Don’t wait until after you’re settled into a new home to get organized. De-cluttering is a smart thing to do as you are preparing to move, especially if you are downsizing and won’t have as much room for extras. As you are going through every closet and storage space, pick up each item and ask yourself whether you have used it within the last year. Estimate when the last time each particular thing was joyfully used. If it hasn’t brought you happiness and you haven’t used or displayed it recently, consider passing it on to a new home.
If the item is an heirloom piece, you might want to give it to a child, grandchild, or relative from a younger generation who might value it as much as you once did. It is an added perk if this person has a larger home with more storage space. If you would benefit from a small bit of money for its value, find a nearby consignment shop that will pay you after it has sold. Remember that you will not receive full value compensation with this choice.
Donating your belongings is another option. As the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and your donation can mean a lot to someone in need. There are local and national donation centers to choose from which gratefully accept almost every kind of household item you can think of. There may be regulations on baby items, electronics and other things so it is worth it to make a call first before loading up your car.
Halfway houses and shelters for the homeless, or for battered women and children are great options. Charity organizations which take donations for U.S. veterans is another wonderful option. With so many different non-profit organizations out there these days, it should be easy to find one that perfectly aligns with your beliefs and preferences.
If you won’t have storage space in your new home or the means to keep your gently used items, ask your neighborhood church or place of worship to see if they will take donations for their next rummage sale or for a family in need. Sometimes they only take clothing and personal items. Others will also take furniture.
Lastly, it has become popular for neighborhoods to host annual garage sale days or weekends. Find your local coordinator to ask about their dates and see if they have a storage space available for you to donate your goods in advance, if necessary.