When you’re getting ready to move what’s the first thing you do? You start putting things in boxes. Most people would agree that one of the best things about packing is that you get to go through your belongs and edit out items you no longer use. What’s the best way to do it though and where should those items go? Here’s how to go through you items, what to do with them, and where to take them!
Separate Your Items
I’ll be honest, I didn’t come up with this system, but this is the best system I’ve heard of for cleaning and organizing your items and I’ve tweaked it a bit to make it work for moving. I’ve used it myself and this system keeps you from making your entire home a disaster zone as you pack. I wish I could remember who or where I read about this – maybe Emily Ley during her Simplified Challenge (which by the way, you should follow) – but either way here it is!
STEP 1: Label boxes with TOSS, KEEP, DONATE. I like using RubberMaid containers with locking lids so you can easily pack them up in the moving van or easily move them.
STEP 2: Start in one room and stay in that room. Moving from room to room to place items in their “right spot” can derail you quickly from the first task and set you into the whirlwind of chaos.
STEP 3: Place items in either the toss, keep, or donate boxes. If you’re keeping it mark it with the room you want it to go to in your new house. I like using a Box Tracker to keep track of each box and its content. You can download a free version here.
STEP 4: Here’s where I’ve adjusted the system a bit to help with moving – Once you have completed each room label additional boxes with different donation locations. Reorganize the items in your previously marked “donation” boxes into the proper type of donation boxes. Different items can go to different places. Check the list below for varying donations spots and the items they accept.
Donate What You Can
The Salvation Army is a great spot for furniture, clothes, and cars. They will come and pick up items for you which is great if you don’t have a truck or don’t have the ability to move the items. The Salvation Army also has stricter requirements than some other donation locations. They don’t take everything so having them do the pickup can save you some time and aggravation if you try to drop off and they don’t accept your item. Schedule a Pick Up
Never quite got around to using those tiles you bought for the bathroom? Have extra, unused paint or boxes of nails? Habitat ReStores accept donations of furniture, building materials, appliances, and more. This is a great spot to donate if you never did get to finish those DIY projects or are moving into a home you’re renovating and you don’t know what to do with the old appliances. They even take car donations!
Bet you weren’t expecting to see Verizon on the list were you? Well, Verizon (and several other mobile carriers) are a good place to donate gently used cell phones or tablets. They often donate these to domestic abuse shelters.
If you’re like I usually am you buy canned goods with every intention of making Grandma’s three bean salad for that bbq but it never quite gets made. Now I just have extra cans of beans! If you don’t want to move all your dried or canned goods your local Food Pantry would always appreciate a donation. Just make sure the items you are donating are not expired.