Moving is hard work, and that’s true even if you’re hiring a Tacoma moving company to help you get the job done. Fortunately, since most of the labor involved in the average move centers around the packing process, it’s possible to dramatically cut down the work you’ll end up having to do.


How do you do that? By downsizing. But as easy as downsizing might sound, it’s not all that simple for most people. If you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff over the years, chances are you’re somewhat attached to it, and attempting to get rid of things — even if they’re unnecessary — can be a challenge.


If you’re unsure how to go about downsizing before a relocation, our Ed’s Moving & Storage team is ready to help! Keep reading for a brief guide on how to get rid of your extra stuff before you move.


Give Yourself Plenty of Time

Ideally, you’ll want to start organizing your belongings and getting rid of things at least 90 days (three months) before you move. Letting go of things you’ve had for years can be tough, and determining what you can bear to part with can be even tougher. That’s why you need plenty of time.


If you try to rush the process, you’ll likely end up overwhelmed and may throw in the towel altogether. Of course, you can always rent a storage unit if you can’t decide what to get rid of, but then that kind of defeats the purpose of downsizing.


Check out our 8-Week Moving Timeline for more helpful tips on organizing and planning during the weeks leading up to your relocation.


Sort Through Large Items First

Are you moving to a smaller home? Does it have fewer bedrooms? Smaller living areas? Then you’ll want to plan out which large items you’ll be getting rid of first. Why? Because many moving companies base their fees on the total weight of your belongings. The more stuff you need to haul, the more money your move will cost.


To minimize superfluous weight and avoid moving things that won’t fit inside your new place, take a look at the floor plan of your new home. Measure the furniture you’d like to bring to determine what will fit. Once you’ve nailed down which furniture pieces will be coming with you, it’s time to sell or donate the rest.


Organize and Downsize Your Belongings By Category

Some experts recommend downsizing by room, and that can certainly work. However, it’s not the most organized or efficient way to tackle the job. That’s because it’s easy to assume you don’t have superfluous stuff until you’ve organized things by category and can see everything sitting in a pile in front of you.


When you downsize by room, you’ll end up sorting through lots of different categories of items without being able to see the full magnitude of what you own. When you divide your things into categories — clothing, shoes, kitchen stuff, bathroom stuff, linens, decor, etc. — it’s far easier to see everything you’ve collected. More importantly, it’s much easier to find duplicates, as well as the items you rarely or never use.


As you’re downsizing, remember that if you own duplicates, you probably don’t need all of them. And if you haven’t used something in months (seasonal items excepted), you likely don’t need it either.


Create a Plan for Getting Rid of Unwanted Items

Have you thought about how you’ll offload the things you no longer need, want, or use? You’ll want to start thinking about that well in advance of your move, so you can start planning the details. A few options to consider include:


●        Organizing a garage sale. Want to offset the cost of hiring professional movers and packers? Holding a garage sale is a great way to do it. But if you’ve ever held a garage sale, you know it’s a lot of work, so the earlier you start planning and preparing, the better.


●        Selling items on online marketplaces. Not up for a garage sale but still want to make some cash? List your gently used items on eBay, Poshmark, LetGo, and other online marketplaces. For a more complete list of sites you can sell on, check out Nerdwallet’s 8 Best Places to Sell Stuff Online.


●        Renting a dumpster. Chances are you own some stuff that’s not fit for donation or sale. If you own a lot of that type of stuff, it may be in your best interest to rent a dumpster so you can avoid making several trips to the landfill. You can also schedule pickups with your local waste management service if you prefer.


●        Setting up donation pick-ups. Don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling your unwanted stuff? Give it away to a local non-profit. If you don’t have the time to make multiple trips or don’t have the ability to transport large items, check around for donation centers that will pick up your stuff for you.


●        Passing on belongings to loved ones. Ever heard of a reverse house-warming party? It involves setting aside the things you want to get rid of and inviting friends and loved ones over to lay claim to those items. It’s a great way to connect with loved ones before your move and get rid of superfluous stuff simultaneously!


●        Renting a storage unit. Can’t bear to part with some of the stuff you don’t really need? Rent a climate-controlled storage unit to ensure your belongings remain in pristine condition while you’re not using them. Never put anything in storage before? Check out What You Should Know Before Renting a Storage Unit.


Need a Moving Company Near Tacoma? Request a Quote From Ed’s Moving!

Not a fan of packing? Don’t want to load and transport all of your belongings? That’s what our team at Ed’s Moving & Storage is for! Since 1965, our professional movers and packers have helped thousands of Seattle and Tacoma residents relocate, and we’d love to make your move easier too! From full packing services to storage solutions and everything in between, we offer a wide variety of services designed to make your move as simple as possible.


To learn more about how we can help you, feel free to give us a call today at 253-581-2446 or request a fast quote online, and we’ll reach out with more information.