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Move countdown

4 weeks before M-day

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By this time, you should be ready to start gearing up for your move. There are probably a lot of tasks ahead of you that are pretty daunting. Putting them off will only heap more pressure on you as Move day draws nearer, so try to get as many of the major tasks out of the way as early as possible.

The loft
If your loft has been accumulating possessions ever since you moved into your current home, then it is probably not a bad place to start. Select a room in the house and get everything down. Unless you have a converted loft, this will be much easier than rooting around with a torch in all that fibreglass. Go through everything, disposing of anything you don't need or want. Anything that isn't an heirloom and has been up there for some time may well never get used again anyway. When you have finished, box everything up, label it and either leave it out or stow it away back in the loft.

The cellar or basement
Do exactly the dame for the cellar as for the loft.

The shed and garage
Choose a nice day if you can, and sort out all the stuff that is stored away in either of these two places. Why not have one side of the garage for 'keep' and one side for chuck. You will probably find that the chuck side quickly grows. You may then wish that you had done this ages ago. Keep screws and nails separate and start a box for useful bits and pieces. Keep all your garden tools together. Throw away anything that you do not need. You may need to do a tip run or visit a charity shop at this stage.

The garden
Cut the lawns really short so that you can get away with not doing them again. Drain any fuel from garden equipment such as lawnmowers, clean your BBQ, and ensure all outdoor equipment is clean enough to transport. Make sure you know which plants you are taking from the garden and make sure you have proper tubs to transport them in. Ask at your local garden centre if you don't have any. Remember to keep hold of some canes to help your plants get through the move. Dismantle any children's garden play equipment such as swings or climbing frames and keep all the nuts and bolts together in a bank bag or jar.

The home
Start going through the house room by room to get rid of anything you aren't taking. Be savagely ruthless unless you're moving to a much bigger place. This should include going through all the cupboards (including under the stairs), emptying them out, cleaning them and throwing away anything that is not going with you. Replace everything afterwards, but consider rearranging the contents to make it easier to pack them when the time comes.

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