Declutter and Move on a Budget

I have always disliked moving.

I mean, I like the idea of moving into a new apartment and I look forward to settling into a new home. What I don’t particularly enjoy is packing everything I owe, tidy up my old place and move all my belongings into my new home, often across town. The whole process can be very distressing. My current apartment is my 5th home in the past 6 years or so. This is what happens when you don’t own a place; you keep moving from one place to another, and I find this experience exhausting and hard to enjoy.

I have lived in my current apartment for just under 2 years. I love my flat, it feels like home and I have an amazing flatmate who has become my very good friend. On the other side, the rent on my current place is quite high and since I’m doing everything in my power to get out of debt and start saving for my future, I have no choice but to move out to a more affordable place and this is heart breaking. That said, I have to admit I am very much looking forward to spending less money on rent and own less stuff. That’s right. No more stuff.


I have come to realise that if I truly want to change my financial life around and start afresh heading to my bright financial future, I need space. Literally. With so many things lying around and collecting dust, I actually feel there is no space to breathe. I also realised that it would be so much easier to move if I owed less stuff. It took me three full days to declutter, and I was ruthless. I got rid of many items of clothing and many pairs of shoes.  Some of the things I had to throw away as I knew charities would not want them (they are very picky) and some I set aside for the charity shop which I plan on visiting this coming Saturday. I am going to sell most of my designer items, I have dresses that I only wore once or twice and I don’t think I will ever wear again. All my books and DVDs are also going. I will keep one or two of my absolute favourites but this will be it. It took me one full day to go through (and shred!) all my paperwork and it was painful to look at my old bank statements. I am so glad they are gone and I will never see them again. Ever.

My bedroom looks completely empty now. I feel liberated, I really do. It is amazing how clutter can become such a heavy emotional weight. Especially old bank statements with unhealthy balances! This is one thing I would definitely recommend – get rid. Make room for something new, something that will not carry a negative balance. I am proud to say that all my belongings now fit into 5 big boxes plus my telly and 2 big suitcases. It still sounds like too much stuff, but it’s good progress, I used to own twice as much.


As my moving day is fast approaching, I decided to think ahead of ways to save on moving expenses. I will not order a removal service this time around (it cost me £200 to move 2 years ago), I will take a taxi (most likely a people’s carrier to fit all my stuff in which should not cost more than £25-30, yep I’ve already made some calls). Also, I will not be buying any moving boxes. Instead, I went to my closest supermarket yesterday and 5 minutes later walked out with 3 big boxes (I already have 2 storage boxes at home). Frugal or what?

Needless to say, I will not hire a professional cleaner, I will clean the place myself. That said, I only need to take care of my bedroom and my bathroom, and this is pretty easy and will not take much time. I am not sure what I would do if I had to move out of a big house. A bit of cleaning I can handle, but cleaning a big house (and not just cleaning but making it shine!)… errmm, no, not so much.

In my old days, I was way too busy living my life and would normally start packing 2 days before the move which often led to unnecessary stress and headaches. This time, I am so glad I started decluttering and packing one month in advance. I feel relaxed and in control, and most importantly in charge of my money as I know this move will not cost me much (fingers crossed)!

When was the last time you moved? Did it cost you much?

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  1. I’ve moved 6 times in the last 3 years so I know exactly what you mean when you say the whole process can be distressing! Great work on fitting all your belongings in 5 big boxes and 2 suitcases! That’s amazing. I’m trying to lead a more frugal lifestyle but to be honest, I don’t know if I could ever be a minimalist!
    Girl Meets Debt recently posted…If “Plan A” Didn’t Work…My Profile

  2. What a great idea to book a taxi to move all your stuff! It is tedious moving isn’t it? But it will be worth it when you start paying less rent and can see the benefits. The last time we moved, we had to borrow a friend’s truck (truck not van!) and take our car and my brother’s car (we had a whole house to pack up). It was so stressful because we had tenants moving into our old home on the same day that we were due to move into another over 2 hours away. We rent our current place but we’re not moving yet. We need to have a huge declutter and pay off all the debts before we up roots again.
    debtfreeoneday recently posted…10 ways to reduce the cost of weddings without compromiseMy Profile

  3. I moved around all my life and I simply hate it. I can’t wait to buy a house and live there until I die!!!
    I commend you for being so decisive and getting rid of lot of clutter in your house. I’m sort of a pack rat and it’s really hard for me to let go of stuff especially stuff with sentimental value. Within a few months of starting this blog, you’re really changing your lifestyle. Bravo~
    Michelle’s Finance Journal recently posted…Christmas Is Just Around The CornerMy Profile

  4. Moving just flat out sucks. I’ve been pretty settled into my place for nearly six years and the thought of moving again makes me cringe, even though this place is pretty expensive. I do get rid of stuff all the time, and having no clutter helps me have space to rent out my garage, and that REALLY helps the budget! It’s also very freeing. Good luck with the new place! I hope everything works out!
    Budget and the Beach recently posted…The Four Agreements & Personal FinanceMy Profile

  5. The last time I moved was a little over a year ago, and that was a double move – I moved from my apartment in San Francisco back home, then straight to our new house. It was exhausting!

    I never paid for moving boxes, either. My uncle works at a place that uses up a lot of computer paper, so during the months leading up to the move, he would stop by and bring us all the empty paper boxes.

    Good luck with the move! I know how exhausting it is. It sounds great that you got rid of a ton of stuff. Reminds me… I’m due for a closet purge…
    Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans recently posted…Don’t Be a Complainy-pantsMy Profile

  6. I bought my place in 2007. It was a tough move for personal reasons but not hard to do logistically. I am actually looking forward to the next move because that would mean that I’m actually moving in with “The One!” I am working on decluttering my place as we speak. It’s my winter project, for when I’m trapped in my home for 3 days during a snow storm. Good luck with your move!

  7. I would have loved to see some before and after photos!
    Decluttering and frugality go hand in hand. I went through a similar process and want to get rid of even more stuff.

  8. Well written post.. Moving is very daunting task and it needs planning before moving. You have shared such a useful and mad skills for decluttering which helps to save money on great extend. I like your idea to begin decluttering in advance and also done itself which will be give a great save. Thanks for sharing this informative read.

  9. I last moved April 2012 and like you, before then I moved almost every year. So annoying! Now we own a house and I feel good knowing I probably won’t be leaving here for a few more years until we are ready to upgrade. It probably cost us about $120 altogether to move. We got boxes for free as well, we just had to pay to rent a moving truck since we had furniture to move (ughhh) and moved my boyfriend’s stuff from one location and my stuff from another one two hours away from our current place. Way to go on minimizing down to just a few boxes and suitcases, you are making me want to go on another purging spree here! haha
    Gillian @ Drop That Debt recently posted…August Budget UpdateMy Profile

    1. Moving can be so expensive especially when you have furniture. The only piece of “furniture” I own is my telly. Oh, and a laptop table, but it’s portable so it’s easy to move it around. I feel so much better now that I got rid of some old things that have been lying around for years without being used. Minimizing my possessions is definitely something I will be doing from time to time now 😛
      Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…5 Fun Things to Do This AutumnMy Profile

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