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House Clearance Advice

Usually, it’s never a good time when you have to do a house clearance. However, there are some things you can do to ensure that the whole process works as smoothly as possible.

Take time to plan

It’s likely to take one person a day to sort out a room – or two people, half a day each. It’s important to allow – and allocate – yourself sufficient time to get everything ready before calling in professionals to take the things away. That way, you’ll reduce the pressure – and your stress levels.

Decision time

The tough part of any house clearance is deciding which things to keep, perhaps which things to sell or give away and, definitely, which things to throw away.

Some people adopt a system of putting coloured stickers on items, where one (agreed) colour indicates that the item will be kept; another colour denotes that it is to be sold; another for items to be given away or donated to charity, and a final colour for the items which will be thrown away.

Most people start the process cautiously, erring on the side of keeping things. After a while, though, you’ll realise that you can’t keep all the things you’re thinking of keeping – and you’ll begin to take a more ‘severe’, less ‘sentimental’ approach.

When all the decisions have been taken, group together all the things that, for example, are going to be thrown away. This will give you an idea of the amount of ‘waste’ that you’re going to have to get rid of. After that, you should have more space to gather the other items – and dispose of them.

Think about disposing the items to be thrown away

There are a number of ways in which you can – legally – get rid of these items.

You could take them, one by one, to the local Household Waste Collection/ Recycling Centre. This may take some time.

Another way is via a skip. Most skips will contain six or eight cubic yards of waste (a cubic yard is a space measuring one yard (three feet or 0.92 metres) by one yard by one yard. This equates – very roughly – to two standard washing machines or dishwashers, or to one upright fridge-freezer).

Estimate how many of these skips you’ll need in order to get rid of all the items. Of course, you can get more things in the skip if you can break them down to reduce their volume. For example, you can break apart old wardrobes and chests of drawers to reduce the amount of space they’ll take up in a skip.

A third way is via a collection service such as that offered by Waste King. Again, you will be charged on the volume of the items collected but it may well turn out to be cheaper, easier and quicker than using skips.


There are two key issues when getting rid of documents.

One is: don’t throw out documents which you may need at a later date.

The second is: if you’re throwing out confidential documents, you might be well advised to destroy them by shredding them. Waste King offers a ‘confidential documents destruction service’ – and will be pleased to offer you some help with this.

Selling items

You can sell unwanted items via the internet, advertisements in local newspapers, a local auction house and even via ‘Garage Sales’. Bear in mind that, typically, a dealer will offer you about 33 per cent of the ‘market value’ of collectables, such as stamps, coins and medals – to take account of the dealer’s costs in ‘selling on’ these items. Applying this principle to other items you may be thinking of selling might give you a realistic perspective on the amount of money you might expect to raise from the sale.

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