Keep, Store, Sell: What to Do With Your Belongings When You Move

If you’re about to leave your old home and move to a new one, you’ve found yourself in an opportune position: you have a reason to sort through your belongings. Before you’re even close to being ready to pack, you’ll have decisions to make regarding your personal things. Though it could be a daunting task (depending on just how much you’ve kept around), this article will help you determine what you should keep, what you should put into storage and what you should sell.

First things first: don’t do this after you move! The likelihood that you will go through your things after your move is fairly slim. Think about it. You’ve done plenty over a span of months and you feel accomplished when you’re finally moved. That feeling is what will inhibit your sense of urgency to sort your things. Beyond that, the less you have to move, the less it will cost to move.

Keep It

So what should you hold on to? This may seem obvious, but it’s trickier than you would think. You work hard to earn your keep, and the things you buy help define the hard work you and your family put in. This is why separating from the things you own can be tough. What it really comes down to is: do you use it? A good rule thumb is to consider how often you have used it in the past year. Whether it resides in the kitchen, the closet or the cupboard, if you haven’t used it more than once, it can go. You’d be surprised how many things just sit around. While you might look at something and think, “I’ll use it,” or “I’ll wear it,” if you haven’t at least twice this past year, you likely won’t the next. So lighten your load and let someone else have the opportunity to actually use it.

Store It

There are some possessions that rarely get used but that you just won’t get rid of, and this may be for good reason. Familial effects don’t necessarily apply to the standard offered above. Things that have been passed down through generations, things that your child made for you and other effects of this nature have more value to you because they are personal. So maybe these things should be put in storage.

When it comes to furniture, there is also a different set of circumstances. You may have a piece of furniture that you’ve invested in and truly love. Unfortunately, when it comes to décor, it’s inevitable that some things won’t match. Your new house will likely have different dimensions than your old, and that might mean that some furniture just doesn’t make sense. If there isn’t a place for a piece of furniture, but there might be a place for it down the line, think about storing it. You may decide to sell some pieces, but if something is important enough to you, you can rent storage space to hold onto it.

Sell It

Furniture is a common article that has value and is worth selling, but anything that has legitimate value to someone else is potential cash in your pocket. A yard sale is old school, but in today’s technological age, you might venture to sell these items online. Some clothes may even bring you cash at secondhand stores. If you’re not sure if you’ll be able to score any real financial return on certain things, or don’t want to go through the hassle of selling them, don’t forget about donating. Clothes shouldn’t have tears or large stains and should be in good condition. Other household items shouldn’t require significant repairs that would be a burden to a charity.

If there’s another pile of goods that doesn’t fall into any of the previous three/four buckets discussed, that probably means it’s trash. And one last piece of advice: if you’ve been on the border on which group something belongs in for a while now, that probably means you’re trying to rationalize in its favor. So demote it, and set yourself free of a lot of items that belong somewhere else.