As the weather continues to change and winter finally starts to become spring, many people are beginning to prepare for warmer weather. Snow tires are starting to go away, small plants are beginning to emerge from hiding and weekends are being spent spring cleaning. Typically, this means vacuuming, dusting and packing up seasonal items that are no longer needed, but spring cleaning before a move can be a little different. Knowing what to pack during your spring cleaning and what to pack later can be the difference between a smooth transition to your new home and a chaotic one.

Below are some tips and tricks we’ve learned over our many years that should help you organize your belongings, spring clean efficiently and limit what you move.

Tidying Up the House

As you clean each room in your home, this is the perfect time to take a look at towels and other bathroom linens, small kitchen appliances, pots and pans, dishware, clothing, décor and furniture and decide what is worth moving to your new home and what is not. If it’s outdated, in bad condition or you’re simply tired of it, consider getting rid of it. Deciding to get rid of unwanted belongings now can save you time when packing later on and can even free up truck space for important items—in some cases, this can even help reduce the cost of moving.

Straightening Up Seasonal Items

Spring cleaning is generally the time many people put their winter jackets, boots, hats, and mitts away and forget about them until November. For someone who is moving however, we suggest taking a close look at your family’s seasonal items before putting them away and consider getting rid of anything that is stretched, stained, too small or simply a pain to get your child to wear. This way, you don’t waste time and effort dragging it to your new home just to get rid of it there.

Pro Tip: As you’re checking to see what fits your children, consider the fact that they are bound to grow over the next 6 months. This means if there’s not much room to grow now there will likely be none come November.

This is also a good time to take a look at your holiday decorations. You may want to consider getting rid of certain decorations if they are damaged or have gone unused over the past few years. If you are downsizing from a detached home to an apartment, condo or townhome, you may also want to consider downsizing your decoration collection as these homes often have less storage space and require fewer decorations.

Organizing irreplaceable items

As you empty your closets and storage bins, you’re bound to stumble upon your bin(s) of family photos and keepsakes. To ensure these don’t get damaged or misplaced in your move, consider putting them aside now so that you can transport them yourself or have a nearby family member or friend store them for you until you get settled into your new home.

Now that you’ve tidied each room in your house, you’re probably left with an even bigger mess of items that you no longer want but aren’t necessarily ready for the trash. Don’t worry, we’ve got some tips to help you through this process as well.

What To Do With Unwanted Items

Donate

Donating your unwanted items is an easy, feel-good way to dispose of items in good condition that you no longer want. Most cities have many local organizations that gladly take unwanted clothing, furniture, electronics and housewares and pass them along to families or individuals in need. If you do choose to donate your unwanted items, please be critical when considering their condition. If you wouldn’t use an item yourself, it’s probably not worth donating.

Hand-Me-Downs

Before donating your unwanted belongings to a local organization, you may choose to offer them to family members and friends who may be able to find a use for them. Family’s with small children often love receiving hand-me-downs to reduce the cost of clothing for their ever-growing children, while families with teenagers headed to college or university may be looking to furnish a college dorm room inexpensively.

Sell

Last but not least, if you’d like to offset the cost of items for your new home, selling your unwanted things can help you make back some of the money you spent. Using online classifieds like Kijiji, social media or hosting a garage sale are all great ways to sell your unwanted stuff. In the event you do need to meet with a stranger to complete a sale, we recommend reviewing Kijiji’s tips for safe transactions to make sure everything goes smoothly.