August 3, 2019
By Lori Rizzo
The prospect of moving is an exciting one, but many people are demoralized when faced with the task of actually getting their possessions accounted for, and transported to their new home. We put this friendly guide together as a resource for anyone that might be looking for a place to start the process of organizing and decluttering.
The best way to begin is to start small. By that we mean, create a few basic categories you are going to identify your items by. We recommend using this event as an opportunity to decide what you want to bring to your new home, and what you feel you can do without. It may seem obvious, but something you feel you don’t want anymore is something you no longer need to worry about transporting and storing. We suggest dividing items into groups such as: New Place, Trash, Donate/Sell or something similar. Ultimately it will be up to you to decide what you keep, trash or donate but here are a few suggestions from our team!
WHAT TO KEEP
Furniture: Depending on your decorating plans at your new home, decide on the pieces of furniture that will best compliment your new space. If you have treasured items you have been holding onto, this is a great time to plan your new space around them!
Clothing: Owning an abundance of clothing that doesn’t see use is something most people are guilty of at some point. Here are a couple strategies for purging your closet of unwanted items, provided you have the time. If you have approximately a year before your move, this trick can work wonders. Put all of your clothes on hangers facing one direction. As you use your clothes, return the hanger to the closet, this time facing the opposite direction. At the end of the year, the hangars that haven’t been turned will identify items that should be removed; they haven’t been touched in a year. Another technique is to strip your closet entirely, sort through everything and return to your closet and drawers only the clothes that you wear often and love. Leave the others aside and see how often you search for something. If you don’t go looking for it after a reasonable amount of time, consider getting rid of it.
Anything that didn’t survive your sorting and make it into your “keep” pile and is still in wearable/usable condition should be donated. If you are in need of some extra cash you can always look into consignment, especially for anything name brand and/or with tags still on them. Either way, don’t move it when someone can use it!
Some items are just too worn to donate. If you can’t sell or donate an item. Toss it! Another creative tip: To save money on packing supplies, use these items to wrap and protect fragile possessions during the move and dispose of them later. They can also be used as rags when cleaning your house.
Keepsake Items: Decisions about keeping personal items and items with sentimental value are the hardest to make. Keep and find future space for things you currently use. When having to store those items you love but don’t want to see daily, such as photos, books and memorabilia, consider decorative bins and boxes that can be used under the bed, on shelves and in closets.
WHAT TO TOSS
Towels, sheets, pillows: New place, new stuff! Moving into a new space is a great time to refresh! If your towels, linens and such are showing signs of wear, consider donating them to an animal shelter and starting fresh. (Excessively worn linens etc. are often not accepted at Goodwill and other donation centers)
Old food, spices and meds: Certain food items, like condiments and canned goods, are easily acquired and forgotten about. Maybe you have a cabinet of spices that you don’t use, or perhaps a pantry shelf stacked with cans you meant to eat but never did. Check and trash expired food, old spices and even old medications. (be sure to deal with medications in accordance with their instructions, please do not flush medications.)
Broken items: Many people find themselves unable to let go of broken or useless items and even paying the moving crew to move them. Again, if you can’t donate or sell it, trash it. Check with your local area resources on recycling old refrigerators, computers, TVs, electronics, etc. There are many services that will come and pick up large amounts of “junk” and you can even purchase small soft sided “dumpster bags” you can set in your driveway, fill up, and get hauled away.
What to Donate/Sell
Food: Donate any unopened, nonperishable food you won’t take with you.
Dishes and kitchen gadgets: Kitchenware like utensils and dishes are easily acquired and hard to let go of, due to the purpose they serve as well as their sentimental value. With your new space, perhaps now even new towels and sheets, why eat off mis-matched dishes and glasses? Now is a great time to give them a second life with someone else and find a matching set to match your new home’s aesthetic. Duplicates of kitchen gadgets or other large countertop appliances you don’t use are great to donate at this time.
Furniture: Any furniture that you are not taking to your next home and is still in good usable condition can be donated or sold. Check with your local donation center to confirm their terms for furniture donations. Many user-friendly sites exist to help sell your items online. Letgo, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp and Craigslist are a few notable examples.
We are happy to help if you have any questions about your move. Check out some of our services, and recommended vendors.