It takes weeks to unload your bookshelves, empty your closets, and clear your cupboards, wrap your belongings in protective shells, pack boxes efficiently and effectively, and move. No matter how big your home is, moving is time-consuming, exhausting work - and the more stuff you have, the longer it takes.
It’s enough of a hassle to move what you can’t live without - but moving stuff you aren’t sure you want anymore could break your back and the bank. To cut short the time you spend shoving items into boxes, you should devote some time to getting rid of stuff you definitely don’t need. Here’s how.
Sort As You Go
As you move from room to room, from cabinet to shelf, moving your possessions from your old home to a new box, you should be sorting items carefully. The sort-as-you-go policy makes your life easier in a multifarious ways: It allows you to keep your moving boxes organized, so unpacking is a breeze, and it helps you cut back on the items you eventually transport, eliminating the stuff you don’t need or want.
For some, breaking up with your stuff is harder than deciding to move halfway across the world. If you find a way to be sentimental about every possession, every time you hold something in your hands, you should ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you use it?
- Do you like it?
- Is it worth anything?
If the answer to any two of these questions is “no,” you can safely place that item into a pile of stuff you don’t need to move. Some examples of such items might be:
- Clothes you don’t wear
- Kitchen appliances you don’t use
- Cheap art you don’t hang
- Games you don’t play
- Old books you don’t read
- Hand-me-down furniture you don’t place
- Broken-down vehicles you don’t fix
Once you’ve considered items from all around your old home and have a healthy pile of stuff you definitely don’t want to move, it’s time to start getting rid of it all.
Sell and Give Away
Those members of your family and friends who aren’t moving away would likely delight in a few of the items you no longer need. If you are particularly generous to your loved ones, you might host your own going-away party during which you encourage guests to take home any and all of your leftover belongings.
If your moving budget is running thin, you might consider selling the valuable stuff before you give it away for free. Nice jewelry, new-looking furniture, books, and more are easily sold using apps like Letgo or websites like Craigslist and eBay. However, you should perform some research on your belongings before setting prices to ensure you don’t under-charge, letting value go to waste, or over-charge, likely preventing you from selling anything at all.
Donate Everything Else
Items you can’t give away to friends and family or sell for a worthwhile price should go to strangers who need them. You can find organzations that will accept nearly any kind of donation, from old magazine collections to ramshackle boats.
Before you load all your donation items into your car t drop them off at the closest center, you should research potential charities to determine what causes they support, how they use your donation, and whether you can get anything back. Perhaps more importantly, you should determine whether a charity will accept all the items you have to donate because few organizations take in anything and everything. More likely, you will need to divide your donations into groups destined for different locations. Reading information on an individual organization’s website should tell you all you need to know about donating to specific groups and whether they’ll take that old boat collecting dust in the garage.
Recycle What’s Left
If, by some twist of fate, you still have unwanted stuff after visiting a handful of donation centers, you shouldn’t give in and shove it into moving boxes. The rest of your junk can probably be safely upcycled, recycled, or otherwise reused in a way that doesn’t damage the environment. Though you might be tempted to just toss your leftovers into the garbage, your unwanted belongings might contain toxic elements that will leech into a landfill and poison air, water, or soil. Before carelessly tossing anything away, you should find out if it can be recycled in a way that helps everyone.