We don’t typically realize how much stuff we acquire over the years until it is time for a solid spring cleaning or a major move. This time of year many people have both on their mind. For those getting ready to show their place, who want to clear out old stuff, or physically move a purge makes sense. Less stuff generally means less packing, less movers, less unpacking, and less stress. Here are 6 stellar tips to reduce your clutter before a move.
- Know your Garbage and Recycling Schedule
Figure out how many garbage and recycling days you have until your move and plan some of your major sorting and trashing the day or two before each so you aren’t surrounded by bags full of discarded items for more than a day or two.
- Make a realistic task list, and follow it
If you start a task, finish it! If you’re cleaning out your bathroom cupboards on the night before garbage day (highly recommend this) complete that job before you move onto the next. Otherwise it is way too easy to have a number of half-done projects on the go which will make you feel more stressed than before you started. Break jobs down into smaller ones so you can cross them off of your list, even on days when you only have 15 minutes to work on clearing out your closet.
- Sell stuff
Take that sporting equipment you don’t use any more (like that bike, those skates and skis) to a store like Play It Again Sports to earn some cash for items you don’t use any more. Gently worn kids clothes can be sold to stores like Once Upon a Child, Books to a used book store etc. Bigger electronics, appliances, or furniture can be sold to consignment shops or online on Kijiji or Craigslist.
- Give stuff away
Use your social media platforms and some old fashioned email to connect with friends and family to find out if anyone wants everything from couches to artwork. Get them to pick it up if they want it – you need to be spending your time clearing stuff out, not chauffeuring it to friends.
- Donate stuff
There are a number of charities what will pick up old linens, clothes, books and small household appliances directly from your doorstep, however this is best for people who have at least 4-8 weeks before a move, as they need to schedule the pickup. Other options can include dropping clothes off at Value Village or in the clothing donation boxes that can be found all over the city. For books find some local library boxes for your old books, and drop them as you run other errands.
- Call a junk service or go to the dump
Broken and beat up stuff that the garbage service in your area won’t or can’t take shouldn’t be the new tenant or owner’s problem, it’s yours and it’s time for some “adulting” on your part. For a nominal price you can get that giant piece of furniture with a big dent in it out of your life and your moving truck!