An essential task that appears on all comprehensive moving checklists is: Declutter! Working with a moving company is the perfect opportunity to pare down on household items so that you have fewer things to take to your new house.

This can be more difficult than it sounds, though, because parting with something you’ve had for years is hard! When deciding what to keep when moving, ask yourself a few questions that will make the process easier. Once you know what to bring, you can grab your packing supplies and start boxing and packing things up like a pro!

1. Is It a Local vs. Long-Distance Move?

There’s a big difference between working with an Ottawa moving company and moving to Kanata or another neighbouring Ottawa town and moving clear across the country—or internationally. It’s important to understand what constitutes a local vs. long-distance move. Local moves (those within a 100-mile/161-kilometre radius) are simpler and, thus, cheaper. Anything further is considered a long-distance move.

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Unfortunately, the greater the distance (and weight/volume of your goods), the higher the price. So, it’s best to keep the items in your moving truck to a minimum. Shipping items overseas is even more expensive; only personal belongings and your most valuable items should make the trip.

2. How Much Are the Items Worth?

As you survey your belongings, think about what each thing is worth. We’re not only talking about monetary value but practical value as well. If you have a garage or a basement, start there—that’s where we dump our less-loved stuff. Ask yourself questions like:

  • When’s the last time I used this?
  • Does this make my life easier or is it taking up space?
  • Do I want to replace this with a better version?
  • Does this match the style or layout of my new home?

Items that you don’t love deserve to be placed in the purge pile. Do you have old furniture lurking around? How about unused gardening tools or sports equipment? Have you been waiting to replace items?

On the other hand, hard to replace or one-of-a-kind possessions should make the cut; think premium items, like art or collector’s items.

3. Are the Items Sentimental?

Some belongings have priceless sentimental value. Items that mean the world to you should be handled with care during the move. Consider using durable plastic containers for prized possessions and heirlooms. Or, if you have delicate sentimental items or fragile bulky items, ask about specialty packing services, which include wooden crates with extra padding.

(Tip: If you have precious preschool artwork lurking somewhere, snap photos of these masterpieces and give up the originals.)

4. What Is the Cost of the Move?

We get asked, “How much does a move cost?” daily. Of course, the answer is different for everyone. Many factors impact moving costs, including the amount and weight of your personal possessions, travel time and distance, the number of movers needed, packing services, seasonality…. You get it! Each situation is unique, so get an accurate Ottawa moving estimate from Cassidy’s Moving & Storage today.

5. Do You Have Important Documentation?

Keep important documents, like birth certificates and passports, financial records, insurance papers, licenses, and all moving documents with you. Also, gather warranties for electronics, school and medical records, instruction manuals, etc.

Paper is heavy, so shred and recycle old documents that are no longer needed or can be found online. If you’re not sure if you should hold onto something, scan it.

6. Do You Own Outdated or Damaged Items?

Sound advice is to “Pack for your new place, not the one you are leaving.” So, unload old appliances, DVDs you don’t watch, ancient cell phones, old magazines, and anything you rarely (if ever) touch. Now is also the perfect time to create a closet that you’ll love. Get rid of outdated and ill-fitting garments, and then properly pack your clothing for your move.

(Tip: If you have some nearly-new professional women’s attire, donate to Dress For Success Ottawa and help empower women in our community.)

What To Do With the Throw-Away Items?

As you work to cut the clutter before your move, you’ll be left with lots to dispose of. You can sell, donate, recycle, or trash these unwanted items. To offset moving costs, sell as much as you can. Have a garage sale to get rid of old clothes and old media. If a yard sale isn’t practical, use eBay or Facebook Marketplace to sell items online. Donate anything else to a local charity. Animal shelters always need spare blankets, and community centers are willing to take books, appliances, furniture and more.

When discarding things, please do your best to protect our environment. Businesses like Recycle My Electronics offer safe and easy electronics recycling services. Check your medicine cabinet and return unused or expired medications to your local pharmacy.

While you’re poking around the bathroom cabinet, empty, clean, and get rid of half-full toiletry bottles. (You’ll find that about 80% of bathroom items can be tossed out.) The same goes for food—check expiration dates and throw away leftover food.

Do You Need a Storage Container?

Consider a renting a shipping storage container if you need to quickly stage your home in preparation for sale or if there is some time between leaving your old house and moving into your new address. This flexible option removes some of the moving stress; you can take the time to carefully organize a shipping container, and store it on your property or in our secured yard.

Hire the Best Movers in Ottawa To Help You Move

With some preparation and a professional team like Cassidy’s Moving & Storage on your side, moving doesn’t have to be stressful. Our awesome Arnprior movers been in the business for over 100 years, and we’re ready to help you move across town or across the globe.

Need movers? Get a no obligation quote today.