself an expert. Whether you are moving across the world or across town, it is still a move and everything needs to be packed and relocated! A real headache, especially as we get older and generally have more 'stuff'.
When my kids were younger I kept everything and moved it. My daughter is now 29 and my son is 31. A few years ago I made an announcement: "Let me know what you want to have because if you don't want it, I am not keeping it!" They found out I was serious when I started carting off car-loads of crystal, pottery and small furniture pieces to the local Hospice for them to sell. (Donating to a place like Hospice is a wonderful idea because you are helping an organization that does a lot of good for everyone!!!)
See all those books??? I had WALLS of books like that! Now I own less than 30 books! My local public library got boxes and boxes of donations! The books that I had in German were donated to Rollins College in Winter Park, where my son, Sascha got his BS degree. I only kept the few books I thought I would actually READ again! I now use the public library A LOT!!!!
All those diplomas on the wall? Gone! I kept my MA Degree (I could not have gotten it without getting the AA and BA, so why keep them???). All those framed photos? I had walls of them! Now I have about 30 framed photos TOTAL! The others are in my computer and a back-up is in cyberspace with Carbonite!
By the way, yes, that was me back in 1998 without the long hair - I had cut it all off - that is my daughter, Corinna, with me in our living room back then.
All the pictures and paintings on the wall behind my son, Sascha, were also donated! I kept ONE large oil painting and that only because Sascha wants it one day.
I stress decluttering to my clients all the time and give them tips on how to do it. I offer to assist friends and family in decluttering! I consider myself the Queen of Decluttering!!!!!
If you are selling you HAVE TO declutter! I sold my townhome (in these photos) in less than a week. It went in the MLS one day and had a contract in 4 days!!! I think my ability to declutter helped get the place SOLD in record time!
The same thing happened with a home we lived in up in Tarpon Springs. It was a large home and was put on the market one day and had a contract in less than 10 days AND was sold for more than any house in the neighborhood had sold for to date. Again, I think decluttering was a factor!
So when you take a listing or when you as a homeowner want to sell your home, declutter BEFORE you put it on the market! It makes life SO MUCH easier!!!!