This is the most obvious place to start. Get rid of anything that’s worn out, badly damaged or soon to be replaced. Use a floor plan sheet to try our different furniture arrangements. Anything that doesn’t fit in, like custom-built shelves or cabinets, should probably be left behind. See if the people buying your home would be interested in them. At the same time, make sure your furniture will fit through doorways and up stairs. Better to find out about possible problems now rather than when you arrive at your new home. Two extra heavy items you should think twice about moving are sofa beds with iron bed frames and shelving/storage units made from particle board. Make sure they’re worth the price to move.
Drapes and Rugs
Find out the dimensions of your new home’s windows and floors before you pack up drapes and rugs. If they won’t fit where you want them, leave them behind. For those you do choose to move, have them cleaned early and leave the wrappings on for extra protection on moving day.
High up in the cabinets, at the back of the shelves-that’s where you are likely to find things you’ve forgotten about. Whether it’s the espresso machine you stopped using or the ice cream maker you never tried, don’t take it if you don’t use it . Use up your canned goods and frozen foods now. If you have extra perishables that you can’t use up, consider giving them to a soup kitchen. If you have large quantities of expensive frozen foods in a freezer, you may want them moved. On short moves (less than 48 hours in transit) the mover can handle them as long as there is electricity provided at the final destination.
The rule of thumb is that if you haven’t worn something in two years, you probably never will. That doesn’t mean you should get rid of your wedding dress, but there are probably a lot of other clothes you should discard. If you’re moving to a warmer climate, that might apply to most of your winter things. Give the extras away to your local homeless shelter-they’ll put them to good use. If you feel there is some value to certain items, consider taking them to a consignment shop to be sold. Before packing, have seasonal and special occasion items cleaned. The dry cleaner’s bags will reduce wrinkling.
If swing sets, barbecues, picnic tables, lawn mowers, TV antennas are in good shape and you’ll use them in your new home, take them. Otherwise, find out if the new owners or your neighbors are interested in buying them. The attic, cellar and garage may well contain things you haven’t even looked at in years. If it includes furniture and other household items, consider calling in someone who knows antiques before you throw them out.
If you know everything is junk, you might want to contact a rubbish removal service. It may be well worth the price to have someone else handle this daunting task. After you finish sorting, take stock of those items you aren’t going to move. If you give them to a local charity, be sure to get a receipt for tax purposes. If you have many items of decent quality, consider a yard sale. It takes time and effort, but it can be profitable.
Get together everything you’re going to sell and make it look as nice as possible. Organize items into categories. Mark all prices clearly, and make sure they’re reasonable. Get a supply of bags and boxes for customers. They don’t have to be new, just clean.
On the day of the sale, make sure you have plenty of change on hand, as well as a calculator. Publicize the sale in local papers, through friends, posted flyers and signs. Put large posters at major intersections near your home stating address, date and time. Remember that the purpose of this sale is to get rid of things-bargains sell quickly. Towards the end of the day, reduce prices drastically. If you don’t sell it, you’ll have to dispose of it anyway.