Don't Use It? Don't Move It! Top 3 Ways to Unload Before Moving

There’s no way getting around it: If you save all of the stuff you've accumulated over the years, your move will be that much harder. But don’t worry, you can deal with all of your extra stuff (think: your old baseball collection that’s stacked in the attic, that silly yearbook from fourth grade) in the pack, purge or donate process that should precede your move.

Here are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind while packing:

  • Don’t use it? Don’t move it! That’s when you know something should go in your “To Purge” pile.
     
  • If you've gotten all the possible value out of something, but it might be valuable to someone else, consider adding it to your “To Donate” pile.
     
  • Otherwise, go ahead and keep it for the moving truck.

Cleaning House
But, first, let’s be realistic. The sentimentality factor can often get in the way when you’re trying to purge (remember the baseball collection you spent your entire childhood curating?). Try to keep your sentimental items to a minimum. As far as old photos, papers, diplomas or certificates go, digitize what you can. There are enough inexpensive scanners on the market, paired with easy-to-use software, that can help you with that part of the process. Another suggestion: Ask yourself these questions before you throw something into the throw-away pile.

  • When was the last time I used it?
  • Do I really want to keep it?
  • Will it need to be replaced?

These questions should keep you on track, so you know just how many of your kid’s art projects to save and which of your old concert T-shirts to keep.

Donation Nation
The good news here: You have more than a few options to get rid of your lightly used stuff. From Goodwill to your local church to the library down the street, many organizations would be happy to take your old clothes, books, and computer equipment, provided they're in relatively good shape.

Better yet, do you know any young people going off to college or ready to start their lives in their first apartment? This could be the right time to get rid of that couch in your basement or that set of dishes passed down from Grandma.

It’ll also help your wallet (hey, moving’s expensive!), since many donations are tax deductible. Just make sure to ask for the proper forms to claim the deduction.

Ready to go?
Once you've been through all of your questionable possessions, it’s time to pack everything that’s left over. Whether you’re moving yourself or working with a moving company, this process should save you a bit of money, sanity and labor. Happy moving!
 


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