When you’re planning to store your belongings for the long term, decluttering is a crucial step. Not only does it help to reduce the amount of storage space needed, but it also simplifies the moving process and can significantly decrease costs. Here’s how you can efficiently declutter before packing up for long-term storage:

  1. Start Early and Categorise

Begin the decluttering process well in advance of your move. This gives you ample time to sort through your belongings without feeling rushed. Categorise your items into groups: keep, donate, sell, and discard. By categorising, you can easily see what you actually need to store, what can be given away, and what should be thrown out.

  1. Consider the Cost of Storage vs. Value of Items

Evaluate whether the cost of storing an item is worth it. If the cost of storage over time surpasses the item’s value or the cost to replace it, it might be better to let it go. This is particularly true for bulky items like furniture, which take up significant space.

decluttering storage

  1. Use the One-Year Rule

A practical decluttering strategy is the one-year rule: if you haven’t used an item in the past year, you probably won’t need it in the near future. This rule is especially useful for clothing, kitchen gadgets, and decorative items. Exceptions might be seasonal items like winter gear or certain sports equipment.

  1. Digitise What You Can

Reduce clutter by digitising items where possible. This can include documents, photos, CDs, and DVDs. Digitising reduces physical storage needs and helps protect important documents from potential damage.

  1. Tackle Sentimental Items Last

Sentimental items can be the hardest to sort through. Tackle these last, once you’ve made decisions about less emotionally charged items. If it’s difficult to part with sentimental items but they’re not practical to keep, consider taking photos of them before letting go.

  1. Be Ruthless with Duplicates

If you have duplicate items, keep the best and get rid of the rest. This is common with kitchen items like pots, pans, or utensils. Often, we accumulate duplicates over time without realising it.

  1. Plan for Future Use

When deciding what to keep for long-term storage, consider your future needs. Are you storing items you will definitely use again, or are you holding onto things just in case? Be honest with yourself to avoid storing items unnecessarily.

  1. Keep a Charity Box

As you declutter, keep a box for items that can be donated to charity. We recommend supporting Mind, a charity dedicated to mental health, with shops across England and Wales. You can find your local Mind shop here. Alternatively, Doree Bonner International will facilitate your charitable efforts by offering to deliver these items to Mind on your behalf if you book storage or move with us.

long-term storage decluttering

Why Choose Doree Bonner International?

At Doree Bonner International, we recognise the importance of secure, efficient, cost effective storage and moving solutions. Storing items, particularly for long durations, requires trust and confidence in your chosen company.

  • We offer secure, clean, dry storage solutions that ensure your belongings are protected, regardless of how long they need to be stored.
  • Our facilities are monitored 24/7, providing peace of mind that your items are safe.
  • Our storage fees are based on the volume of goods, ensuring you only pay for the space you use, saving you money.
  • Our professional packing services use high-quality, specialised packing materials and methods tailored to protect your belongings during storage and transit.
  • With our extensive industry accreditations and positive customer reviews, you can trust us to handle your possessions with care.

For more detailed guidance on packing and an easy start to your decluttering process, download our Packing Checklist and Inventory Log Sheet. This will help you keep track of your belongings and ensure they are packed correctly for storage.

For more information on our storage solutions and packing services, or to get started with your long-term storage process, visit our website for a free online quote or contact us 24/7. Let us help to make your long-term storage a smooth and stress-free experience.