If you’ve lived under one roof for more than 5 years, then the chances are that you will be surrounded by a great number of material things that are supposed to make your life easier and more fun. In most cases, owning stuff defines who you are and what you are passionate about – you wouldn’t own a massive book collection if you didn’t like reading books, and you wouldn’t own a guitar if you showed no interest in music whatsoever, right?
The accumulation of stuff is often inevitable – after all, what would a home look like without any pieces of furniture, furnishings, electric appliances, electronic equipment, and of course – your personal items that you prize so much? And naturally, things are perfectly fine until the moment comes when circumstances force you to move to another home, often in another city or a different state. For when it’s time to move house, you just can’t take all your possessions with you. Or to put it better, you can but you shouldn’t.
Read to learn not only how to get rid of things when moving but also why you should get rid of unwanted things prior to Moving day.
Why less stuff will help you move house for less
You only need to combine two facts together in order to understand the idea behind sorting out your stuff before you move and then deciding what to get rid of before it’s time to leave your current home and what to take with you to your new address. The two little pieces of factual wisdom that will help you save loads of money in the long run are:
- In general, moving house is an expensive business! According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the average cost of an intrastate is around $2,300, while the average price of an interstate mover is $4,300.
- The moving cost is calculated on the basis of several important factors, as one of the most influential one is the overall weight of the shipment.
By now it should be clear to you why everyone is frantically searching for good ways to reduce the moving cost, and, keeping in mind what you just read above, you should definitely consider doing the same. In theory, it’s relatively simple – you simply have to take much less stuff with you when you move. In practice, however, that “simplicity” could turn out to be one of the hardest things you’ll do until you reach the protection of your new home.
But why is it exactly that you should decide to get rid of unwanted household items?
- Save money. When you choose a professional moving company to move your furniture and all the other things to the new home, a moving expert from the company you have selected should go to your home and make a visual inspection of the items you have for moving. The in-house survey will also include risk assessment and danger evaluation, but the main purpose of the visit is so that you can get a written estimate of the moving costs. And this is simple: the fewer items you have decided to move, the less the overall weight of the shipment will be, and therefore the lower the quoted price will be. On Moving day, when the weight is actually measured when all the items have been loaded, you may have to pay even less if that weight is kept to its absolute minimum. And that will save you a lot of money. Some household items were never meant to have served for that long in the first place.
- Make money. To manage to keep more money in your bank account during those transitional times is great, but what could be even greater is the prospect of earning extra cash to make your own moving budget stronger. And your informed decision to get rid of unwanted items before you move will help you get that fresh cash flow. How? By the selling the things you no longer need online or at a garage sale. Read on to learn more details about the benefits of a moving sale.
- Save time + space. As one of the most powerful cost-saving techniques when moving house, selling, repurposing, donating, recycling, or throwing away all the unwanted things will let you save big. But that is not all – moving with fewer household items will also let you save time /you won’t have to sort, inventory, prepare and pack them/, and save space /think of all the room you will need for items whose usefulness can be seriously doubted.
What to get rid of when moving
Once you realize the clear benefits of relocating with fewer belongings, the next step is to identify the things to get rid of when moving in order to decide what to do with them. This time-consuming task is called sorting /inventorying/, and it’s exactly what you are advised to do the moment you find a bit of time on your hands.
Follow the next few steps to be able to complete the sorting process quickly so that you can get down with other equally important tasks. In short, what to get rid of before you move?
- Step 1. Initiate the sorting process one room at a time, and make sure you begin from the rooms with the most items in them.
- Step 2. Start sorting out the big items first (furniture, electric appliances, specialty household items, etc.) and then move on to the smaller ones (books, clothes, bathroom products, etc).
- Step 3. Create a quick classification method to finish the sorting job faster. As a rule of thumb, you are encouraged to have at least the following 4 major categories: must-take items, valuables, unwanted/unneeded items, and useless items.
- Step 4. Must-take items. While writing down all the things you own, mark down the possessions that you will definitely take with you. These are the no-brainers: your recently purchased flat-screen TV will come with you as will the set of expensive soft furniture pieces you bought for the living room. Also, your rare collection of first-edition books will look lovely on the bookcase in your new home. Whatever indispensable items fall into this group, they need to make it safe and sound to the new address.
- Step 5. Valuables. Valuable items can mean so much for you for a number of reasons – monetary value, sentimental value, and so on. These are usually the things you will not easily part with unless you come to the conclusion that it’s better to sell some of them (not the sentimental ones, of course) prior to the move to earn money and save space – read on to learn of your sale options. For the time being, however, your primary goal is to set them apart: expensive electronic equipment, jewelry pieces, heirlooms, antiques, emotional gifts, and of course – your child’s very first pair of shoes. It’s sad when things that used to mean the world to somebody are later just thrown away.
- Step 6. Unwanted or unneeded stuff. This is the category that you need to close pay attention to because getting rid of the stuff found in it has been your priority. Yes, successful sorting and consequent reduction of the number of your no longer needed items will let redirect more financial resources to other essential relocation aspects that require them. So, what are the things you may no longer want or need?
