Moving can be stressful, especially when you’re faced with sorting through all the belongings you’ve accumulated throughout a lifetime.
You may find yourself overwhelmed and wondering how to start getting rid of all the items you don’t need. Alternatively, you may see this as an exciting opportunity to declutter and make room in your life for new things. Either way, you likely have a lot of work ahead of you before you can fully move out of your current home.
At Fruitcocktail, we’re here to give you some tips on how to get rid of stuff you no longer want or need. We can help you find efficient ways to sell or donate your items and avoid excess stress leading up to your move.
If You’re Keeping Most of Your Stuff: The Piece by Piece Approach
One strategy to get rid of some of your stuff is going through each item one at a time and deciding if you want to keep it or not. You can start by going room by room and sort items based on whether you want to keep them, sell or donate them, or throw them away.
It can be difficult to decide which items you should or shouldn’t keep. A good rule of thumb is, if you haven’t used an item or piece of clothing in over a year, you should probably get rid of it.
Another way to sort through items is to separate them by what is necessary for daily living versus what is not. Some items can be easily replaced after a move, while other essentials should be brought along in case you need them right away.
Lastly, it can be hard to sort through items of sentimental value to you, so leave those decisions for last.
Things to Consign
There are many items that often successfully sell through consignment. In consignment, a business agrees to sell items for you in exchange for the percentage of the sale. Keep in mind that some items may sell better than others based on the local interests of the buyers in your area.
In the Seattle area, these items generally tend to sell well via consignment:
- Designer midcentury furniture (not other furniture)
- Sterling silver flatware, serving utensils, bowls, trays, and teapots
- Coin collections
- Vintage clothing
- Native American art
- International vintage and collectible art, especially Asian art
- Other original artwork
- Costume jewelry
- Designer items
- Vintage toys
- Vintage collectible cars
- Vintage cameras
- Old posters
If you decide to pursue consignment, we encourage you to contact Fruitcocktail. We’ve worked with large and small clients around the Puget Sound area, starting first with a request to view photos of your pieces and/or arrange an in-person house call to help ensure an accurate and precise price evaluation. Our team can help you fetch the best prices for all of the items above and more.
Things to Donate
If you have items that aren’t likely to sell easily but are still in generally good shape, you may want to donate them to local charitable organizations or public institutions. Donating is a good option if you don’t have time to sell your belongings, and as a bonus, it benefits your local community. Additionally, depending on the specific charity you donate to, you may receive a tax credit.
Always check with an antique appraiser before you donate older items. Many items have value you may be unaware of.
Where to Get Rid of Stuff
- Thrift Shops and Nonprofit Organizations: These options work for items that are not broken or damaged, and are still in good shape. Whether or not specific items will be accepted depends on the organization.
- Libraries and Literacy Groups: From picture books to cookbooks to mystery novels, there are many organizations that will take your book donations.
- Schools: For extra school or office supplies, children’s or YA books, and some types of electronics, try seeing if your local school district is open to taking donations.
- Shelters: If you have extra home goods or clothes, your local shelter may be a good bet. However, it is up to the specific shelter on what donations they are willing to take.
Other Options for Getting Rid of Stuff Before a Move
There are many other places where you can liquidate your unwanted belongings, including but not limited to:
- Used Bookstores: These stores not only let you sell your used books, but depending on the establishment, you may be able to also sell games, music, and other items.
- Vintage Shops: These are places to sell anything that is considered “vintage” such as decades-old clothes, toys, and other antique items that are still in relatively good shape. The establishment will decide if the quality and style of the items are the type of thing they are looking to buy. Before you take something to a vintage shop, though, it’s a good idea to have someone take a look to determine if it’s valuable enough to sell through consignment.
- Online Marketplaces: These include websites such as eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and others. Online marketplaces can be good for selling large items such as cars or furniture, although you can also use them for smaller items such as electronics or musical instruments.
If You Have a Lot of Stuff to Get Rid Of: Hold an Estate Sale
Estate sales are designed to help you get rid of most of your unwanted items in a quick and efficient way. We highly recommend getting an estate sale expert to help you achieve the best prices for your items; hosting your own estate sale may negatively affect your profits. The process involves photographing and appraising your goods, advertising the sale, and hosting the actual sale on your property.
An estate sale is a great way to get rid of a lot of items in a relatively short amount of time. Estate sale companies such as Fruitcocktail are well equipped to help you appraise your goods, execute the process of hosting a sale, and consign or get rid of leftover items.
Summary: How to Get Rid of Stuff Before a Move
- Decide which items are to be kept, donated, sold, or thrown away. If you are having trouble, go through your possessions room by room, and decide which items should go into which category.
- Sell large and small items through online marketplaces, vintage shops, consignment, and other businesses that sell used goods.
- If you have used items that are still in good shape that can’t be sold, consider donating them to local organizations such as schools, literacy groups, and shelters.
- If you are selling an entire house full of items, and quickly, hire a company to host an estate sale.
There are many ways to get rid of excess stuff before your move, including estate sales, consignment, online marketplaces, and donating to charity. At Fruitcocktail, we are here to answer your questions and help out with your next move.