Is your house a home or a storage facility?

Question: “We will be selling our home and moving to a new home. We need to declutter, get rid of some ‘stuff’ but don’t want a yard sale. How can we get rid of perfectly good new gently used stuff before a move?”

This is a topic I cover regularly here in this column, in my classes and with clients. Whether you are planning on moving or not, it is important to access contents of your house on a regular basis. Do you want to live in a comfortable, functioning house or a storage facility? Sounds like an extreme comparison but I’ve seen it all.

tools, horsehoes, license plates on workbench

Unless you’re a minimalist, we all have stuff we stockpile for various reasons. There is the junk drawer, junk closet, junk room, junk basement and in some cases, junk house. Worst case scenario, every room is cluttered with piles of stuff.

It hasn’t even been a year since I moved and downsized when I scheduled a donation pick up with Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Newburgh. A friend commented, “You’ve been in your house for 20 minutes and you have stuff to get rid of?” Yes! Yes, I do.

Yard sales are an option but a lot of work. I had one at my new house and sold quite a bit of staging inventory. Every town has an online yard sale group on Facebook including Facebook Marketplace. I had better luck posting saleable items on my personal Facebook page and selling to people I knew.

Try selling items yourself, hire a service to sell it for you like a consignment shop. Maybe someone you know can use your stuff. Price it to sell. If you think you have a hidden treasure, get it appraised. Remember, some stuff is garbage and should be trashed.

Donating is a great option. By paying it forward, you move forward both physically and emotionally. That stuff is weighing you down. Pick a worthy cause and donate by scheduling a pickup or drop off

For a list of organizations, click here:

My best advice is to avoid procrastination. You can’t take it with you, and you should not move it all with you. There are professionals who can help you through the process whether it is a professional stager, organizer, Realtor, estate sale or clean out service. The biggest investment is your own sweat equity to deal with every stored item. The return on investment is worth it when you present a better house to sell and create a fresh start in your new home or better yet, enjoy your house while living in it.