5 Ways Downsizing Helps Your Budget When Moving

Most moving tips will tell you that relocating is a great time to declutter. But what are the tangible financial benefits of downsizing and how can you get them? Here are five ways decluttering positively affects your bottom line. These moving tips can help you decide what to move, what is worthy of storage and what you need to get rid of.

1. Don’t move or put in storage things that you don’t use anymore.

Start to declutter room by room, deciding if you really need each item. If you find yourself hesitating over a particular item, consider the cost of moving or storage for that item. The rule for everyday clothing is, if you haven’t worn it in a year, time to part with it. Form four piles as you go: keep, donate, sell and discard.

2. Donate gently used items others can use.

Clothing in good condition, housewares and furnishings can be donated to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, local homeless shelters or thrift shops supporting local charities. Pet shelters, such as the Humane Society or ASPCA, can always use blankets, towels and leftover pet food. Domestic violence safe houses turn old cell phones into emergency lifelines for those in peril. Always get a tax receipt in case you can write off the donation.

3. Sell marketable items for some extra cash.

Brand name clothing, designer clothing, and shoes and accessories in excellent condition can fetch surprisingly high prices on the used market. Do some research; you may have some hidden gems in the back of your closet. Try eBay, craigslist, Tradesy, a local Facebook SwipSwap page or Poshmark to sell items yourself. Don’t want to deal with posting your goods online? Companies like Twice and ThredUP let you ship your items to them, and they’ll make you an offer to post and sell your goods for you.

4. Decide if your current furniture and appliances work in your new home.

If you’re moving to an older home with smaller doorways and reduced square footage, oversized or heavy furnishings can be more trouble than they’re worth. The money you can save by not moving appliances and furniture can be used to buy replacements.

If you’re moving into a space you haven’t seen yet, ask the landlord or owner for a detailed floor plan with dimensions. This will help you determine if your favorite couch will fit before you transport it to your new address.

5. Digitize pictures, drawings and paperwork.

Save some moving dollars and keep fragile pictures, drawings and paperwork safe by digitizing them. Keep originals of only the most important or most sentimentally valued items. There are many apps that help cell phone cameras take quality images of printed pictures and documents. You can also have someone else digitize them for you. Local photo processors may offer this service, as do mail-away companies. Once you’ve converted them you can display your favorite photos in a digital photo frame, through your TV or through a computer monitor. Store sensitive digital images in an encrypted zip file for safety.

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