• Doreen Rivell

Preparing for a Move


You've gotten your financials in order and have an accepted offer on your new digs. It feels great, that is until you look around and realize you have to pack up and move every single thing in your home. A few simple steps will make it easier.

Take a deep breath and take time to just think. What has to go with you? What only has to go as far as the curb? What can be donated? A move is a fresh start in many ways. It can also mean a fresh start for your closets.

Start with the small stuff. If you are up to the task, consider a Garage Sale or Yard Sale. They take a lot of work, but can yield rich rewards.

You will declutter while bringing in some extra cash. Whether this is your first sale, or your are a seasoned veteran, this Money Crashers article covers the process from start to finish. After you have set up for the sale, take a minute to walk through your house. Enjoy the sense of calm that comes with less stuff, and vow not to let any sale items back in.

The big stuff. Is your furniture going with you? Will it fit in the new place? The NJ.com classifieds and Craigslist are old stalwarts for posting furniture for sale. Newer sites seem to pop up every day and a simple web search will provide numerous options. If you are selling via these sites, be sure to read and follow the safety guidelines.

If the idea of a sale is too much for you, Goodwill Industries, The Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity ReStores are good options for donations of furniture and other household items.

Look through the donation guidelines. They won't take your entertainment center or other bulky items that are difficult to sell. Allow enough time. Furniture pick-ups, if availabile at all, may need to be scheduled several weeks in advance. You may have to provide photos of your items before they schedule a pick-up. Many of the staff are volunteers or work part-time, so be patient as you work through the process.

Donating clothes, small household items and tchotchkes. A local thrift store is a good place to give a second life to functional items you no longer use. This list of NJ Thrift Stores is designed for shoppers, but works equally well as a source for donations. Just be sure to check individual store policies regarding hours and accepted items. Not all stores take donations when they are open. Again, volunteer crews may come in on limited days to sort and tag donations. Another option is the annual rummage sale at your local faith group, but those annual affairs may not sync with your move. Instead keep them on your calendar for an annual decluttering.

Whether moving around the corner or across the country, it's a challenge. A good plan for decluttering can reduce some of that stress. Start your decluttering when you start your house hunt, and repeat annually in the month before your local rummage sale. Your closets will thank you.


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