Helpful tips from BMO Bank of Montreal

Take it or toss it? Six ways to decide what goes or stays before you move

Packing is a great opportunity to purge.


Squeezing all your belongings into boxes may not be a fun way to spend your free time before you move. But, packing can provide the perfect chance to weed out any extra belongings, and start fresh.

Before you wrap up a single cereal bowl or framed photo, try the following tips to avoid moving a ton of unnecessary items into your new home.

  1. Assess your possessions: Determine what you’d like to save — and what you should toss — by carefully examining the contents in each room of your house. In each room, simplify the process by dividing objects into piles based on what you plan to donate, sell and throw out.
  1. Don’t pack tons of paper: Shred old documents and junk mail to avoid moving unnecessary paper items (and having to sort through them in your new home).
  1. Get rid of extras and things you don’t plan to fix: Duplicate items you don’t need, gifts you never loved and broken belongings worth less than their repair cost are all candidates for being tossed.
  1. Sort through bathroom stuff and cleaning supplies: Chances are there are some worn items you can discard. Consider throwing away anything inexpensive that you can replace when you move — like a toilet brush — and any empty shampoo bottles or other used-up (or nearly used up) toiletries and cleaning supplies.
  1. Get rid of old garments: Inventory what you own by arranging clothes into piles to store, keep and potentially give or  throw  away, and then remove any items you haven’t worn for a year. The same principles apply to packing.
  1. Be honest with yourself: Ask yourself if each object will save you money or fill a specific need — and also consider where it will fit in your new home. If you can’t think of a space or a use, pack that belonging in your garbage can, or consider donating, recycling or selling it at a garage sale.

Once you do start packing, begin with things you rarely use. Listing the intended room and contents on each package can also help when it’s time to unpack.

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