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What Should I Do with the Stuff I Don’t Want to Move?

Three Methods for Taking Care of the Clutter

Congratulations! You’ve packed up everything you want to bring to your new home, but it seems you didn’t pack up quite as much as you expected when you obtained boxes for your move. And that means you have piles of extra stuff just lying around the place.

Guess what? That’s a good problem to have. Your new home didn’t need all those half-used candles, outdated electronics, and popular novels you bought because everyone was reading it two summers ago.

But what do actually you do with all of these additional items? We’d like to share with you the three primary ways you can rid of the items you don’t want to immediately clutter up your new home. Each method comes with a few suggestions on how you could proceed, but it really depends upon how much time you’re willing to commit. Some of them can feel time-intensive, but you might also be able to secure some extra funds with them if you feel like making the effort.

What matters is that you have options besides just bagging it all up and sending it to a landfill – as simple as that might appear.

1) Sell It

As the old adage goes, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Which means, if you want to commit the time, energy, and effort, you can make a little bit of money off stuff you might have otherwise tossed in the garbage.

  • Online – Whether it’s Craigslist, eBay, Facebook, or a niche specialty site, this option could provide a great monetary return, but it could require you to set up various accounts, take pictures of your items for sale, mail out what people purchase from you, and more.
  • Garage Sale – A truly old-school option, but one that allows you to use new-school methods of promotion. That being said, a successful yard sale is an exercise in managing the tiny details, from having enough change on hand to price tags, haggling, and securing permission from your HOA.
  • Used Stuff Retailers – The lowest-stress option on this part of the list, you could sell your stuff to a consignment shop or discount book store. The downside is you might not get that much money for your old possessions, as the store needs to make a profit on what it resells.

A word of caution: Do some research into the resale value of your stuff before you attempt to sell it. You don’t want to invest more time than necessary into junk that people simply won’t buy.

2) Share It

Here’s the feel-good portion of the list. With these options, you hope that someone else will get either utility or enjoyment out of something that you didn’t need or want any longer. Sure, you could have sold it, but you opted to find an organization in your city doing good work with an underserved population. Clothes, blankets, older electronics in good condition, and household goods are always in need at non-profit organizations like:

  • Soup Kitchens
  • Homeless Charity
  • Women’s Shelter

We recommend that you call the organization first to determine how and when they like to receive donations, as some of them might be able to send people to pick up the larger items, and many of them will be able to provide a tax write-off for your donation.

Depending upon the size of your community, your local library often accepts donations of used books, either for their own shelves or their own charity work.

You can always ask your family and friends if they want anything you don’t want to move to your new home. And when they come to pick it up, you can wrangle them into helping pack a few boxes of the stuff you do want to move.

3) Pitch It

Finally, we come to the ugly part of the list, the part where you realize that no one wants that adorable knick-knack that’s been collecting dust on yourself ever since you returned from your vacation to Costa Rica 4 years ago. You have two real options here:

  • Recycling – This should always be your go-to. If you can recycle it, do it. The world does not need you adding more stuff to landfills that will still be decomposing when your children’s children decide to have children.
  • Trash – Again, only throw it away if you can’t recycle it. Avoid this at all costs, please.

We wholeheartedly encourage people to get rid of stuff they don’t need any more as they prepare to move. You will feel physically lighter not having to unpack all more boxes than necessary in your new home, and you’ll save money because the movers won’t have to transport as many boxes. But it’s important that you find a way to get rid of all that stuff as efficiently as possible – because you don’t need the added stress of that extra clutter in your life as you get ready for your new home.

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