Snog, Marry, Avoid, sorry I mean donate, keep, dump. A hoarder’s guide to downsizing before a BIG move. 

This is such a big job I’m breaking into categories. I’m going to update this one as I go so this is, what we call in the industry: a ‘live document’. I do not consider myself to be a hoarder, however the people in my life do. It could just be that they’ve helped me move over 15 times and are DONE with my shit. This job is unlike any other though due to the cost (roughly 1900 euro) of moving my belongings down under. Some choose to dump everything and start again. However being in my early 30s’s I essentially have a whole house set up here so am bringing was is reasonable and I can live 6 months without. That’s roughly how long the shipping container takes to arrive.

I am dividing the labour into rooms and areas. So far I’ve done my wardrobe, under the stairs and paperwork. Soon, the dreaded Christmas decors.  


Things you will need:

  • car insurance discs/proof of your years of no claims. I am PRAYING they take these.Obviously keep your log book as you’ll need it if you’re selling or taking your car.
  • Birth certs.
  • Passport(s).
  • Educational Qualifications, or any other qualifications. 
  • Landlord references.
  • Work references .
  • Sentimental cards. I’m gonna sound brutal here, keep a handful, like 10 max. 
  • Medical records, especially covid jabs certs. They want these.
  • Legal documents.
  • Important receipts (expensive or electrical goods).
  • Financial agreements such as loan documents.

The satisfaction at chucking out EVERYTHING ELSE I have to say, it was immense.  It made up two black sacks when shredded. Make sure you shred any documents with personal details like banking, public service numbers etc. Everything above bar sentimental documents was also scanned onto my google drive, just in case. 


Went through the wardrobe, standard chuck out but harsher. There’s things we all own that we don’t wear. I recommend watching some Marie Kondo on Netflix first. Fill yourself with that ‘does this spark joy’ energy. If it doesn’t ‘spark joy’ here, it won’t ‘spark joy’ there. Wardrobe items tend to fall into a few different categories:

  • These used to fit me, hopefully will fit me again’’-DONATE.You don’t need that negative energy in your life. 
  •  The ‘God I love these, but I’ve not worn them in 1/more years’- DONATE
  • That ancient item in your wardrobe that you love but have repaired more than twice and needs repairing again. BIN. Even the charity shop doesn’t want it now. 
  •  Then there’s coats, realistically we will probably need one nice going out coat and one I’m hiking a mountain coat, donate the rest. I’m giving one to my friend in Dublin so when I come back for a visit I have one. It will save me using suitcase space when I’m packing for a trip back.
  • Thermals, I mean it’s probably safe to say you don’t need these. Unless you’re moving to Melbourne. 
  • Heels. I dunno about you but my feet cannot handle heels anymore since Covid and living in flats/slippers. 
  • Handbags, I’ve a bit of a handbag problem and have listed about 5 for sale on Depop. Same with heels, purses etc. Anything you might get a few bob for see if you can sell. Give it 6 weeks, if they’re still there, charity shop. 
  • Makeup and beauty, Ok so not everyone keeps this stuff in their wardrobe but if you do, get rid of old shit. If there’s lipstick you don’t wear anymore, powder you’ve had for 5 years etc, you’re not going to use them. Don’t pay to put them in a Move Cube. See if any friends or family want them.
  • Halloween outfits. Maybe y’all don’t have an enormous box of Halloween dress up in your attic. If you do, try and flog it online in October unless you’re 100% going to wear those outfits again in Australia. 
  • Interview/formal work clothes. Do you even have a formal work setting anymore? Did you ever? I have clothes I bought for interviews and have literally not worn in 5 plus years. You only need one interview outfit. 
  • Old underwear, you all know what I mean. Chuck ’em.

Consider setting up a Depop or Vinted account to try and flog clothes, handbags, makeup, jewellery, roller skates, sunglasses etc etc. On Depop you pay 10% to them for selling the item and then sometimes PayPal take a fee too, you’ve been warned. Not too sure about Vinted as it doesn’t operate in the Republic but heard it’s good.

Under the stairs: 

So far I’ve gotten rid of air fryers, food I hoarded like some sort of doomsday prepper when Covid hit and everyone else was hoarding toilet paper, a parasol base and a pair of roller skates. Also boxes of stuff belonging to family members, shoes I no longer wear and stuff that my friends had lent me.

The Attic:

So the attic isn’t completely clear but I’ve all the decors down, Christmas and Halloween and boxed up ready to go. Which is a really bizarre feeling. Also gave away my Christmas tree and gave my friends first pick on any Christmas decors I’m not bringing with me. You can’t being any untreated wood into Australia so the pine cons are gone!

In the attic was a load of bedding, some from previous owners, 5 bags of this went to dogs trust/charity shop (once cleaned obviously). Loads of crap, stuff I just won’t need. A load of extension leads, boxes, photo frames and sadly Teddy’s. Charity shop, charity shop, charity shop. I’m also minding luggage for family now on the other side of the world. Made a plan for that.

Coats and clothes were next. Being real, how many coats will I need in Sydney really. I’ve settled on 3, a suitable for hiking one, a suitable for work one and a black/funeral appropriate one. I’m going to leave one in my friends house in Dublin so when she meets me at the airport I have an Ireland layer and the rest: donated. I had a surprising amount of Christmas themed clothes, wooly dresses, jumpers, Mrs Clause outfits, Christmas hats, Christmas pudding hats etc etc. I gave most of these away on an app called Olio, which is an app where people can give away, borrow or lend stuff within their community. It’s really cool and saved stuff going to landfill.

Boxes of sentimental stuff I went through and culled what I could. Photo albums and stuff obviously will be coming with me.

The Hot Press/”airing cupboard” if you’re really posh or British 😛

3 black bags came out of the hot press. A mix of towels that I didn’t really use and bedding that doesn’t fit or I just havn’t reached for in years. Australias beds are different sizes to ours so I know eventually all my sheets will have to go but I’m bringing some of my pillows and my duvet (doona) with me. I kept 4 duvets sets, 4 bath towels, 4 hand towels and 4 ‘hair towels’ and 2 turbans. Maybe that sounds like a lot but I was clinging to them all before they went in the bag like they have sentimental value. I have one towel since I was 19, it came all around Australia with me in a backpack and I just can’t bear to get rid of it!

Dogs trust will take sheets, duvet covers, pillow covers but not pillows or duvets as they can be shredded by the dogs and eaten, which we don’t want. If you’ve no dogs trust near you ring a local cat/dog centre and ask.

The crap drawers

Perhaps these have a different name in your house but everyone home has at least one. My friend came over and helped me, everything from expired meds and condoms to medical receipts from 5 years ago. Do go through your meds, some go off quicker than you think. They should be returned to the pharmacy for safe disposal. Don’t want them fishies eaten your Rennies. For revenue you need to keep records of any medical expenses you’ve claimed for for four years, but your pharmacy can print you off a yearly record for prescriptions so anything from pre 2022 got dumped. Your GP can do the same but some are dicks and will charge for it. If you must keep them all, scan them and shred. You can use an app on your phone called Fastscanner and email them all to your account. If you do this I suggest creating a folder with years, months etc so your inbox isn’t just insane with PDFs.

Since doing this one of the crap drawers is now a travel drawer and had passports, plug adapters, eye masks and other travel shite in it. Bit by bit I’m getting there.

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