Tricks of the Trade: Save Money On Your Move- Declutter First

Want to Get Organized?

 Photo by Jupiterimages/Goodshoot / Getty Images

Photo by Jupiterimages/Goodshoot / Getty Images

Congrats! You’re Moving!

Moving can be an exciting prospect. A new space! A new lease…perhaps on life! According to Done & Done clients, moving into a new home often comes with a recommitment to staying organized. Unfortunately, this hopeful pledge sometimes crumbles when the reality of packing, hiring movers, and unpacking at your new home sets in. You may start throwing things in boxes indiscriminately just to get finished on time. Moving is stressful for good reason!

Here’s the good news: We can help!

The trick is to declutter your home before you pack up, and it’s not as hard as it seems. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to minimize your possessions so you pack less, move less, and save money.

If you don’t feel like you can do it alone – give us a call. In the meantime, here are some tips and tricks to get you started.

• Take Your Time:  

Mark off a weekend approximately three weeks prior to your move date. Dedicate this time to decluttering. This way  you won’t feel panicked and can make rational, thoughtful decisions about what you keep.

• Be methodical:

You need to make decisions about everything you own. Which pieces of clothing really work for you? Do you actually use that kitchen appliance? Identify what you need, use and love. The rest can be donated.

• Start with your clothes:

For an in-depth guide on how to declutter your closet, you can read this post. The short story is: take every piece out of your closet. If it doesn’t fit, you don’t feel good in it, or you haven’t worn it in four seasons, it’s time for it to go. Fold it into a box to be donated to your closest Housing Works.

• Move On To The Kitchen:

You may own a mandolin, a truffle shaver, or a potato masher, but do you use it? Cooking is far more pleasurable when your cabinets are organized. Donate all undamaged items and recycle the rest.

• Books:

The wonderful thing about books is that they can be donated or sold. Housing Works Bookstore and Cafe will take your donations and give you a tax-deductible donation receipt. Alternately, you can drop them at The Strand where a book buyer will write you a check for the ones they are interested in.

• Paper:

People tend to hold onto more paper documents than they need. Old bills can be thrown away, but makes sure to use a shredder to protect your identity. If you have a lot of paper files to dispose of you can order a pick up and shred it onsite. (Read this for more specific information on which tax documents to keep, and for how long.)

• Remember the toss pile:

Donation sites take gently used items that are in good condition. Anything that is stained or ripped should be thrown out directly. To recycle electronic equipment, you can contact the manufacturer directly.

Now That You’ve Decluttered!

Draw it out: Make a scale drawing of your new apartment. Play around with how you’ll arrange your furniture in your new place. Remember to mark the windows so you know which direction the light is coming from. If something doesn’t fit, you can make an appointment and Housing Works will pick it up for you. Also, you can plug your move details into this handy moving checklist, and it will give you reminders of everything you need to accomplish ahead of your move.

Track your savings: Donation sites will give you a receipt so you can claim a deduction on your taxes. You’ll have to assign value to items, so keep track of what you’re donating and give the information to your accountant.

Take a breath, you’re done! As humans, we feel the need to fill empty space immediately. Be thoughtful about what you bring into your new home. Your life will grow there and you’ll want to respect your space. Make it easy to clean by combating clutter before it even begins.