As soon as we knew we were moving, I started the downsizing process. After living in our home for 10 years and having 2 kids, it’s safe to say we accumulated a lot of “stuff”. The thought of having less to move was very appealing, and the extra cash didn’t hurt to cover the moving expenses.
Room by Room
I took a room-by-room approach to cutting through the clutter before we started packing. This keeps the process organized and makes it less overwhelming. I also felt like I made more progress when I tackled one whole room instead of bouncing around the house.
I started in the basement since most of the stuff stored there hadn’t been used in a while anyway. I then moved on to the main rooms and finished in the bedrooms. I worked on the kids’ bedrooms while they were gone so they wouldn’t see all the “treasures” that weren’t going to make the move.
Trashing the Junk
My first step was to throw away any trash or broken items. My daughter’s room in particular had lots of papers lying around that went right to the recycle bin. Deciding if you should trash something really comes down to usability. Can someone else get some use out of the item as is? Or can you fix it up easily to make it useful? If not, send it to the trash or the recycle bin.
If you have the time to price and advertise items, selling online can be a quick way to make cash for moving. I sold many items through a local Facebook selling page and Craigslist. You have to take pictures and make the posts to sell this way, but I found it easier than a garage sale. I could sell at my leisure instead of having everything ready all at once.
The key is to price reasonably. Sure, you want to get as much out of the item as possible, but everyone is looking for a deal. You’ll get rid of the belongings a lot faster if you drop the price. You can always start high and say “or best offer”. Lower your prices if they don’t sell right away.
Grouping smaller items together into a lot of items is a way to make selling online worth it. A large lot of kids’ clothing is more appealing that one t-shirt, for example. I sold all of our old cloth diapers in one big lot instead of selling them individually.
If you don’t want to mess around with selling, consider donating anything that is still in usable condition. I didn’t mess around with selling little things before we moved. I had several bags of clothing and small household items that went to Goodwill. Make sure you get a receipt so you get the tax benefits of donating if you go this route.
Lighten the Load
However you decide to downsize your belongings before moving, you’ll feel much lighter as you start packing your bags.