You recently purchased a new home-either in your current city, across the state, or somewhere else in the country. You know that you have several things to take care of simultaneously. You must schedule a moving truck, pack your possessions, stock up on supplies, clean your current home and prepare your new one, and more.
As you look around your house, you realize that you’ve collected hundreds-if not thousands-of possessions over the last few years. You glance in each room and discover piles of clothing, books, papers, and other items. And everything seems cluttered.
You don’t want to take all of these items to your new home. In fact, you know that you probably should get rid of some of them before you move. Below, we’ll list five different ways you can clean out your home as you prepare for your next move.
- Determine each item’s usefulness.
Stand in a room of your choice. Look around you. To declutter your home, follow one of these methods.
Grab a notebook and a pen. Or, if you prefer, pull out your laptop and open up a new Word document. Start in the upper left-hand corner of your room. Write or type down each item you see, and determine its usefulness. Do you use the item often? Does it serve a specific purpose? Add the item’s value next to its name on your list. Continue throughout the room, in a clockwise motion, until you catalogue every object.
For example, if you find a book that defines mechanical engineering terminology, write down the book’s title on your list. If you don’t use this tome in your profession, write “don’t use” next to the book’s name. However, if you read this book at least three times a year to refresh yourself on terms and definitions, then write down “important” or “vital.”
Set aside a few hours one Saturday and take your family members with you into each room. Designate a gatherer, and have him or her pick up objects and ask everyone how often they use them. If no one does, then you can safely discard the object before you move. In contrast, if your family uses an item regularly, hold onto it.
You should repeat this method room by room to better manage the clutter. You can also group items together to speed up the process. For instance, as you look in your bedroom, you can classify your bed, dresser, chairs, and other similar items as furniture. And since you need to use your furniture every day, it has a high value.
- Donate unused items to a secondhand store.
With items that you don’t want to keep or toss out, you can donate them to a used or secondhand store, such as Goodwill. However, you should only donate items that appear in good condition. Individuals who shop at these locations don’t want to buy tattered jeans, broken toys, or torn books.
Additionally, most secondhand stores will give you a donation receipt that you can present as proof of a charitable donation. So this option also allows you to make a little extra money on your tax return.
- Ask your friends and neighbors for help.
If you don’t want to donate your unused possessions to a secondhand store, then ask your friends, neighbors, and other people in your community to have a look. Simply gather all of your unwanted items together in one location, and then have these individuals come visit you during a specified time.
You can make this a first-come-first-served event, which means that people will visit you and take what they want from this collection. After all of these items find new homes, let everyone know that the event has ended. And remember to thank your friends for taking these items for you.
- Hold a garage or yard sale.
If you’d prefer to sell your items, then organize a garage sale. Or, if the weather permits, try a yard sale. You can set prices on your unwanted items, and you control how long this sale lasts. Have your family members make signs and place them down the street from your home. You can also post an ad in your local newspaper.
If this option doesn’t appeal to you, you can always take clothing and accessories to Plato’s Closet or similar consignment stores.
- Invest in a paper shredder.
Dispose of old school papers, notes, scraps, bills, and receipts with a paper shredder. If you don’t use these documents on a regular basis, then you shouldn’t take them to your new home. Paper shredders allow you to dispose of these documents safely, so you don’t have to worry about what will happen should someone rummage through your garbage.
As you prepare for your next move, implement the tips listed above. You’ll reduce the clutter in your current home and increase the storage space in your new one. And don’t forget to visit our blog again. We’ll post more mover-friendly tips that you can use in the future.