Moving tips: simplify first!

Every time that New Year’s Eve is approaching, articles appear online about simplifying what you own – and often the advice is to divide your belongings into three categories: keep, sell/donate or toss.

And, if you know you’ll be moving in the near future, but have time to do so methodically, that’s good advice for you, too. Go closet by closet, room by room, and decide what goes into each category. If you know that you struggle to throw items away — or give them away — then ask a friend to provide some tough love!

Step 1
If possible, throw away what is no long worth salvaging first and your job of packing will already seem simpler. Examples of what to throw away: food, cosmetics and the like with expiration dates that have already passed, clothing that can’t be easily repaired, shoes that are worn out and pens with ink that’s run out.

If you’ve got some time before the moving date, consider having a throw-away party on the day of the week before trash pickup, several weeks in a row, until you’ve gotten rid of what isn’t worth salvaging.

Step 2
It may be more challenging to decide what’s too valuable to throw away, but not worth taking along with you. Once you do, though, there are two main options:

  • Hold a garage sale and sell what you can.
  • Donate the rest – or donate it all.

If you decide to donate, here are links to the big three:

  • Goodwill Industries
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Salvation Army

If another organization appeals to you, you can check them out before you donate at Charity Navigator.

Step 3
First pack items that you know you won’t need until you’re in your new home – such as Christmas decorations if you’re moving in the summertime and your fine china if no entertaining looms – and be sure to make a list of what you can’t do without for a 24-hour period. That’s what goes into the overnight case that you keep with you: toothbrush, hairbrush, a change of clothing, cell phone, laptop and the like.

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