5 ways to declutter before a move

Dec 08, 2015

Moving is the perfect time to declutter your home and determine what objects you don't need anymore. Depending on whether you're planning a long-distance move or relocating to a smaller house, you may find you have a lot of items to get rid of.

However, throwing extra furniture, clothing and other household belongings away is a terrible waste of resources. You have a variety of alternative options that are more eco-friendly and can even make you a little money. Here is a list of things you can do to dispose of unwanted items before your moving company arrives:

1. Hold a moving sale
If you want your move to be lucrative, hold a large yard sale. This is a great way to get rid of your extra items while seeing a bit of return on your investment. To make this event a success, try advertising for it a couple of weeks in advance by putting an ad in the paper and hanging flyers around the community. When people know a sale is approaching, they'll make an effort to attend, so more of your objects will be bought.

For more moving sale tips, check out Atlas Lines Van's guide on how to host one.

A yard with a garage sale sign stuck in it. Hold a garage sale to declutter your home before your big move.

2. Sell items online
You can find a variety of websites that allow you to post items you'd like to sell, Craigslist being a big one. This is a good option if you only have a few large items you'd like get rid of. However, make sure you stay safe when selling things online. For instance, plan to have a friend with you when the buyer arrives to collect the objects, and only accept cash. Checks could bounce and credit cards could be fake, so be smart about the online market.

3. Leave it with the house
Some homebuyers wouldn't mind moving into a partly furnished home. If you have large pieces of furniture, like a couch and recliner, that you don't want to take with you, see if the new owners would like them. This will allow you to simply leave the items where they are in the house instead of trying to find them a new home. The same goes for other items you don't want. If first-time homebuyers are moving in, they may find these donated objects extremely helpful.

It's also a nice idea to leave a note behind welcoming the new owners to the neighborhood. Give them a few local restaurant and shopping tips to help them settle into the area.

4. Donate to charity
Your city is probably full of secondhand stores and charitable organizations that would greatly appreciate donated household items. Do some research to see what opportunities are near you and check with local authorities. An organization you already support might have a sister company that takes unwanted sofas and dinnerware to help low-income families. Almost anything you own can be reused in this way, from notebooks to kitchen utensils, so don't throw anything out.

A box of old clothes. Donate your unwanted items to charity so the less fortunate can benefit from your old items.

5. Give it away
If worse comes to worst, at the very least, you can start giving your items away to friends and family. Most of the time, if people are offered a free object, they'll take it. Also, your loved ones may be in need of furniture and bakeware, especially if they've recently graduated college or are starting a new family.

However, don't ask everyone all at once. This is an easy way for an argument to occur, and if two people want the same thing, you'll be stuck making the tough decisions. Instead, consider your list of acquaintances and decide who could use what items the most. This way, you won't have to worry about anyone getting upset.

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