National Moving Month: What to Remove Before You Move

Many of us live with excess belongings and could take a lesson from Marie Kondo. We have things we want, don’t want, need and/or don’t need. Truthfully, the best time to sort these out and declutter is during the year, but the second-best time is before you move. Not only will it minimize the move’s stressful impact, but it’s a fresh start in your new apartment.

 

Let’s talk about the process of shedding the excess and how to do it in a healthy way.

 

Go Room by Room

 

Donate and keep piles of clothes

The first rule, according to Tonia Tomlin, a professional organizer of 14 years and founder of Sorted Out, is going room by room and making piles for certain destinations and purposes.

 

“The first thing I tell everyone I work with is that we’ve got to purge the home, room by room,” Tomlin says. “Especially before getting quotes from moving companies. We rid all of the stuff that’s either trash, donate or consignment, dispose of any extra paints and items that are toxic.”

 

A lot of items you’re discarding, selling or donating can be picked up by certain charities, special hazardous waste services or junk hauling companies. She says it’s important to do this before packing not only because it lightens the load but because these require scheduling dates for pick-ups ahead of time – sometimes even one to two months out. Though, it’s still worth calling, even if you’ve waited until the last minute.

 

“Local charities, veterans affairs, advocacy centers, salvation centers – there are so many opportunities to make an impact locally with the things you once loved and are still in decent to great condition,” she adds. “Really pick a charity or place that you are truly passionate about and give back before you move on.”

 

Rushed Decisions Can Cost You

 

Even if you are in a hurry, slow down, take a breath and think through your piles after going through each room. The last thing you want after moving into your new apartment is having to buy new furniture. These are unexpected purchases you may not have budgeted for.

 

Harrine Freeman, financial expert, author and CEO and owner of H.E. Freeman Enterprises, emphasizes that taking the purging process one step at a time is crucial.

 

“Costs soar during and after a move, and many times, these costs can be unexpected,” Freeman says. “So, before the move, as you’re going through your home, start with lists before piles if you need a tangible way of choosing what goes and what stays. List out the things you definitely need and want, naturally making you think critically. It’s all about taking steps one at a time and not rushing to sell or donate everything at once. Think it through now to avoid regret later.”

 

Freeman also urges that selling items is a good way to supplement some of the moving costs or new pieces that you do decide to purchase. “Again, thoroughly consider the item’s value to you before posting it on Facebook Marketplace or another online selling platform.”

 

What About All That Food?

 

It’s pretty common to forget about the pantry when you’re preparing to move. The canned goods and other nonperishables, especially, are heavy and cumbersome and often forgotten or tossed in the last moments of a move.

 

“I love donating food,” Tomlin says. “Instead of packing up all those canned food items, let’s donate them to the food pantry. Think about how many people throw away stuff because it’s so heavy. What’s sad is, there is a huge need for canned goods. Food banks ... are great for giving back to the community, while minimizing the weight during your move.”

 

What You Can’t Part with Permanently

 

Man looking at canned foods in pantry

What about that other pile? The one where you want it, but not right now, and you don’t need it every day, but you aren’t ready to part with it permanently? The answer is storage. While you can go the traditional storage route, by leasing a unit and doing the hauling yourself, there are storage companies that act as a sort of concierge or “Uber” of storage. These companies cut out the middle man, Tomlin says, by picking up the items you want stored, putting them in protected photo inventory, and delivering your items when requested.

 

Freeman adds that by making these lists and piles and scheduling pick-ups and donations early on, you allow yourself more time to budget for storage and plan the route with your movers to the storage unit.

 

Let the Prep Begin

 

So, it’s time to make the difficult, decluttering decisions now with the purging process before you start the packing process. You’ll thank yourself later.

 

Our Moving Series

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