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Moving in a Hurry? Here’s What to Do with Your Stuff

Moving in a hurry and need to figure out how to downsize your stuff? If you can’t bring everything with you when you move, the good news is you have several options for what to do with your things. Below, we’ll walk you through how to sort your items and where to sell or take them so you can get packing and moving quickly!

Evaluate Your Belongings

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In a short-notice move, it can be tempting to just pack all your belongings in various boxes and totes—but that will likely lead to damaged items, injuries while moving, and spending more time and money packing things that just don’t belong. Instead, take all your belongings out of closets, dressers, drawers, and in-home storage and separate them into four distinct groups: clothing, furniture, electronics, and miscellaneous. The next step is to further separate each of those items into one of three smaller groups:

      • Keep
      • Sell or Donate
      • Toss

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when downsizing:

      • When was the item last used? If you regularly use this item or if you’ve used it within the last year, put it in the Keep pile. If not, move onto the next question.
      • Does the item have sentimental value? If yes, put it in the Keep pile (as long as the item is not a duplicate of another item or broken/damaged in some way). If no, move onto the next question.
      • Would I buy this item again at full price? If yes, put it in the Keep pile. If no, move onto the next question.
      • Is the item in good condition? If yes, put it in the Sell or Donate pile. If no, put it in the Toss pile.

Now that you’ve sorted through all of your items and placed them in the appropriate groups, it’s time to focus on how and where to sell items, donate them, or otherwise dispose of your things before moving.

Get Items for Sale Online Immediately

Instead of tossing out clothing, furniture, electronics, and other items still in good condition, selling them online is a great way to both declutter before moving and make some extra money. Plus, there are plenty of online marketplaces and apps available that can help you sell things quickly!

How to Sell Clothes Online

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Websites and mobile apps like thredUP, DepopPoshmark, and Mercari are some of the best places to sell clothes online. These are similar to selling your clothes in a consignment shop, except you’re able to exchange and accept payments, ship items without having to meet in person, and more all online.

How to Sell Furniture Online

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If you’re planning on selling furniture online, try marketplaces like Apartment Therapy‘s BazaarCraigslistFacebook Marketplace, and OfferUp. These online options give you the ability to set up and manage listings, including set prices. On top of that, you can stipulate buyers come pick up their new items, saving you time and energy when moving in a hurry.

How to Sell Electronics Online

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In order to sell electronics quickly, your best bet may be to post items to large online marketplaces like Amazon, Craigslist, Decluttr, eBay, or Gazelle. These platforms allow you to interact with buyers online and drop-ship your items without having to meet up in person.

Can’t Sell Items? Donate Them!

If you’re unable to sell all of the items in your Sell piles before it’s time to move, it might be time to implement your next option: donating household goods. Donating is a great way to get rid of useable items quickly (without throwing them away), while also supporting your local community. Not sure where to donate household goods? Here are a few suggestions!

Where to Donate Clothing

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For the clothing and accessories you couldn’t sell, you have several options for donating. Goodwill and The Salvation Army are the most common places to donate clothes. You can also take your clothes to H&M and Madewell, which offer textile recycling programs. Another way to donate clothing is to contact your local houseless, women’s, or children’s shelters—they always need more items!

Where to Donate Furniture

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Habitat ReStore, The Salvation Army, and Goodwill are all convenient options for donating furniture. In many areas, you can even schedule pick-ups for large item or furniture donations!

Where to Donate Electronics

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Instead of throwing away old cell phones, laptops, tablets, and other devices, you can donate your electronics to help others! Organizations like World Computer Exchange, Human-I-T, and Computers with Causes recycle old electronics and provide them to those in need.

Dispose of Unwanted Items

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Before tossing away any items that couldn’t be sold or donated, consider recycling them before tossing them into the trash. Hire a dumpster to dispose of items in your home as you continue to declutter. Contact your local waste management company to schedule a bulky item pickup and ask how you should dispose of hazardous materials such as chemicals, e-waste, batteries, and paint cans properly.

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Move Items You Want to Keep into Self Storage

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After purging your home and taking care of the items you no longer need, it’s time to plan for the rest of your items. While you’ll be able to move some with you, consider renting a storage unit to temporarily house furniture, appliances, and other large belongings that you’re keeping and will need to move later. Most storage facilities are conveniently located right off major roads. They also offer month-to-month rental agreements, which allow you to rent short-term storage during your move for as long as you need.

When searching for self storage near you, be sure to consider the following:

      • Location: Look for a storage facility that’s close to your new home. This will make moving items into your new place much easier, as you’ll be able to make quick trips back and forth.
      • Unit Size: If you’re just storing a few boxes and small furniture while you’re moving, you may only need a 5×5 or 5×10 storage unit. Larger residential storage needs can typically be met with storage unit sizes like 10×10, 10×20, or 10×30.
      • Amenities: Self storage facilities offer a number of helpful amenities that can make storage more convenient for you—including drive-up access storage units, climate control, vehicle storage, and more.


Need to get packed and moved in a hurry? Extra Space Storage can help! We have more than 2,000 self storage facilities across the U.S., with excellent features and amenities. Find a storage rental near you!