Are you moving?
Your apartment lease might be up in a few months and you’ve finally scrimped and saved enough to put a down payment on a house.
Maybe you’ve been in that starter home of yours for about 5 years and it’s time to sell and move on to something bigger and better.
Or maybe you’re an empty nester. Now that the kids are grown and on their own it’s time for you and you significant other to downsize.
Whatever situation it is that’s brought you to moving, there’s one thing you can’t avoid: all that junk!
The longer we stay in a place, the more stuff we accumulate. Some of it is treasured mementos or tools and gadgets that are handy about once a year. But a lot of the junk we hold on to is just stuff that we didn’t know what to do with at the time, so we shoved it in our garage or tucked it away in the attic.
In this guide, we’ll help you develop a plan for sorting through all of that junk without losing what’s most important to you, and we’ll tell you how a dumpster can make the process 100 times smoother.
Pack It, Trash It, Or Give It Away
To make moving easier, you need a simple process for sorting through every item you own. We recommend going room by room and assessing everything contained within. You have to make a decision about each item, and you’ve only got three options to choose from for every item:
- Keep it and pack up
- Throw it away
- Donate it to charity
To make this job simple you need two things. First, you need enough moving boxes to contain everything that you’ll be either keeping or donating. Next, you’ll need a dumpster big enough to contain everything that you’ll be throwing away. Use the following chart to estimate how many boxes and the size of dumpster you should use based on the size of your current residence:
|# of Bedrooms||Boxes Needed (approx. 3 cubic feet)||Dumpster Size|
As you go room by room, item by item, toss all of your junk in the dumpster. If you are having a tough time deciding whether something is a keeper or not, ask these questions:
- Before you started packing, did you even remember this item existed?
- Have you used this item in the past year?
- Will you miss it one year from now?
If you answer NO to all of these, then get rid of the item. If it’s in pretty good condition and might be useful to someone else, pack it in a donation box. Otherwise, trash it. We recommend using colored duct tape to mark all of your donation boxes so they don’t get mixed up with the stuff that you want to keep. The last thing you want is to spend all of that time culling through your stuff only to accidentally bring it with you to the new home!
How Cleaning Out Will Help You Sell Your Home Faster
Now this guide isn’t just about getting you ready for the move, it’s also going to show you how you can make sure that you actually will be able to move. Most of us can’t afford to pay two mortgages, so you probably won’t be going anywhere until you actually sell your house.
Believe it or not, a good clean up is going to help you do that.
You see, if you want someone else to buy your house, you have to convince them that they can make a home there. What comes to mind to most people when they think home? Relaxing, comfortable, tidy, warm, fun.
And you can bet these things don’t come to mind:
Now, you accumulated all of that junk over years of turning a house into a home, but potential buyers aren’t gonna see it that way. You want them to envision that they can transform your house into their own home. Therefore, before you even begin offering showings, you need to clean out the junk. A dumpster is going to come in handy for that task (just be sure to get rid of it before the viewings start!). You might also be considering if junk removal is a better choice than dumpster rental.
You want every room as open and clean as possible. Consider placing extra furniture in temporary storage, stowing kitchen appliances in cabinets, and even giving rooms a fresh paint job. Don’t park your car in the garage, and set your basement up to show that there is potential to use it as a functional room. Finally, try to show off how much storage your house has by leaving shelves partially empty. This will have a psychological effect on buyers because in the back of their mind they are wondering what to do with all of their junk as well!
Finally, take some time to spruce up the odds and ends around the house. The little stuff that often goes neglected but can stand out to home buyers. For example, get any leaks fixed, patch up missing shingles, close up holes in your siding. Look around each room and find a few ways to make it look more hospitable. In the kitchen, clean your oven and tidy up the fridge. In the living room, make sure there clear out under the couch and dust the mantle. In the bedrooms, make every bed before a showing and hide away any decorations that aren’t buyer-neutral, such as your death metal band poster or your native artifacts from your trip to South America. In every room of the house, wash the windows till they shine, and last but not least, make your bathroom sparkle from ceiling to floor.
Get It Done!
We hope you’ve found this guide helpful. Selling a home, buying a new one, and moving all at the same time can be a stress-inducing headache, so we hope that we can make the process a little bit easier. Now all that’s left is for you to get to work and get it done. If you do decide that you need a dumpster for the clean up, don’t hesitate to let us know.