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How to Get Rid of Clutter Before You Move: A Step by Step Guide

Tips for Moving with Kids

Are you moving soon? If so, you’re probably starting to think about all of the work that goes into a move. One of the most time consuming tasks is getting rid of all of your excess belongings.


When you’re moving, the last thing you want is to be dealing with excess clutter. Not only does it make the process more difficult and time consuming, but it can also cost you more money for the removalists crew to move items you have no use for. By getting rid of all of your unnecessary belongings, you’ll make your move much easier, more affordable and less stressful.


So, how do you get rid of clutter before you move? Here’s a step by step guide to help you out:


Step 1: Create a space in your home where you can create 3 piles/boxes. Everything you own will either go into one of 3 piles/boxes. Sell, Donate or Trash. Keep this area organized, so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming.


Step 2: Now that you have your area organized, start with items that you can visually see and know you don’t have use for anymore. These items are usually easy to let go of and include things like old electronics, broken items and knick knacks that are just taking up space.


Step 3: Next is to go through your clothes. This can be a difficult task for some, but it’s important to be honest with yourself. If you haven’t worn an item in over a year, chances are you won’t miss it. Be sure to try on everything, so you’re not hanging on to clothes that don’t fit you anymore.


Step 4: Once you’ve tackled your clothes, it’s time to move on to the rest of your belongings. This includes things like books, movies, kitchen items, magazines etc. Start by going through each room one by one and adding items to the 3 piles you have created.


Step 5: Pantry / Freezer. These are usually forgotten about when going through the kitchen. Be sure to check the dates on all items and get rid of anything that is expired. In addition, create a meal plan based on items in your freezer and pantry that you can eat and use before your move. This will help reduce the amount of food you need to pack and move.


Step 6: Seasonal items. This includes things like holiday decorations, winter clothes, summer clothes etc. If you know you won’t need these items for a while, consider storing them away in a storage unit or at a friend/family member’s house. This will declutter your home and reduce the number of belongings you need to move on moving day.


Step 7: Storage and Garage areas are next. These are usually the hardest areas to go through because they’re full of things we think we might need “someday.” Go through each item and ask yourself when was the last time you used it and if you really see yourself using it again.


Step 8: Now that you’ve gone through your entire home, it’s time to get rid of all of the items in the trash and donate piles. If you’re selling any of your items, be sure to do so well in advance of your move, so you’re not left trying to get rid of everything at the last minute.


By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to get rid of all of your unwanted clutter before your movers crew comes on moving day. Not only will this make your move easier, but it will also give you a chance to start fresh in your new home.

Selling your items

If you haven’t ever sold your belongings before, you may be wondering where to start. There are a few different options available to you, such as:

  • Online classifieds websites (e.g. Craigslist, Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace)
  • Have a Garage / Yard sale
  • Consignment shops
  • Pawnshops

Donating your items

If you’re not interested in the hassles that come with selling your items, here are some great charitable organizations that would love your donations:

  • Local retail charities such as Goodwill and Salvation Army. They are always looking for gently used items such as clothes, books, furniture and more.
  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore. This is a great option if you have any building materials or larger items to donate.
  • Food Banks. If you have nonperishable food items that you won’t be taking with you on your move, consider donating them to your local food bank.
  • Animal Shelters. If you’re a pet lover, chances are you have some pet supplies that you won’t need anymore. Why not donate them to your local animal shelter? They would be very appreciative.
  • The Red Cross. This is a great option for donating items such as clothes, shoes, linens and more.
  • Shelters for women, children or families in need. There are many shelters across the country that are always in need of any form of donations.
  • And remember, many charitable organizations will even pick up these items to make it convenient for you!

Items for the Trash

When moving and throwing out items, we need to remember to be environmentally conscious and recycle or dispose of items properly. Here’s a list of some common items and how to get rid of them:


  • Recycle old electronics at your local e waste recycling centre.
  • Hazardous waste such as paint, oil and chemicals can be disposed of at your local hazardous waste centre.
  • Broken glassware should be wrapped up securely and disposed of in your regular garbage.
  • Old mattresses and box springs can often be recycled or donated. Check with your local recycling centre or charity to see if they will take them.
  • Cell Phones can be recycled through many different cell phone recycling programs.
  • Clothes that can’t be sold or donated, you can recycle them and use them as cleaning rags and packing materials.

A few suggestions on how to have a successful Garage / Yard Sale

Holding a garage sale can be a great way to get rid of items you no longer need and make some extra cash for your move at the same time. But before you start, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Choose a date and time that will work for you and give yourself enough time to set up. Choose a Saturday and have Sunday as a backup day if there are any items left over.
  • Advertise your sale online and in your neighbourhood. Have your friends and family spread the word, and be sure to include a list of some of the items you’ll be selling. Including a list of items helps to draw people in as they will know if there’s something they’re interested in buying.
  • Price your items fairly. People are looking for bargains, but they also don’t want to feel like they’re being ripped off. Also want to make sure you’re getting rid of items.
  • Be prepared for hagglers. Many people will try to lowball you on the price, so be ready to negotiate on prices.
  • Set up your sale in an easily visible and accessible location. Have lots of signs on neighbouring streets and ensure they are BIG and BOLD.
  • Make sure you have enough change on hand to make change for your customers.
  • Be friendly and helpful. You want your customers to have a positive experience so they’ll buy more!
  • If you have a lot of small items, consider deals for multiple buys. This is a great way to get rid of items quickly.
  • Set up your sale early in the morning, so you’re ready when people start showing up.
  • At the end of the day, donate any unsold items to a local charity.

Selling items online

Another option for getting rid of items is to sell them online. This can be done through many different websites, but you need to take into consideration the best ways to post these items so you can entice people and make an easy sale.

  • Take good quality pictures of your items. This is important as people will want to see what they’re buying. Take multiple angles and close up photos where needed.
  • Include a detailed description of the item, and be sure to mention any flaws or damage.
  • Price your items fairly but also be aware that shipping costs may need to be added on top of the selling price if you are considering shipping items.
  • Be responsive to any questions potential buyers may have.
  • Once you’ve sold an item, arrange the same day or next day pick up or if shipping, package it up securely and ship it out as soon as possible.

In conclusion, there are many ways to get rid of your unwanted items before you move. You can recycle, donate, have a garage sale or sell online. The most important thing is to start early and be organized. This will make the process much less stressful and ensure that you don’t end up taking things with you that you don’t need or want. So go through your things, purge what you don’t need and make some extra money for your move at the same time!

Happy decluttering! 

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