Downsizing and clearing out a home when you’re getting ready to move is a big job, especially if you’ve lived in your home for any length of time. In this blog, we want to share some of WayForth’s professional tips and methods for sorting and managing your possessions. We often use the Four-Pile Sort Method to work quickly and effectively. Click here to learn more about how WayForth can help you with your downsizing and clear out. 

First, you need a plan. Choose a time and date when you can start the work and give yourself plenty of time to finish. Remember, it may take several days or even a week or more if you have a large home and lots of items.

Next, you need a large staging area where you can sort and store items. Ideally, this is a garage or a basement, but you can work outdoors with a large tarp on the ground if you think you only need a day.

Finally, think about storage and disposal as part of your plan. You might rent a temporary on-site storage unit that can be picked up when you’re ready. And think about garbage bins or even a dumpster if you know a lot of pieces will get thrown out.

You should also take some time to do some investigating if you want to donate anything to a charity organization. Some need an appointment to pick up larger items and some may be at capacity at the time you want to donate.

Your 4 Piles

Now it’s time to start. Your four piles will be KEEP, SELL, DONATE and TRASH. Make sure that you have sections in your staging area for each.

When you start, there are several ways to tackle this job. While you might think that room by room is the way to go, the WayForth professionals often use the types of items, rather than the area. For example, you can start with all the books in your home and sort them first, rather than starting with the family room. It gives you a 360˚ view of that category, so you can more easily sort.

Remember, you are the best person to judge what you want to keep. Ask yourself if you use the item on a regular basis or if the item has some special value to you. You can also keep something if it brings a smile to your face. If you have trouble deciding, set it aside for a day or two to think about it before you choose a pile.

Pile 1: KEEP

This is the place to put anything you want to go with you in your move as well as pieces that may be designated for a friend or family member. If someone is taking something, make sure to set a time and date for them to claim their item.

Pile 2: SELL

This is the section for items that you know you want to sell. This can be through a garage or yard sale, on the Internet or even through an auction house. Consignment shops are also a good way to go, especially if you have clothes or furniture. Remember to do your homework to work with a reputable organization and understand their guidelines for drop-off and paying after a sale.

Pile 3: DONATE

Often people will want to donate items instead of throwing them away. Be realistic with these types of items. If a piece is broken, stained or damaged, the charity organization will just end up throwing it away. Or find a group who can utilize certain things such as suits for those who are job hunting or furniture for newly arrived refugees. Look into community organizations who may depend on donations rather than large groups that may get the bulk of donations in your area. Larger pieces that you wish to donate may need a truck, so plan for that as well.

Pile 4: TRASH

Even the smallest homes can generate a lot of trash during downsizing. Make sure that you have a plan for trash, whether it’s taking a load to your local dump or renting a commercial dumpster that will be picked up at a later date. If you plan to recycle anything, be sure to understand the guidelines thoroughly.

Finally, there are some things that need special care. Items such as firearms, expired medicines or diabetic needles should be disposed of properly for safety reasons.

If you or a loved one is downsizing to move to a new home, WayForth can help with our comprehensive moving solutions. They includes downsizing, clear-out, storage and moving. For more information, contact our moving professionals today at 1.844.WAYFORTH. Click here to get in touch now.

About the Author: WayForth

WayForth is the definitive provider of comprehensive and personalized moving solutions for life and business. Since 2016, WayForth has led the way in move management, providing solutions to over 15,000 individuals and families. How you move matters and no matter the destination, WayForth serves as a guide making life’s transitions easier to navigate. Call 1.844.WAYFORTH today to learn how we can help with your next move!
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