Relocation Tips: Decluttering Before Your Move

Whatever your reasons are for hanging on to old belongings that have outlived their use, moving is the perfect time to downsize your possessions. We can all think about some things we own, haven’t used in years, but refuse to throw out. Some items have sentimental value, and others we are going to need the minute I get rid of them. Whatever your reasons are for hanging on to old belongings that have outlived their use, moving is the perfect time to downsize your possessions.

Divide & Conquer

Let’s start by breaking down your items into two categories. Things you want to keep, and things you want to get rid of. For many of these items it should be a fairly easy and straightforward decision. You want to keep family heirlooms, expensive electronics, kitchen appliances that you use regularly, and furniture that you’ll be putting in your new home.

Get rid of things that you no longer use. That VHS copy of Face Off? Toss it. That broken Bowflex you swore you’d fix five years ago? Kick it to the curb! Your retainer from high school? Why do you even have that still? See where I’m going with this? Get rid of things that you won’t miss once they’re gone!


Moving is an expensive process, let’s be real here. Any extra cash you can provide yourself with is huge, and shedding unwanted belongings presents you with a unique opportunity to make a little side money. Between eBay, Craigslist, and garage sales, there’s practically no limit to the things you can sell.

Some things have more of a defined market than others. For example, furniture, kitchen appliances, and electronics have a great second hand market, and some of them can be difficult to move with. You’ll probably end up keeping a lot of the items in those categories, but the ones you can stand to part with will not only be easy to sell, but they should bring in a decent amount of cash as well.

You’d be surprised at the kinds of things you can sell. Try as many items as you can. At the very worst, you end up not being able to sell them, and you can still get rid of them in other ways.  

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There are so many charities and such that are happy to take your old belongings off of your hands for you. Clothing is probably the most easy to donate. Look for things that you no longer wear, but are still wearable, and donate them. They don’t have to be fashionable, they don’t have to be nice, all they have to be is wearable, conventional clothing.

You can donate other items as well. Amvets, Goodwill, and the Salvation Army are all good places to start, and there’s a good chance that there are local charities as well. Just look around. If push comes to shove, you can always “donate” some things to your friends, if they’re interested.

Throw Away

Let’s face it, not everything you have is something somebody else wants. Some things make more sense to throw out or recycle. Broken items, ridiculous things, actual garbage, there’s no limit to the kinds of things we hold onto over the years. Toss things that you know nobody wants, and things that you tried to sell, tried to donate, but still somehow have in your possession. There are even companies that will come pick up your stuff and get rid of it for you, which depending on the size of your stuff, could actually be cheaper than throwing it out.

Can you feel the weight lifting off your shoulders already? Yes, that’s all of the useless stuff you’ve collected over the years being sent to a nice farm upstate so that it can no longer clog your closets, gunk up your garage, or block your basement. Your new home is going to be a much neater, less cluttered place, and you even saved a little bit of money. Way to go!


Human Resources Today