Originally posted by Barbara:
if you know you'll be moving next year, best to start the weeding-out right now. Doing it all at once can introduce a distinct note of panic into one's life.
I think this is a personality thing - I find that only panic, or something resembling it, will actually make me do things. Example: my sister and husband and two teenage children, one of each sort, came to stay at the end of August. This necessitated not just tidying the spare bedroom (actually the room in which I'm typing this and where I keep most of my papers and clothes and stuff like old opera programmes) but also clearing out the other two rooms on the top floor of the house and putting up beds in each.

We'd known they were coming about two months previously - but the bulk of the necessary work was done in the week before their arrival. About 80% of the stuff to be dealt with was books. At first, these were sorted into ones to be thrown away, ones to be given to charity and ones to stay on the shelves or go on the new shelves, not without disputes ("you never look at these history books" "you never look at these architecture books" ...), but as the time got closer, it just became a matter of putting on the shelves what the shelves would hold and removing the rest in boxes to the cellar - which currently contains a mixture of sorted books and not-yet-sorted books, and it's not necessarily apparent which are which. Must get round to looking through them again, one of these days.