The best way to achieve something difficult is to have a plan. Here’s mine.
I read somewhere that allowing yourself six months to go through all your possessions is a reasonable timeframe. I read somewhere else a long time ago that breaking tidying jobs into either areas (pick up everything off the living room floor) or categories (pick up all the dirty laundry and put it in the washing machine) helps to stay focussed. You also know when you have finished, so then you have the benefit of feeling smug and satisfied doing that last one bit of the task.
So what I did is write out six areas, one for each month. The task for January is to “clear the loft”. By “clear” I mean for all intents and purposes the space is to be empty.
Husband and I agreed there were a few things that could sensibly continue to live in the loft until we move, which is our artificial Christmas tree and the suitcases. Everything else has to leave the house entirely. It cannot shift just from the loft into our general possessions unless it is remarkably wonderful and will add value to the next chapter of our lives.
I was advised by our neighbours to aim for completely empty rooms. This means for each area of the house we tackle, the goal is for it to indeed be empty as long as it doesn’t impact our ability to still live an agreeable life.
Yesterday, we decided we’d break the ice on New Year’s Day by going up into the loft and taking just one thing that was obvious it needed to go. And we would continue to go up there every day and do at least one reasonable thing. Keep it achievable. Don’t discourage ourselves on Day One of the job. Husband composted three boxes full of old paperwork. I tried to process three boxes of DVDs and CDs. This possibly wasn’t smart as music and movies are two of the loves of my life. I wish I had picked a box of old bank statements as my job would have been a lot simpler. But oh well, grasp the nettle and all that.