Archive for Moving

8 Ways to sell your stuff before your move

More and more people are downsizing before moving. They may be moving to a smaller place. They may have decided to have a more minimalist  lifestyle. They maybe moving a great distance and choose not to take their stuff with them but furnish their accommodation when they know what they need. Selling your stuff is one way to fund your move.

My guest blogger is Liz Wolf a freelance writer  who wrote this article for

You’re preparing to move and it’s time to declutter. Don’t just trash the stuff you don’t need when you can make some decent money selling it.

In fact, 77 percent of people said they’ve tried to sell belongings before a move, according to a new survey released by

While there are many ways to sell your stuff, it turns out that 78 percent of tech-savvy millennials go online to sell their items, compared with 52 percent of the general public who have ever tried to sell something online. (You can download the full survey results here.)

“I think there’s a technology gap,” said Liana George, owner of Houston area-based By George Organizing Solutions. “That’s how my daughter in college got rid of a lot of stuff, like her bed and bedding, when she moved back home. Millennials are much more digital. That’s how they think.”

Whether you’re tech-savvy or not, there are plenty of ways to unload your extra stuff for cash. Here are the most popular ways people sell their items:

Mature couple putting up sign for Yard Sale

1. Garage Sales

Garage and yard sales actually beat out all other methods with 50 percent of movers saying they’ve hosted a sale, according to SpareFoot.

Research group Statistics Brain reports that garage sales nationally generate a whopping $4.22 million in weekly revenue.

“I’m not surprised because sometimes it’s all people know,” said Donna Smallin Kuper, professional organizer and author of How to De-clutter and Make Money Now. They don’t know that there are other options that are actually much better, that will net more from their sales and be faster. People who have garage sales all complain that they only got pennies on a dollar. Well, that’s because it was a garage sale!”

“I feel garage sales are too time-consuming for small profit unless you have an entire house to get rid of,” added Ellen Limes, owner of Organized by L in Columbus, Ohio. “We do more donating just to get rid of it.”

While garage sales are a ton of work – and “shoppers” can be stingy with their dollars – you do get to pocket all of the proceeds and there are tips for a successful sale.

However, Hazel Thornton, owner of Organized for Life in Albuquerque, NM has a word of advice: “I tell clients, ‘If you do have a garage sale, promise me that whatever doesn’t sell goes straight to donation,’” she said.

2. Word of Mouth

Thirty-five percent of respondents said they have sold items just by word of mouth among friends and family.

“Start by letting your family know and ask them to tell their connections,” advised Julie Stobbe, owner of Mind Over Clutter in Ontario, Canada. “Next send the information to friends and co-workers and groups you might belong to. If you’re dealing with people you know, they’re more likely to show up and buy the item than when you’re dealing with the public.”

An ideal way to sell furniture or appliances is ask the new homebuyer or neighbors if they’re interested.

3. Craigslist

Thirty-two percent of movers have tried selling stuff on

More than 60 million people use this free site each month in the U.S. alone. Craiglist is good for selling larger items like home appliances, bicycles, furniture and yard equipment.

young women shopping through tablet on Ebay

4.  eBay

Looking to reach a bigger audience? Twenty-four percent of movers try eBay to lighten their loads.

eBay is a big e-commerce player with 25 million sellers worldwide. High-end clothing, collectibles and smaller electronics are popular items.

However, some might find eBay’s large, competitive marketplace rather intimidating. Also, eBay charges sellers for listing on the site, whether items sell or not, and takes a commission on the sale.

“Twenty-four percent is surprising, because I find that eBay is a little bit complicated, and there’s so much competition with professional sellers,” Smallin Kuper said. “There are easier ways.”

5. Facebook

Twenty-one percent try hawking their stuff on the popular social networking site. People spend a heckuva lot of time on Facebook, so why not use it to sell your belongings?

Consider offering your Facebook friends the first opportunity to buy your stuff by creating a photo album and labeling it “Online Garage/Yard Sale.”

“We have several Facebook groups just for selling in our master-planned community,” George said. “It’s easier to know somebody three blocks over has something and I can go get it… We do porch pickup where we just leave things on the porch and people put the money under the mat.”

“I sold a washer/dryer to a friend’s son and a bear rug to a friend in California,” Smallin Kuper added.

