How to Sort and Get Rid of Stuff Before You Move

Get Rid of Unwanted Stuff

The upside of moving is that it forces you to clean out the house by getting rid of unwanted and unneeded belongings. When you tidy up before a move, you're saving yourself money and time––moving is easier and cheaper when there's less to pack and less to load onto a moving truck. Here are our best tips for how to get rid of stuff before moving.

  • 01 of 05

    Decide What Should Stay and What Should Go

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    Before moving, it's a good idea to sort through your things so you don't end up moving stuff that you don't need and have never really used. While this is a huge task and may seem overwhelming, there are some key questions you can ask yourself to help you decide what should stay and what should go:

    • When was the last time you used an item? If it's been over a year, you can probably make do without it.
    • Do you love the item? Particularly when it comes to clothing, we often keep things that aren't our taste or that we don't feel good wearing.
    • Does the item have sentimental value? You might not have used your wedding dress since getting married, but that doesn't mean it's something you want to get rid of.
  • 02 of 05

    Organize a Garage Sale

    People shopping at a yard sale
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    Now that you've sorted your items into what you want to keep and what you can part with, you'll have to decide how to get rid of stuff before moving to your new home. If you have a lot of items that you no longer want and they're in good condition, consider organizing a garage sale. It can be gratifying to see your old things in the hands of people who will use and cherish them. It's also a great way to make a little extra money to put towards your moving expenses.

    Advertise your garage sale in local Facebook groups and on Craigslist––add pictures of your best items to attract buyers. If you have a lot of items for children, post about your garage sale in local moms' groups.

  • 03 of 05

    Sell Items Online to Make Extra Money

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    Local buy/sell/trade groups are a terrific option if you don't want to bother packing your items and paying for shipping, but there is an abundance of resale websites for people who don't mind taking trips to the post office to sell their stuff. Try Kidizen, Poshmark, ThredUp, and even eBay for selling your wares.

  • 04 of 05

    Donate Items You Can't Sell

    Father and son sitting on floor looking at donations

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    Once you've sold what you can, plan on donating most of the rest. Make sure each piece can be used, that it's in good condition, and that it's been well cleaned. Make a list of everything you're donating for tax purposes, then find a local charity that can use the items.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Recycle What You Can't Sell or Donate

    Packing
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    Rather than throwing everything you can't sell or donate in the trash, take the time to separate out recyclables. Old magazines and newspapers can be recycled curbside in most locations; you may also be able to find local drop-off sites to recycle fabric, old electronics, carpet, batteries, and other items that are no longer useful.