The Floor Plan
If possible, get a floor plan of your future residence, or make one to scale on graph paper. Try to fit your furniture in the mock up. If it won’t fit on paper, it won’t fit when you arrive. Get rid of it.
Color-Coordinate Your Move
If the sofa just won’t match, don’t move it. Often you can replace furniture and appliances more cost-effectively than you can re-upholster and move them.
Ignore the “I Might Need It Someday” Syndrome
Don’t move the riding mower to an apartment. Part with tools you won’t have a place to use. And remember, junk is junk. You don’t need a furnished attic.
Condense your library as much as possible and then investigate the cost of mailing treasured volumes compared to the cost of moving them. The special postage rate for books may save you money.
Plan for Plants
Check with your mover. It is illegal to bring plants into many states. Even if it is possible, it may not be sensible.
It’s Not Dirt Cheap
If you’re determined to take your huge outdoor planters, fill them with miscellaneous items instead of dirt. Same goes with the sandbox. There will be dirt and sand where you’re going.
The Shirt Off Your Back
While one dress or one suit doesn’t weigh much, the average full wardrobe carton weighs 75 pounds. So if you’re never going to wear it, don’t move it. Contact your local Goodwill agency and make a donation — there may be tax benefits.
The Sound of Money
Hundreds of CDs and DVDs can make for a heavy box. Burn your favorite songs to your computer and you will be able to keep the music without the bulk of the discs. Go through your DVD collection and eliminate DVDs that you will no longer watch. Sell your outdated CDs and DVDs for cash.
Toys — The Kids’
Now’s the time to clean out the toy box. If the kids are old enough, give them incentive. Let them stage their own garage sale and keep the profits to buy something special — after you’ve moved.
Toys — Yours
If your treadmill hasn’t gone a mile in months, moving it won’t help. Consider selling weight-lifting equipment and replacing it at your destination. Remember, weight equals cost. Sell any hobby equipment you no longer enjoy.
Food for Thought
Frozen foods cannot be shipped, so eat up. Consume canned goods and food staples, and don’t replenish them. Plan menus to make the most of what you have. Be sure to empty your refrigerator completely and clean thoroughly to prevent odor problems.
The workshop is a storehouse of bulky, heavy items. Evaluate them carefully — from the workbench to the tools. It might be advantageous to replace the massive workbench, etc.
Unless they’re valuable, or you’re sure they’ll fit and flatter your new residence, get them out from underfoot.
The Swing Set
You’ll probably come out ahead with your back, your kids and your finances if you replace it rather than move it.
Burn your firewood prior to your move. Sell or give remaining wood to friends or neighbors. Do not move it, especially if your new home does not have a fireplace.
A pool table requires special handling. Your best shot might be to sell it and then replace it at your new destination.
Advertise in the Classifieds or Online
For more valuable items, post a classified ad in your local paper or online. Many websites offer free or low cost listings that can reach hundreds to thousands of people. Including a photo of the item can enhance its value and exposure.
Can Your Aerosol Cans
A seemingly innocent aerosol can of hair spray could explode and endanger your whole shipment. Eliminate all aerosol cans — hair sprays, shaving creams, deodorants, household cleaners, insecticides, tarnish removers, car cleaners and others.
Don’t Be Fuelish
Do not under any conditions move flammable items. Empty fuel from the lawn mower, power tools or kerosene lamps. Don’t take paints (oil base), bleach, cleaning fluids, lighter fluids, matches, ammunition or any other type of combustible. Check the kids’ chemistry set. Butane tanks cannot be loaded into a moving van unless they are certified as being professionally purged. If you have doubts, don’t take it. Better safe than sorry.
Pianos and organs also require special handling and should be tuned after a move. If they’re an enjoyable part of your lifestyle, move them. If they’re just impressive trimming, you might want to trim your moving cost.
Be Scrooge when it comes to special holiday decorations. Don’t move what you can’t or won’t use.
Have a Garage Sale
Organize it, advertise it and manage it. You’ll be amazed to see how profitably your trash can become someone else’s treasures.
Donate to Your Favorite Charity
Itemize each donation and keep a receipt. It may help you qualify for a tax deduction.