Once you have made the decision to move, you will need to determine which items you want to take with you. It will be necessary to go through your belongings and decide which items are no longer necessary. You can get rid of items in a couple ways: holding a yard sale, giving donations to charity and disposing of items at your local recycling organization. By eliminating the things you do not want or need, you will save time and money in packing and transporting your property.
Where to Begin
Begin your sorting task in the least used rooms in your home. These might include the basement, the living room and any guest rooms you might have. By starting here, you will reduce the clutter in other rooms. Determine which pieces of furniture you no longer want and then continue with smaller items. Create an organized system for sorting. You can organize your property by placing items in groups for keeping, donating, selling, and the garbage. You may want another group for undecided items.
Make a plan for the time you want to spend on sorting each day. Schedule a maximum of two hours in a specific time slot. Leave yourself enough time to be able to sift through each room in your home. Keep in mind that the rooms that are used most will require more time to be sorted.
How to Sort
To sort through a specific area, begin by taking everything out of its proper space and placing it in the middle of the room. By placing everything all together, it will be easier to see what you want to keep and what you want to give away. From there, make a pile for keeping, donating, and selling. Your keeping group should include items that you want and that you have used in the last year. If you are unsure, create an undecided pile. Put items that you rarely use and that are still in good condition in the donating or selling group, depending on their potential value. Pieces that are broken or worn out should be placed in the garbage group.
Once you have everything in one room organized into groups, put the donating and selling items into separate containers. Go through the items in the undecided group to determine whether they should be kept or given away. If you are giving them away, place them in either the donate or sell container. Make a list of the items you are giving away, adding the approximate value to each piece. Keep the list in the same location as your other important documents.
You will need this list at tax time in order to receive a deduction for charitable donations. Label the containers so that you know what is inside. Place the containers in different locations to prevent them from being accidentally mixed. Take all of the items that are not worth keeping or giving away into garbage bags. Put the filled bags into the garage or other storage area until garbage day.
Prepping for the Move
The only things left in the room should be the items that you are keeping. You will need to organize these items into groups for packing. Place the items into piles by type. For instance, group books and magazines in one pile, media products such as CDs and video games in another pile and fragile items in a third pile. This will make packing much easier when the time comes to put the pieces into moving boxes.
When you have completed sorting through the first room, begin making groups in the the next room and continue throughout the house until you have every space organized. When you have only the items you want to move left, go back through each room and make a list of everything that will be transported. Gather together a pencil, paper and a tape measure. List every item along with the dimensions. Organize the pages by item, length, width, height and approximate weight.
Should you decide to hire a moving company, you will need this list in order to get an estimate on the costs of transporting your property. Should you decide to rent a truck and move on your own, you will need the list in order to purchase the correct amount of moving insurance. When you have added all of your property to the list, make copies of the pages so that you will be able to provide the information to your insurance company and possibly to a moving business.