If you’re facing a new job in a new place, selling your current home or apartment may loom large in your daily dose of stressors. Since we deal daily with these monster life-altering situations we understand more than most how debilitating it all can be. Fortunately for us, we have the very happy circumstance of being able to help home sellers when they need it most. That makes our job as house stylists very, very rewarding.

Job #1 is always getting rid of your clutter and unnecessary ‘stuff’. Why we humans accumulate so much flotsam and jetsam remains a mystery even to those of us who work with it daily. However, before you can begin to pack your important ‘stuff’ for the move to your new future, you must discard the junk.

We use the term ‘junk’ but it doesn’t always refer to grocery receipts and last year’s Christmas tie. Some of the junk we cling to is sentimental. The devilled egg plate Aunt Hilda gave you for your wedding is a classic example. You’ve never used it. Not once. So why is it still taking up space in your kitchen cupboard? Take a picture to remember it by, then drop – okay, don’t drop it, place it carefully in the nearest charity collection bin for somebody who has always wanted an egg plate.

About those clothes you’re holding on to for the day you lose a few kilos. Take them all off the hangers and pop them into the same charity bin with the egg plate. IF you lose those kilos, reward yourself with NEW stuff. You won’t miss that skirt or the shoes you bought to go with it. We promise.

Magazines are easy. Trash them. If you insist on saving your National Geographic editions, just promise us that you won’t store them boxed up in your new garage. If you love them, love them enough to display them. If you don’t, don’t allow them to weigh you down. Too much stuff is a mighty responsibility. Who needs more of that?

Baby clothes, old toys, and the sundry ‘stuff’ associated with procreation may be useful if you are actually planning to expand your family. If you are not actually planning such a move, donate the stuff to a women’s shelter or your local op shop. Keep a few special items – two or three at most – then pass all the others along to somebody who can truly appreciate them.

Electronics?  Now there’s a problem. Electronics equipment becomes obsolete within hours of its first sale. We house stylists urge you not to even bother trying to give it away.

You might think of sending your old PC down to the Salvation Army Store, but we advise against it. There is an entire underworld industry dedicated to snapping up old electronics and extracting personal information for criminal purposes. Identity theft is a big deal and it begins with old data left on hard drives. Remove your hard drive, and then take out all your frustrations by bashing it repeatedly with a hammer. Repeat this with old phones and any other electronic device where you’ve stored the first piece of personal information.

You can keep every single thing you absolutely love. Just don’t keep things that you haven’t used in a year. The one exception to this is Christmas decorations — unless they are in a box marked “Lights – Don’t Work”. Be ruthless and totally honest with yourself. Pick up every last item and ask yourself if you can live without it. If you can, why would you pay to move it to Melbourne? If you wouldn’t move it to Melbourne, why on earth would you pay to transport it across the continent to Perth?

Once you’ve thinned down the number of things you’ll be keeping, it will be far easier to pack for your move. It will also require fewer boxes, and fewer friends or professional movers to lift and tote it to your new digs. Trust us. The savings will be significant as well.

When your house stylists arrive, they will have that clean canvas on which home buyers will soon paint their own future.

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