“Parting is such sweet sorrow,” as the Bard wrote in Romeo & Juliet. Unless, of course, it’s decluttering all the unwanted items from your home before you move.
This pre-move purge is an important step in the moving process to help cut down on your costs. Unfortunately, we often see clients neglecting to do this before they start to get moving quotes. Lots of people come to us requesting moving quotes, but they haven’t even thought about what they actually want to take and what they want to get rid of.
This is a mistake — you should declutter before you begin requesting moving quotes. Why? Well, international movers need to have a realistic estimate of how much stuff you are shipping in order to create an accurate moving quote.
Many expats get frustrated when a quote comes back higher than expected (moving abroad ain’t cheap), so they have to cut out all the unnecessary items and begin the quote process again. So why not make it easier on the moving company and yourself by taking the time to decide what you really want to take overseas before contacting a moving company?
Today, our homes are packed full of things shoved away in boxes we haven’t seen or touched in years. We keep clothes for years without wearing them and even hold on to unused and outdated radios, televisions, iPod, and old smartphones.
You should go through every part of your home – closets and wardrobes, cabinets and drawers, any garage or offsite storage, under the bed – to tally up all the stuff you’ve got. When sorting through your home, it’s time to ask some very valuable questions to help figure out what to take with you overseas:
1. Have I used this item in the past year?
This one’s easy. Try to remember a time when you used the thing you’re weighing on. If it hasn’t been worn, used, or appreciated in the last year then let it go.
2. Will I use this in the upcoming year?
If you don’t have a real need or plan to do something with it, the answer is “no.”
3. If you were out shopping right now, would you buy it again?
Does it work? Does it fit? Do you have another thing that does the same job?
4. If it’s broken, is it worth fixing?
If it’s broken then ask yourself, is it worth fixing? Will you use or wear it if you fix it? Is it cheaper to buy overseas?
5. If it’s technology, will it work overseas?
Many countries have different power outlets and voltage. It’s important to know what will work overseas and which won’t.
6. Is it cheaper to ship it or purchase it again overseas?
Smaller items aren’t going to make much of a difference in your shipping costs, but lots of small items, or bigger items, can make a difference. If you’re moving to an area with low cost of living, it might be cheaper to purchase the item new overseas instead of shipping it.
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After coming to terms that many items will need to go, it’s time to assess what to do with unwanted items. Trash, donate or sell? If your items are damaged… throw them out. If your items are gently used and salvageable then consider donating or selling them.
This is the best place to begin unloading your items that are still in good to great condition. Plus, why not make some money if you can? You’d be surprised how much extra cash you can make if you have a good amount of stuff.
Have a yard sale – Put up some flyers, list in the local newspaper, put up a listing on Craigslist or Gumtree, and definitely publish it out to your social networks on Facebook and Twitter.
Consignment Shops – Do an online search and find consignment shops in your area. There are some that only take high end, designer stuff but others like Crossroads Trading, Buffalo Exchange and Platos Closet will take a wide range of stuff.
DONATE IT Your donation pile is probably a mixed bag of stuff ranging from canned goods to clothing to old technology. Either way, donating these items is a generous option that should not be overlooked. Don’t forget to get a receipt because this drop off is tax deductible. Not sure where to donate? A helpful website is Zealous Good. Simply type in details about the items you want to donate and they will tell you which charities are in need of those items. Another site you might check out is Freecycle. They are a non-profit organization that will help you donate your items to people in your area that need them.
Cleaning out your closets and drawers can be therapeutic whether you’re moving overseas or not moving at all. Less clutter in your home means less clutter in your mind and your life. Even the expert and “most organized woman in the world, ” KonMari would agree. And since you are moving, this will help you get a better idea of what you are shipping so that you can get an accurate quote the first time around so you can plan and budget for the rest of the moving process.
Finished cleaning out the closets? Request a moving quote with GoodMigrations.