- Outdated or outgrown items such as shoes, clothes, children’s toys, and so on);
- Duplicate items – do you really need 3 toasters and 2 microwave ovens?);
- Forgotten items – when was the last time you used your tennis racket? Sports equipment, musical instruments and other special-purpose things are just a small taste of what was once great and useful but is now forgotten and useless;
- Collector’s items you no longer care about. Maybe it’s time to cash out on a sizable collection that stopped giving you any joy a long time ago? Re-evaluate your options with the factors Money and Space in mind.
- Gifts you never really liked. No, you’re not supposed to sell or give away presents made by friends or family or relatives but that big and heavy bowling ball… you don’t even like bowling that much.
- Step 7. Useless stuff. Well, you know perfectly well what you should do with anything that is broken or damaged beyond repair, or worn out beyond any further usage. Or, if you’re still not sure, see the next section to see what options you have to get rid of unwanted items in your home.
How to get rid of stuff when moving
The moment you have sorted out and categorized all of items in your home, it becomes much easier to actually do something about the stuff you will not take with you. At times, you are likely to face up some tough decisions as to whether to pay for the relocation of specific items or not. Don’t be surprised to have the most difficulties with the Unwanted/Unneeded category as they will be the things you are supposed to optimize in the first place.
For now, let’s assume that you’ve made all the right decisions and your next task is to figure out how to get rid of your stuff when you move – that is, the things you’re not moving to your new residence. Luckily, you have a number of good options so the chances are that you, once again, will ace in the decision-making department.
Option 1. Sell your stuff online
Believe it or not, selling your stuff online is the best way to get rid of stuff when moving. The truth is that you know the answer why too – you get to earn additional money to invest in your moving costs! And who could possibly say no to that!
Here are the main points to consider when selling stuff online:
- Unless you’re putting up for sale hot items at low prices, selling unwanted items online takes time. Count the days you have until Moving day and try to figure out if you’ll have enough time or not. You can always attempt to sell online some items after the move but you will have already paid for their transportation, so the purpose will be defeated.
- Prepare the items you want to sell on the Internet – clean them thoroughly or do some minor repairs to look good.
- Assess the value of your stuff and think of reasonable prices that will sell relatively fast. If you’re not sure about the price tags, see how similar products are priced at a few reputable websites. Warning: do not price your items too low because you don’t want to lose money at the end of the day.
- To sell things online successfully, make quality photos of the products and do create close-up photographs of problematic areas. Take your time in writing a catchy ad that will attract potential customers – include important background information about the products, make sure you mention their strengths, and don’t forget to say why you are selling them as people will try to figure out if there’s a catch or not.
- Decide how your items will be shipped and what payment methods you will accept.
- Be as honest as possible as there is little to gain from trying to trick people. Respond quickly to any inquiries about the items and keep a friendly tone throughout.
- You surely know the top-rated websites for selling things: Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist.
Option 2. Sell your stuff at a moving sale
Organizing a moving sale prior to moving can be a great option for you to get rid of unwanted things in your home. Whether you will call it a garage sale or a yard sale, the idea here is to invite people from nearby neighborhoods to come to your home and buy something from the things you have displayed on your yard and in your garage.
The top 5 things to know when organizing a garage sale are:
- Saturdays are considered the best days to hold a garage sale before moving but weekdays can also prove to be beneficial, especially if you aim at people who drive by your house to or back from work.
- It’s best to start the sale early in the morning (8 am) so that you can catch the morning traffic of people and have the entire day for profitable deals.
- Contact the local authorities to see if you will need a special permit to hold a moving sale – some areas require that you do.
- Similar to online sales, clever advertising is key for a successful garage sale, as is reasonable pricing.
- Keep the open sale safe for small children, think of ways to make the entire area more attractive, and be open to greet all sorts of people with a friendly smile.
Option 3. Give away to friends and family
Still searching for the best way to get rid of unwanted things? Search no more! There’s no doubt that earning some money from the items you’re not taking with you can be useful, but nothing compares to the satisfaction of making a close friend or a family member happy by gifting them something of yours they do need or want to have. It could be anything – from pieces of furniture through pieces of clothing to pairs of shoes – the idea here is to get a win-win situation by keeping your moving costs under control and making a friend’s day at the same time.
Option 4. Donate to charity
Of course, this option of getting rid of stuff when moving is the right one. Just think of how many less fortunate people than you could use your generosity! Your household move can be the perfect time to show that you care about your community. Besides, it’s the fastest way to get rid of things before moving house.
Goodwill, The Salvation Army, Move for Hunger, Habitat for Humanity, and Direct Relief are just a small number of reputable charitable organizations that will gladly accept the things you don’t need anymore.\
Option 5. Recycle
If none of the options above works out for you due to the bad overall condition of the things you’re leaving behind, then your final alternative is to simply throw them away for recycling. Make your household move greener by finding a recycling center near you and dispose of your unwanted or unneeded items in an environmentally friendly way.