Or expand your reach and find a Facebook “Yard Sales Group” in your area.  Groups can be very large and many are private, so you must join before you can sell.

 6. Consignment Stores

Just 15 percent of movers try their luck with consignment stores to make some extra money. Consignment stores work well for high-end clothing, purses, home décor and furniture.

“They’re a great way to sell stuff, because people are already going there looking for those items,” Smallin Kuper said. “You split the sale with the seller, but you don’t have to do anything but show up.”

Of course, these shops are picky in what they accept.

“That’s a good thing because they know what sells,” Smallin Kuper added. “If you take it to them and they say, ‘Uhh, we really don’t want these clothes.’ Great. Now you know just donate them. You have to put your ego aside when you go to consignment stores.”

7. Amazon

Fourteen percent of movers try to sell their excess goods on

Amazon offers a large marketplace like eBay, but it’s less expensive to use . You can list on Amazon for free and then it’s $.99 cents per item sold on top of the commission for the sale if you have the basic, individual seller’s account. Books, DVDs and video games are best-selling items.

“It’s such an easy way to sell stuff especially books, but anything that Amazon sells, you can sell,” Smallin Kuper said. “…You’re listed along with other used items and if you want your item to sell fast, just drop the price a little bit and boom! You’ve just sold something and all you have to do is ship it.”

8. Free Apps

Four percent of movers report using other methods to sell their stuff. There are lot of new entrants looking to help people sell their stuff via a variety of marketplaces, mostly in the form of free smartphone apps. Some of the services include: Letgo, OfferUp, VarageSale, Close5 and Decluttr.

You can find this blog post at SpareFoot

What was your most successful way of selling your items before moving?

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at

7 Organizing Packing Tips for a Move Across the Country


My son and his wife  told me they would be moving across the country to start new jobs.  They would be leaving in 2 weeks.  Can you help pack Mom?  Long distant moves on a budget require a lot of planning before the packing begins.  Some of you maybe moving for a job or for schooling.  Take a deep breath and relax.

If you are not hiring a moving company

This move involved selling anything and everything people were interested in buying.  Put your ads for the things you are selling on Kijiji or Craigslist.   Don’t forget about neighbourhood swap and sell sites on Facebook.  You may  have multiple sites in your area and it makes scheduling pickups so much easier when you know that they are in your neighbourhood. But don’t forget the most important source for your sales.  Tell your friends and family and ask them to tell their friends, family and co-workers.  One of my readers shared “do an “Internet Garage Sale” where you made a list of items with prices, emailed it to everyone you know, and asked them to share it with others. We were able to sell quite a few of our larger and more valuable items that way.” Don’t be shy.

Smaller items need to be sold too

You may need to sell clothing, jewelry or home decor items.  Take them to consignment stores.

Determine what you will take, store and ship. 

Moving out

In this case they were driving a car across the country.  They would be staying with relatives until they found an apartment.  They knew of a few people who would be flying out to see them in the next few months.  With this information the packing began.  For each item, it had to be decided if it would be packed:

  • in the car
  • in a suitcase for someone to bring next month
  • in a suitcase for someone to bring the following month
  • in a suitcase for someone to bring later
  • in a box because they were items that they might want when they have an apartment
  • in a plastic bin and stored

You never know what you might want shipped 

Knowing what is in every box makes it easy to find what you need

Knowing what is in every box makes it easy to find what you need

As boxes and bins were packed someone was in charge of keeping an inventory of what went in each box and bin and labelling the container with a corresponding number to the list.  We used google docs so later in the week when more things were packed or removed from boxes the list could be changed and a new list doesn’t have to be emailed to anyone.  You don’t have to worry if you are using the most up to date list.  The reason to do an inventory is so you can find items they might want shipped.  The hope is that the whole box will shipped but more likely they will decide on certain items and they might be packed in a number of different boxes.


We started by going through the cupboards and anything that was unopened and not expired was donated to the food bank.  This can be done early in the packing session and it is an easy way to start.  No difficult decisions need to be made.  Some food can be used during the 2 weeks, some disposed of and then  find a friend who will be happy to take your food.


Remember to donate items to charity and not to put them in the garbage.

Remember to donate items to charity and not to put them in the garbage.

