Why Purge? The Benefits of Purging Your Home Before a Move
Are you planning a move? If so, you probably have a long “to-do” list. Going through all your belongings might seem like just another chore. Why not just box everything up and sort it all out later?
You certainly could, but then you would need to pay to move it all—and then get rid of all the excess at the new place. Purging your home beforehand could make life easier and be less expensive.
Purging just means going through your belongings and getting rid of stuff you no longer want. If the word “purging” seems harsh, you could call it refining or winnowing down your possessions. Purging gives you an opportunity to take stock of what you have, without letting the past weigh you down.
Be sure to consider purging before you spend time packing or spend money on a moving truck or moving company. Purging offers many benefits, such as:
- Saving on shipping and moving costs. Throwing out or donating belongings is usually cheaper than shipping or renting a large moving truck.
- Freeing up space in your new home. Anything you get rid of now won’t take up room later.
- Evaluating your possessions. As part of the purge, you will consider the value of each of your belongings. During the process, you might discover lost items. Other items might be more or less valuable than they used to be. Moving everything sight unseen deprives you of the chance to take stock.
- Focusing attention on important objects. If you are moving a smaller number of items, it is easier to keep track of them and protect them from damage.
- Benefiting friends and the local community. Going through old belongings can be a chance to reconnect. Relatives and friends might appreciate sentimental objects as gifts.
13 Steps to Doing a Successful Purge
Purging your home can seem overwhelming and stressful. During the purge, your living space can get cluttered. Getting rid of sentimental items or collectibles can be emotionally challenging. The following tips will make the pre-moving purge simpler and less taxing.
- Keep a positive attitude and don’t stress. Focus on the pleasure you’ll get from the items you decide to keep.
- Set aside a staging area for organizing your belongings. Bring items you are purging to this area so that they are not in the way.
- Get rid of bulky items and appliances that you no longer use. This will free up space for the purge. If they are in good condition, try to sell or donate them. Leave appliances and other items you use frequently for last.
- Keep an inventory. As you bring objects to the staging area, write down a description of each item in a logbook. Number boxes containing things you’re keeping. If an item is missing later on, consult the logbook to see if you purged it.
- Break up the purge into mini-purges. If you have time, purge in sections. For example, you might purge a storage room first, then the bedrooms, and so on.
- Separate the items you are purging from the items you are saving. For example, keep them on opposite sides of the staging area. This will make it less likely that something accidentally gets purged.
- Research the cost of replacing items. Even sentimental items like old toys could be available online at a reasonable price. It might be easier to part with an old possession if you know you can buy another one later.
- Imagine that you are buying each item. If you wouldn’t spend money to buy it, maybe you don’t need it at your new home.
- Give items away to friends, family members, or charities that might need them. Organizations such as Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity accept donated items. The pleasure of giving to others could counteract feelings of nostalgia and loss.
- Hold a garage sale or moving sale to get rid of remaining items. Some communities hold coordinated garage sales with multiple households participating. Keep in mind that you might have to get a permit to hold a garage sale in your community.
- Dispose of batteries, electronic devices, and other potentially hazardous items safely. Your community might pick up electronic waste on certain days. Alternatively, hire responsible recycling or waste management service.
- Destroy sensitive documents that you no longer need. You could engage a secure document destruction service. If the number of items that need shredding is manageable, consider buying or renting a shredder.
- Offer items that you use every day to the landlord or new owner. This will allow you to use them until the day you move. The new tenant or owner may be willing to pay for items in good condition. They might be willing to dispose of some junk if they get items they want for free.
Should I Get a Dumpster for My Pre-Move Purge?
If you expect to throw out a large number of items or very bulky items, renting a dumpster could be more convenient than hauling items to the local dump. The following questions will help you decide.
- Cost. How much do dumpster rental and pick-up cost? Some companies may offer discounts, particularly at times of the year when people don’t often move.
- Time. How long is the move likely to take? It might not make sense to rent a dumpster for an extended time.
- Location. Is there a place to keep the dumpster? Will the dumpster block your driveway or take up space on your lawn? Be sure that the dumpster does not cause damage to the dumpster site.
If possible, wait until after you’ve given away items before renting a dumpster. If you winnow down your belongings through donations, garage sales, and gifts, you might decide that you don’t need a dumpster after all.
Whether or not you decide to purge, be sure to plan ahead. Research any dumpster rental companies with which you are considering doing business. Make sure you understand any costs and fees involved. When moving day arrives, you’ll be glad you did.
Above all, enjoy your move!