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How To Declutter Before A Move

Moving costs go up when you have a lot of belongings. Getting rid of things before moving could save money, stress and can also reduce the burden of unpacking in your new home. The less items you have, the easier your relocation is. Decluttering is one of the most useful steps you can take to prepare for your upcoming relocation.

Decluttering can be an overwhelming project if you don’t approach it in an organized way. In this article, we’ll review the basics of how to get rid of stuff before moving.

How to Get Rid of Things Before Moving

Prior to starting the purge before moving, plan to ensure your decluttering efforts are effective.

Set a Timeline

Give yourself more than enough time. Think it will take you an afternoon to get through that guest bedroom? Block a weekend.

Sort Through Storage First

Start by sorting through storage areas. Go through the attic, garage, basement and other parts of the house where you keep decorations, clothes and items that are only used periodically. As the move date draws closer, start decluttering main parts of the house — such as bedrooms, the living room and the kitchen.

Write Some Decluttering Rules

Draft a set of guidelines that makes it easier to decide what to keep and what to let go. For example:

  • If you haven’t used it in two or more years, get rid of it.
  • If you don’t remember what it’s used for, get rid of it.
  • If it no longer fits, get rid of it (even if you hope it will fit again someday).

Consider Where You’re Moving

For everything you’re thinking about keeping, try to imagine the space where you’ll be moving. If you’re downsizing, you’ll need to get rid of a lot more than if you’re moving into a larger home.

Enlist Help

Don’t try to declutter alone — especially if you’ll be moving heavy boxes, working in a hot space or lifting large pieces of furniture. Get help from family members, household members or from friends if you don’t live with anyone who can help you. This can protect you from injuries and will help the time go faster.

How to Get Rid of Items You No Longer Need

There’s more than one way to get rid of belongings you don’t need. Use a variety of methods to get rid of your old items. Throwing something away should be a last resort. Whenever possible, donate items to charities, give belongings to people who can use them, or recycle.

Hold a Garage or Yard Sale

Garage and yard sales take a lot of coordination and time, but in the end, you’ll make some money that can be applied toward your relocation. The bigger the sale, the more effective it will be. Invite neighbors and friends to sell items with you.

Post Furniture and Electronics to Online Marketplaces

There are a variety of online marketplaces where you can sell (or even give away) furniture and electronics. If you can sell big items such as furniture, do so! This is easier than trying to load your old furniture into a van or truck to take to a consignment shop.


Many consignment shops will accept donations of clothes and books. If you’re planning to donate something larger, such as a chair or a dresser, call in advance to confirm that the donation center will accept that kind of item.

Give to Friends and Family Members

Do you know anyone who will be going away to college? Or perhaps moving into a first apartment? He or she could probably use your old sheets, silverware, plates and practical items you no longer need.

If you have sentimental items that you don’t want to bring with you, give them to family and friends who also feel a connection to those items.

Rent a Dumpster or Hire a Junk Hauler

If you have a lot of belongings that need to be thrown away, renting a dumpster makes that easier. However, sanitation companies often put restrictions on what can be put in their dumpsters, so call ahead to find out what’s on the restricted list.

If you need to throw away items such as electronics, tires or hazardous materials, a dumpster may not be the right solution for you. Talk to your sanitation company to find out what your options are.

Moving Soon? Contact New City Moving

New City Moving can help with your upcoming relocation. With more than 70 trucks and 200 moving pros in the business, we’ve developed a streamlined way to get your possessions safely from here to there. Contact us today to discuss your upcoming relocation.

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