In theory, there’s no better time than right before a move to declutter your home, organize your belongings, and right-size your life. In reality, for a lot of folks, the never-ending to-do list and the last-minute rush to get ready for the move mean that this opportunity gets lost. 

Why lighten the load before you move? It’s simple when you think about it—there’s no point in spending the time, effort, and money to pack and move things you won’t need in your new home. If you’re going to be loading and unloading a truck yourself, then you’ll be saving your back. If you’re working with professional movers, you’ll be saving your back pocket.

Fortunately, there are some reliable places to look for items that can be eliminated from the move. There are also some great options to choose from when deciding what to do with anything that won’t be coming with you to your new home.

Where to Look?

Some people have no problem letting go of things that they no longer use while others find it to be quite difficult. By taking a pragmatic approach to sorting your belongings prior to a move, anyone can identify opportunities to lighten the load on moving day.


When you’re getting ready for a move you’ve got a great excuse to clean out your closets and drawers. It’s probably a good idea to let go of the boxer shorts with no elastic in the waistband. It’s probably safe to say goodbye to the winter coat that you haven’t worn in 5 years.

Don’t just throw away items that you decide to eliminate from your move. A lot of clothing that has seen better days can still be useful as packing material during the move and as rags for cleaning in your new home. At the same time, the clothing that you no longer wear can be donated so that somebody can give it a second lease on life.


Things like sponges, rags, and other cleaning supplies, as well as personal hygiene items like toothbrushes—they’re all meant to be used for a time and then replaced. Why move items that don’t have much time left – especially if they might spread germs when you pack them for the move.


Maybe you’ve been planning on getting new furniture to suite the décor of your new home but you’re waiting to save up after the move. When you consider the savings of not moving the old furniture that you don’t want, you might be further ahead leaving the old furniture behind and having the new furniture delivered to your new address on moving day.


Like furniture, appliances are heavy and bulky items to deal with during a move. If your appliances are getting old or starting to falter then a move is a great time to part ways with them. Not only will you save money on the move but you might also get tax breaks on newer energy efficient appliances and save money on your utilities.

What to Do?

Deciding what to take with you and what to leave behind is only the first step in the process. Once you’ve identified all of the items that you’re going to let go prior to your move, you’ve still got to decide what to do with them. In most cases there will be better options than simply setting them out at the curb on trash day.

Yard Sale

If you have the time to arrange, advertise, set-up, and supervise a yard sale, then it’s a great way to earn some extra cash on top of what you’ll save by leaving those items off of your moving bills.

Virtual Sale

Selling items over the internet on platforms like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or is another good option. Every transaction is different and sometimes they can turn into a bit of a hassle. It’s probably best to reserve this option for items that have enough value to justify the time you’ll spend posting them, responding to inquiries, and making the exchange.

Remember to always think about your personal safety when arranging to meet and deliver items that you’ve sold online.


Some items have a lot of value but a fairly small market of folks interested in purchasing them. If there are consignment shops in your area that sell items similar to something that you want to sell, this might be a better route to go than the online marketplace.


Almost anything that you decide to part ways with prior to your move can be donated.

Rather than paying to move the weight of canned and other non-perishable food items, they can be donated. You can probably replace them at your new home for less than you would have spent moving them.

Any clothing that is clean and free of holes or tears will be appreciated by organizations that help people get back on their feet. Some organizations specialize in providing job seekers with professional attire that they can wear on interviews.

Furniture and appliances might have served their purpose for you, but if they have life left in them, they’re sure to be better than nothing for someone who’s struggling.


These are two different approaches to thinking outside the box when it comes to parting ways with items that you no longer need.

For some items like power tools or craftwork equipment, you’ll know somebody else who can get use out of the items. Ask if they’ll take ownership of them from you in exchange for agreeing to allow you to use them when needed.

Along the same lines, you can barter items away in exchange for services. Do you have a couple of old cameras that an aspiring photographer would love to have? See if they’ll agree to do your families holiday card photo shoot in return for your gift of the cameras.

Now That You’ve Lightened the Load!

Reliable Van & Storage Company are New Jersey’s premier household moving professionals. Ask us to customize moving services to meet your household’s exact needs. Whether you’re moving across town or need long-distance movers, we can help.