Your Trash, Their Treasure: How to Get Rid of Stuff Before You Move

Moving is usually a pretty exhausting endeavor. It’s also exciting and a fairly essential part of life. Those of us who have done it much know that it’s a time when you discover that you have way more stuff than you need as well.

Here’s the good news though. Moving affords you the opportunity to go through all of your things and get rid of some of them. You have to pull everything out of where you have it hidden and stored away anyway, so take advantage of the situation and set aside everything that you don’t need to take with you. You’ll have less to pack upfront, and less to unpack on the other end.

Prime Candidates for Things to Rid Your House of

It’s inevitable that when you’re packing up to move, you’ll run into things that you forgot you even had. This is the time when you see that we really live with a lot of excess stuff that we don’t need. We have things stowed away in every corner of our homes just taking up space. But how do you know what to get rid of?

Here are some categories of things that you should be able to convince yourself to let go of, and why.

  • Clothing – Most closets in your house have clothes in them that the owner does not ever wear. We tend to hold onto clothes that used to fit and might fit again one day. If it hasn’t been worn in the last year, get rid of it.
  • DVD and CD cases – Yes, there are still plenty of people who have actual DVDs or CDs. If you are one of them, then do yourself a favor and at least transfer the discs to those carrier books. Then you don’t have to transport a bunch of cases that take up way too much space.
  • Small kitchen appliances – Many of us have small appliances that we really thought we were going to use—but it turns out they’re still just sitting in their boxes taking up valuable space in our cabinets. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll start using them at your new house.
  • “Art” – You know the type, stuff you bought for your starter home. Things that are still decorating your walls or sitting on shelves because you just haven’t ever moved them. Let someone else decorate their new place with that stuff.
  • Books – Ok, some folks will read the same book again, but they certainly won’t do that with all of them. Books are heavy and require lots of room. Let them go.
  • Dishes – You’ll likely find that you have way too many coffee mugs and other mismatched dishes in your cabinets. Cookware is another big part of this category. As you’re probably never going to host a dinner party for 20 people, do away with the dishes.

This definitely isn’t a complete list of things you could do without, but it will get you started. So, now to how you can rid yourself of this stuff.

Hold a Yard/Garage Sale

You’ll need to be planning ahead for this one, but if you’ve allowed for enough time for it, and you have a lot of stuff to get rid of, you can have a sale. Call it a yard sale or a garage sale, what matters is that you get the word out about it, so you’re sure to have lots of people stopping by.

This is a really great option because, as you know, moving is expensive. Selling your unwanted items gives you a chance to make a little money to put towards your move. You can put prices on your items, but don’t be closed off to negotiation because that’s one of the things people like about these kinds of sales.

Donate It Somewhere

There are people who are certainly less fortunate than you and who are in need of some of what you don’t need anymore. Look for places in your area that take donations of items to either sell for a very low price or even somewhere that places your items with families who could use whatever it is.

Make sure you check for what types of items specific places take donations of. Locations to look for are thrift stores, schools, churches, non-profits, and libraries.

Gift It

Sometimes you’ll find items that still have tags on them, or are still in the boxes they came in sealed up tight. These are great for gifts. Just because you didn’t wear it or use it doesn’t mean someone else won’t. Wrap it up or slap a bow on that thing and give it as a nice gift. You’ll make someone happy and save some money at the same time.

Leave It Behind

If you’re selling the home you’re moving from, chances are there are new buyers already involved. If you have contact with them, through a realtor or directly, you can find out if they would like you to leave some of what you’re getting rid of behind. Maybe it’s yard equipment, decorative items, shelving, or something else that works great for that particular place. Our only advice is that you ask first, don’t just leave it on assumption.

Give It Away

You can also just ask friends and neighbors if they want any of what you don’t. It’s worth it to find out. You might have something that will fill a gap for someone you know. It won’t hurt to ask. Then if they don’t want any of it, don’t take it personally, just donate it or try one of the other avenues we mentioned above.

Make the Most of This Time

You should definitely make the most of this time. Get rid of everything you can. It will make the packing and unpacking easier. Plus, you’ll have more free space in your new home, and you could even be making someone else’s life better at the same time.

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Moving Tip

  • Get rid of the junk! Get rid of anything you don’t need or want, it will make packing that much easier and save you money.The more stuff you have will increase the time and or weight of the move and will cost you more money!
  • Do not move jewelry, money, coin collections, etc. Keep these items in your possession.
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