How to Get Ready to Move
You’ve gotten your house contact signed and are on your way to the settlement date, but there might be one hiccup left along the way – how are you going to move everything?
While you’re excited about all the possibilities a new home can bring, this might also be the perfect time to get rid of old clutter in your life so you can really begin anew. But where to start?
Moving costs money — an average of $1,170 for an in-state move or $5,630 for out-of-state — so every box you pack adds up.
Many popular books are out now talking about simplifying your life, so now you can look at things in your house and ask, “Why do I have this item, and what does it do for me?”
It’s time to purge your home with glee — really look at each item and see if it falls in one of three purposes: function, aesthetic purpose or sentimental value.
Gather the right packing materials
Gather things like packing tape, black markers, and labels in one easy to find spot, like a drawer in your kitchen.
Clear plastic bins are great for small items like batteries or office supplies. You can see what’s inside, and they’re easily stackable to save space.
At least a month before you move, go through items you should toss or donate. Make a box each for “Toss”, “Sell” or “Keep” and label them accordingly.
Here are the most common items you can get rid of right away.
Still boxed gifts, bulk items or medicine
Toss or donate items that never made it out of the gift boxes, any bulk purchases you know you won’t use and expired food items.
For medications: some pharmacies will take back unused medication, and cleaned plastic pill bottles are recyclable. Bag up your pills and take them to your local pharmacy for safe disposal. Don’t pour or flush medicine down the drain.
Old towels and linens
When’s the last time you bought new towels? If it’s the last time you moved, turn them into rags and buy something new. After years of use and hundreds of washings, they will have lost their original oomph.
Toss old bed sheets, too. Fitted sheets lose their elasticity over time.
Health items, like a juicer or treadmill
If you’ve tried to make a change and found it didn’t work with your lifestyle, don’t hang on to an item that just didn’t work. Assess your achievements at moving time, and donate everything that didn’t work out.
Organizing a closet before a move should be simple, with a keep, toss and a donate pile – the same sorting system you’re already using in the rest of your house. But we all have those items we hang onto for sentimental reasons.
Watch out for clothing you’re keeping “just in case.” And even if you do lose the weight, or get an invitation to great party, you can always buy (or rent) something new.
Duplicates and souvenirs
Clutter accrues, like in your cabinet shelves or dining room china cabinet. Choose one or two novelty mugs, and donate the rest.
Look for duplicates throughout your kitchen. Do you really need three bread pans, or more than one cake platter?
Collections you’ve outgrown
We all have these – cat mugs, zebra figurines, colored glass anything. Make this the time to trim down the collection and don’t mention to family and friends you like anything before you move.
Cosmetics and toiletries
Skin and beauty products don’t last forever. Toss the pile of half-used products you’ve amassed under your bathroom sink; that goes for skin creams, sunscreens, shaving cream, beard oils, deodorant and even soap.
Toss the nail polish.It has a shelf life of only two years. Replace your favorite mascara every three months. Otherwise, you risk exposing your eye to contaminants and air particles.
Sometimes, when moving into a new home, we buy things just to fill the emptiness. Ugly side tables, a TV stand or wall art.
Your next home doesn’t need to be a blank slate. Next time, buy slowly and ponder exactly what you want before purchasing.
Cords and cables
Who needs 34 micro-USB cables and seven random charging cables that seemingly belong to nothing and everything at the same time?
Get rid of duplicates now — as well as anything that doesn’t have a match. Take advantage of the move to sort the remaining cords and cables into an organized system.
Go through all your old paperwork, setting aside documents you should keep (tax records, closing documents, recent bank statements) and tossing everything that’s no longer necessary — like old insurance policies.
The IRS says to keep returns and documentation for three years after you file. You can toss ATM and bank deposit receipts after a year. Keep “forever” documents (e.g., your birth and marriage certificates) in a separate box so you don’t mistakenly pitch them with your receipts.