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How to Decide What to Put in the Donation Box When Moving in Chicago

If you’ve ever walked around any Chicago residential neighborhoods, be in Lincoln Park or Lakeview at the end of each month, chances are you’ll see an increase in furniture, clothes, and other household items that seem in perfectly fine condition. The reason, most of the time, is that the person or people in that home or apartment building just moved and had to ditch some items rather than move them into self-storage or give them away to a charity organization like Goodwill.

Moving is when you truly must come face to face with just how much, or how little, you truly own and for many young professionals in Chicago, moving is an ideal time to lose some of that excess baggage in terms of items you no longer need. Below we break down how to go about determining what is fated for your local charity and what to trash, keep, or put in storage.

How to Determine What to Donate When Moving

Take On One Room at a Time

As we’ve discussed before in covering the best practices for packing, the most common mistake when moving is to take an ad hoc approach, to just go with the flow and deal with things as they arise. And for as laid back as we consider ourselves, trust us when we tell you this is a recipe for disaster.

The nice thing about the process of deciding what to donate is that it parallels your packing goals. When you’re taking an inventory of all of your items, not only will you be doing so to keep things organized for the unpacking process, but you’ll also be able to determine if an item is destined to be moved, slated for storage, or can go to charity.

Picking Favorites

When assessing what you own and what you want to bring with the move, the most important question you can ask yourself is “Will I be using this in the next year?” Now, not everything you pack has to have a utiliatarian function; obviously, a piece of valuable art is something you’ll see every day and will enhance your living experience. But if that collection of old US Weekly‘s is just collecting dust–not to mention being a real fire hazard–then you’ll next need decide what else to do with those items that aren’t going to your new home.

Trash As Needed

Going back to the street pile we discussed at the start of this article, not everything need be donated to charity or put in storage. For example, why some charities might welcome that bag of US as reading material, if you’ve cut out the pictures to use for collage material, than they really are of no use to anyone else.

Ultimately, donating is all about giving an item you no longer have a need or desire for to someone who can truly use it.

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Page Updated on November 16, 2018

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