Pack, Donate, or Sell – How to Pack Only What You Need

A move to a new place can be an ideal opportunity to get rid of some of those possessions you’ve accumulated over the years. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about moving, this may be partially because you simply own too much stuff. If you get organized now and take only what you truly use, need, and want, you will likely start life in your new home with a new and improved perspective. Here’s some advice on how to pack, sell and donate your stuff so you only move with what you really need.

Start Organizing Your Things as Soon as Possible

The earlier you get started, the better. As soon as you know you’ll be relocating, you should start examining the items in your current abode. Open the doors and drawers to every cupboard, cabinet, and closet in your home, and take a look at their contents. Write an inventory with categories such as clothing, electronic equipment, dishes, linens, toys, books, and furniture. Then, put a line through each item that you haven’t used in over a year. These items should be gotten rid of, either by tossing them in the trash if they’re broken or no longer useful or donating them if someone else could still get some use from the item.

Designate and Organize an Area for the Items You’re Not Keeping

Find an area in your home to store the items you’re not taking with you. You will want these things to remain separate from the belongings you’re keeping lest you be tempted to pack them with everything else. Once you have selected all the things you’ve chosen to part with, resolve not to waver from this decision.

Before you begin packing the possessions you want to transport to your new dwelling, you should get rid of the other things. Doing this will make the packing and moving process much easier. You may want to refer to the inventory you created when you began organizing your home. You can use this list to make notes about how you plan to eliminate the unwanted or unneeded items.

Choose Where to Take Your Old Belongings

Once you begin to discard, donate, and sell your unwanted possessions, you may discover a sense of freedom that is almost intoxicating. Some of your things may be worth money; you can check auction sites and classified sites to see what people are buying and how much they are willing to spend. You’ll find plenty of places to sell your valuable items, from online auction sites to antiques shops. You might even earn enough cash to cover your moving costs.

You may also consider donating certain things. If you have old art supplies or school supplies that your children are not going to use, you could donate them to a local community center, library or somewhere else they might be useful. Old electronics might also be donated to a community center or school.

Items that you don’t think anyone else will want should be recycled whenever possible. Old magazines can be taken to a recycling center. Broken or obsolete electronics might be taken to a local store that recycles such objects on-site. Any hazardous materials should be disposed of properly at your local haz-mat collection site.

Pack Your Possessions and Move to Your New Place

Once you’ve gotten rid of the items you don’t need, packing the things you want should be a much easier and less stressful experience. You might organize the details of your relocation in a notebook or electronic binder or use one of the many moving apps available. Be sure you have plenty of packing supplies, such as boxes, tape, and permanent markers. Keep your original inventory, so you can use it to manage your belongings in your new home. When you stay organized and are willing to part with items you no longer use, the prospect of moving may begin to seem more exciting than overwhelming.