Decluttering for Your Move: Should You Keep Your Stuff or Sell It?

Are you getting ready to move but feel buried in things to sort out? It can be tough to decide whether to keep your belongings or sell them. But don’t worry, we’ve got some great advice to help you declutter before the big day.

When to Start Clearing Out:

Starting the decluttering process 2-3 months before your move gives you ample time to make thoughtful decisions and avoid the stress of last-minute packing.

Here’s a straightforward timeline to help you organize your decluttering:

8-12 Weeks Out:

Start by sorting through items you rarely use, such as seasonal clothing and old paperwork. This is also a great time to consider digitizing important documents and evaluate which furniture and large items are worth keeping.

6-8 Weeks Out:

Continue the decluttering process by tackling each room one at a time. This methodical approach helps to prevent feeling overwhelmed. Pay special attention to sentimental items, giving yourself time to process any emotions that may arise during this step. If you find that you have many items to sell, consider hosting a yard sale or selling them online.

4-6 Weeks Out:

With the moving date drawing closer, now is the time to start packing the items you’ve decided to keep. Properly wrap and label each box to ensure a smooth unpacking process. Continue donating or recycling items you no longer want or need. If you’re hiring a moving company, make sure to communicate any special requirements.

2-4 Weeks Out:

Complete the packing process, ensuring that all boxes are clearly labeled. Confirm the details of your move with your chosen moving service and conduct a final check to ensure that you haven’t overlooked anything during your decluttering process.

Top 8 Tips for a Stress-Free Move:

  1. Start early.
  2. Tackle one room at a time.
  3. Sort your stuff into “keep”, “donate”, “sell”, or “trash” piles.
  4. Take photos of sentimental items.
  5. Turn important papers and photos into digital files.
  6. Set aside specific times for decluttering.
  7. Follow local rules for recycling and throwing away items.
  8. Ask friends and family to help.

Should You Keep or Sell? Let’s Decide:

The decision to keep or sell your belongings can affect your budget, how easy your move is, and how organized you are. Here are some things to consider:

Money Matters:

Start by assessing the monetary and sentimental value of your possessions. Factor in the costs associated with moving these items and consider whether the expense is justified. While storage units offer a convenient solution, they come at a cost, and this should be included in your financial calculations.

Emotional Value:

Some belongings hold special memories or family history. Carefully consider whether you’re ready to part with these items. If your goal is to adopt a more minimalist lifestyle, selling might be the better option. However, you can always opt to store items that hold significant meaning without cluttering your new space.

Practical Stuff:

Consider whether it’s practical to store seasonal items like holiday decorations or sports gear that you only need part of the year. Your future plans are also an important factor; if the move is temporary, storage may be the preferable option. Conversely, if you’re making a long-term move or downsizing, selling can be more practical.

Time and Effort:

Decluttering requires a significant investment of time and effort. Selling your belongings can be financially rewarding, but it’s also time-consuming. On the other hand, storage offers a quicker solution if you’re in a hurry.


Life is full of surprises, and you may find yourself in a situation where you want to hold onto your belongings for future use. Storage provides the flexibility to retain your items without having to part with them permanently.

Choosing the Right Storage:

Selecting the right storage solution is crucial, especially if you’re moving, downsizing, or in need of temporary storage. Here’s what you need to consider:

  1. Types of Storage:
    Explore various storage options, including traditional units, portable containers, and “pickup and delivery” services. Assess your specific requirements to determine the most suitable type for your belongings.
  2. Location:
    Opt for a storage facility that’s conveniently located near your current or future residence to minimize the time and effort required to access your items.
  3. Security:
    Prioritize facilities that provide robust security measures, such as surveillance cameras, secure access control, and well-lit areas to ensure the safety of your belongings.
  4. Size and Space:
    Accurately calculate the space needed for your items and choose a storage unit that accommodates your belongings without charging you for unnecessary extra space.
  5. Climate Control:
    For sensitive items like electronics, furniture, or artwork, consider climate-controlled storage to protect against extreme temperatures, humidity, and potential damage.
  6. Accessibility:
    Check the facility’s operating hours and accessibility rules. Some facilities offer 24/7 access, while others may have limited hours. Ensure that their schedule aligns with yours.
  7. Cost:
    Storage costs can vary significantly, so compare prices and inquire about any additional fees, such as insurance or security deposits.
  8. Duration of Storage:
    Determine the length of time you’ll need storage. Some facilities offer discounts for long-term commitments, while others provide more flexibility for short-term needs.
  9. Insurance:
    Investigate insurance options for your stored items. Your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may cover storage, but it’s crucial to confirm this with your provider.
  10. Reviews and Recommendations:
    Research the facility by reading online reviews and seeking recommendations from others who have used the same storage option.

How to Make Money from Your Belongings:

Selling your items can be rewarding both financially and emotionally. Here are the best ways to do it:

Online Marketplaces:

  • Take advantage of platforms like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist to reach a wide audience of potential buyers.
  • Utilize specialized platforms for unique or valuable items to maximize profits.

Consignment Stores:

  • Consignment stores are ideal for selling clothes, accessories, and smaller home decor pieces. They handle the sale, and you receive a percentage of the profits.

Garage & Yard Sales:

  • Coordinate with your neighbors to host a community garage or yard sale, attracting more buyers and increasing your chances of making a sale.

Auction Houses:

  • For high-value items like antiques, artwork, or collectibles, consider utilizing the services of an auction house.

Pawn Shops:

  • If you’re in need of quick cash, pawn shops can be a viable option. They purchase items outright or offer loans using your belongings as collateral.

In conclusion, whether you decide to store or sell your belongings ultimately depends on a range of factors including your financial situation, emotional attachment to items, practicality, and future plans. By carefully considering these elements, you can make an informed decision that best aligns with your needs and ensures a smoother transition to your new home. Good luck!


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