As time moved on they found things they didn’t want or need, couldn’t sell or give a way or give back to people.  Donate these items to charity.  It is easy to think no one wants them and start putting them in the garbage but most things can be donated.  It takes just as much time to put them in a garbage bag as in a box or bag to go to a charity.  You will probably be eating out so you can take them to the charity on the way to dinner.

You’re finally finished

You are probably tired and overwhelmed and over stressed.  Just take a big breath.  You did a great job, you are about to start a new adventure .  Focus on that.  Don’t focus on the stuff.  Enjoy the trip and the time off before the new jobs begin.

What is your advise for moving across the country in a car, on a plane or in a train?

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at


Moving Students home – Make Home Life Simple


It is a big change in lifestyle when children move home for the summer, for the students and the parents.  Sometimes students think

Share your ideas

What are your expectations?

  • It will be just like before I left
  • I will have the same responsibilities as I did living away from home
  • I am on vacation for 4 months
  • and so on…

Sometimes parents think

  • they have lived on their own so they should have no problem contributing around the home without being asked
  • now I have someone to help with all the work
  •  things have changed and we do things differently now
  • and so on…

Each party in this living situation has different expectations so make a contract with each other so it is clear what the expectation are.  My daughter presented me with some rules when she moved back home for a few months.  She asked me to look at them and see if they were suitable and to add any rules.  It made things very easy and simple because there were less misunderstanding.

Your contract/ agreement might cover the following ideas.

Sharing the car

May I have the car?


  1. Who pays for gas?
  2. When can they use it?
  3. Do they have to ask to use the car or can they just take it?

Food/ Groceries

  1. Who buys the groceries?
  2. Who pays for the groceries?
  3. Do you buy everything on the list?
  4. Do you buy only the things you need from the list when you go shopping?


  1. Who cooks?
  2. Who plans the meals?
  3. Do you cook for everyone or only yourself?

    Where do I start cleaning?

    What needs to be cleaned?


  1. Who cleans up the kitchen?
  2. What needs to  be cleaned,  floors counters, stove, sink?
  3. Who does the dishes?
  4. Who empties the dishwasher?


  1. Do you record your activities  in a specific place, electronic or paper?
  2. Do you need to tell where you are going and when you will be back?
  3. Are there any activities you are expected to attend?


  1. Who is responsible for laundry ?


  1. Who does the cleaning, is it a shared task?

This checklist of ideas makes it seem like working out an agreement will be a lot of work.  The agreement only needs to cover areas that cause conflict, tension or have changed since the student last lived with you.

Our agreement looked like this:


Family agreements about house rules

Make a contract / agreement with everyone in the family to reduce stress and misunderstandings

  • Buy groceries: give Mom the bill,  buy everything on the list
  • Weekday meals:  First one home cooks, Mom will try to plan the meals for the week


  •  Mom will pay for gas


  • Clean and wipe counter and island and stove
  • No dishes in sink or on the counter, put them in the dishwasher before going to bed


  • Record your evening activities and times when you won’t be home for supper on the calendar
  • Politely and conversational let us know where you are going and when you plan on returning. This for safety reason, if you don’t return we need to know where and when to start looking for you

Tell me what items you put on your contract in the comments below.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at

What are the 2 Most Important Boxes in a Move?

Home interior right after moving in.

Where are those 2 special boxes?

When you are moving pack 2 boxes that has everything you need for moving day and the first night. Keep these 2 boxes with you and not in the moving truck. These boxes should include:

  1. Glasses –  plastic or glass for drinks or water.
  2. A roll of paper towels
  3. A roll of toilet paper for each bathroom
  4. A bar of soap or container of liquid soap for the bathroom
  5. A hand towel in the bathroom
  6. Dishcloth, dish soap and tea towel for cleaning dishes that maybe dusty from moving
  7. Sheets for the bed and pillows so you can go to sleep at the end of a long day moving in
  8. Towels for a shower and basic cosmetics to clean up after the move
  9. Chargers for your phone, tablet and computer

It is handy to pack a pail of basic cleaning supplies so you can do a quick clean before things are unpacked.  Bring:

  1. Cloths
  2. All purpose cleaning supplies
  3. Broom and dust pan
  4. Mop
  5. Pack it all in a pail

With these things easily accessible you can clean up and get a good nights rest before you continue to unpack and make your new place a home.


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