Moving is a daunting, exhausting, and sometimes expensive proposition. To save money and aggravation, you should be ruthless in getting rid of unneeded items. Here are some things you can do to power through the clutter and get it out of your home before a move.
- Eliminate books. Books are backbreakers. They are heavy and take up space. Plus, once you’ve read a book once, you are unlikely to re-read it for years. Paper books can easily be replaced by electronic books. E-books are much lighter and don’t attract silverfish.
- Shred paper. Personal papers are heavy and could be valuable to identity thieves. Shred as much old and out-dated paper as possible. If you don’t need it for legal or tax purposes, or to prove an academic achievement, get rid of it. Scan and save documents to your computer and a backup storage device.
- Be ruthless with knick-knacks. A move is a good time to scrutinize all the little dust collectors in your home. Keep the meaningful ones and the ones that work well with your home decor. Pitch the rest. Little vases and glass knick-knacks are only a dollar or two at Goodwill.
- Eliminate duplicate items. Some things tend to accumulate in a home. When you have twelve tape measures, two dozen screwdrivers, five lint brushes, three shoe shine kits, and seven portable radios, you need to send some of them to Goodwill or Salvation Army.
- Eliminate seldom-used items. At some point, you need to get rid of things that you don’t use, display or enjoy. It’s tough because you might want to use something or preserve something like a “classic,” but sometimes you just need to let someone else preserve it. eBay is a good way to get rid of valuable stuff and get cash to soothe your aching soul. eBay also lets you see that the classic thing you are keeping is only worth $20 or so.
- Eliminate items unlikely to survive a move if something is fragile and likely to break catastrophically during a move. You should ditch it. Broken furniture and particleboard furniture generally falls into this category. If it is wobbly and rickety, pitch it.
- Eliminate items that you intend to and can afford to replace. The $10 office chair from Goodwill can be replaced by another $10 office chair from Goodwill. There is no need to take up valuable moving truck space.
- Eliminate items you don’t have room for in your new space. If the old couch doesn’t fit, you must get rid of it. There is no sense living in a space that stuffed floor to ceiling like a warehouse.
- Transport high-value items yourself. Once you’ve gotten rid of the extra stuff, your focus will shift to moving items that you don’t want the movers to handle. You may want to move small valuable, portable items on your own. For example, you may want to move any firearms, jewelry, and personal electronics in your own vehicle.
- Transport lightweight stuff ahead of moving day. If you are just making a local move in the same town, you may want to transport as much lightweight stuff as you can. This will minimize the amount of time your move takes the professional movers.
When we move, we generally rent a 26-foot Penske truck. It is the biggest truck on the lot, but it can only hold so much. It helps to keep in mind that we only want to keep what we can fit in one truck.