This is Part 2 in our Moving Guide series, here's Part 1: Finding Your New Home.
"Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest."
- Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Remember those gaucho pants from 2004? You wore them once, before realizing they kind of look like baggy capris. Since then they’ve been buried in your closet right next to those Steve Madden high tops and denim overalls. Although some of your fashion and purchasing blunders can never be completely erased, moving provides the perfect opportunity to get rid of the old and start fresh with the new.
By taking the time to get organized and only moving with the things you really need and will use in your new place, your move will be easier, cheaper, and less stressful. But before you begin filling up donation bags and trash cans, here are a few useful steps for consolidating your life into a few boxes.
Where to Start
When moving, you really only have a few options for what to do with all your stuff. As you move through your different rooms, taking inventory of all your belongings, separate items into 3 piles: keep, donate/sell, or trash.
Pro tip: label items with different colored sticky notes to keep track of what 'pile' they belong in.
For hoarders like myself, this exercise requires a good amount of restraint and self-discipline. I know it can be tough to part ways with those high school participation medals or third grade art projects. With that said, consider the 6 month rule when deciding what to bring and what to leave behind…
The 6 Month Rule
It’s time to be honest with yourself. If you haven’t used or worn an item in the last six months, it most likely belongs in either the donate/sell or trash pile. I’m specifically talking about that old record player you bought two years ago with the hope of achieving a hipster lifestyle (guilty as charged).
While it may be tempting to keep more things than you toss, you probably don’t use (or need) as much as you think. Did you know most people only wear 20% of their wardrobe?? In many ways, moving is a time to start fresh. Hold yourself accountable and get rid of the stuff you don’t plan on wearing or using!
Obviously there are exceptions, like anything your Grandma gave you, your Spelling Bee trophy from the second grade, and other sentimental items.
What's in the Trash?
Donate or trash? If you're asking yourself this question while looking at a worn out pair of shoes with holes in the bottom of them, then employ the friend rule. That is, if you wouldn’t pass it along to your friend, then trash it! Similarly, if any of your items are being held together by duck tape or glue, then they more than likely belong in the trash.
Be sure to follow your apartment’s/neighborhood’s guidelines for waste disposal. The last thing you need when you’re moving is a ticket for illegal dumping.
How to Handle the Piles
Depending on how much stuff you own, you may have small piles or entire rooms of your place marked with “donate/sell” or “trash” or “keep”. Here’s how to tackle each of them:
- The keep pile will obviously be packed (more on that in the next blog post).
- The toss pile is easy – just throw it in the trash and/or dumpster. If an item is too big for you to put out with the trash, you may need to schedule a trash pickup from your city, or look into your city’s guidelines.
- As for the donate/sell pile, you will need to do a little more work...
First, decide if an item is worth something, and if it is, is it worth trying to sell? With easy-selling options online like good old Craig (aka Craigslist) and eBayValet (in which other people will do the selling for you!) you could make a couple extra dollars getting rid of the stuff you weren’t even using anyway.
If an item isn’t worth much, or not worth the hassle of trying to sell it, you can schedule a free pick-up with companies like Salvation Army or Goodwill Industries to donate it. Another option, if you’re feeling extra Type-A, is that you can search for more local organizations that will come pick up your donated items. Most of these organizations make it super easy to get your stuff donated – it just takes a few clicks or a call.
We hope this helps you cut down on some of your packing and makes you feel lighter as you get ready for your move. If you have any suggestions for services that weren’t mentioned or other thoughts, comments, or questions, please tweet them at us @DozeBeds.
Stay tuned for part #3 of the Moving Guide blog post series, where we’ll breakdown the actual packing process.