Love It or Leave It: What to Keep, Sell, Donate or Throw Out Before Your Big Move

How to Decide What to Get Rid of When Moving

As you get ready to move, you may be asking yourself: “What do I do with all of this stuff?” Old or new, well-loved or never used, need-to-have or nice-to-have—it all has to go somewhere as you coordinate your move. Consider these options to help organize and plan for a successful moving process.

What to Keep When Moving

Whether the item serves an essential purpose like a bed or kitchen table or is close to your heart like your favorite piece of artwork or family heirloom, make a plan for the things you know you’re keeping. As you do your initial viewing and final walk-through in your new home, take measurements and notes for where your current furniture, appliances, and decorations will best fit. Remember to also measure doors…you need to be able to get your stuff into the house too! The more items you’re able to make work in your new home, the lower your initial budget may need to be for things like furniture and décor. Keep in mind, though, that you may need to arrange for a moving vehicle or help from a moving team if you plan to move with many large items.

What to Sell when Moving

Neighborhood sales and online postings are options for items that are in good condition and are worth the time it will take to coordinate a sale. You can post things for one-off purchases on sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, or host a yard sale to try to attract multiple buyers for everything. Consider using the earnings from these sales toward an emergency house fund or renovation budget for your new home.

What to Donate

For furniture, clothing, appliances, and housewares that you are done with but are still in good shape, consider donating them. First, ask any family or friends if they could use items you’re getting rid of. Once those are gone, there are a number of local services that take each of these items, and some will even pick up large sets of donations. Another donation option to explore is “Buy Nothing” groups. With a recent increase in minimalist home trends and eco-friendly donation choices, there has also been a huge rise in neighborhood sharing opportunities like these local social media groups. Ask your neighbors or do a quick online search to see if there is a Buy Nothing option in your area to offer items you no longer want but know can still be useful for someone else. 

“We are seeing hundreds of items offered to and accepted by neighbors each week,” said Kourtney Blackburn, manager of the North Landing/Ellison Park/Panorama Buy Nothing Facebook group. “This is a trend that is happening across the world to give items to neighbors that are no longer needed but not ready for a landfill. There is a real sense of community and gratitude that comes with this act of sharing with others.”

What to Trash

Head to the dumpster with the last set of unwanted items that cannot be donated or sold. Keep in mind that items like old electronics and paint cans often need to be taken to special recycling or waste facilities to be disposed of properly. 

Organizing and coordinating your move is one of the final steps in the homebuying process. The cost of moving and, if you need it, storage, should be considered when preparing your home purchase budget. Often moving companies and storage units need to be booked well ahead of need so don’t forget to prepare early to ensure you’ll have everything in your new home when you need it. When you’re ready to start this journey, contact the local Summit Federal Credit Union Mortgage Team to learn more about your financial options along the way.