Conquer clutter

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
– William Morris

Clearing your home of clutter can be terrifically liberating – yet when it comes to cleaning out closets and overcrowded drawers, it’s all too easy to procrastinate. If you’re planning a move, however, de-cluttering becomes essential. Who wants to pay to move things you don’t need or even particularly like?

If you’re planning to move – or just want some tips for a thorough spring clean – Premiere Van Lines offers these great tips.

The big decision
While some decisions – like dumping the junk drawer into the trash – can be relatively easy, others require more thought. Sentimental items, such as a collection of old letters and other mementoes or boxes filled with the school work of your grown children, are considerably more difficult to part with.

Yet if you’re moving to a smaller space, you may want to streamline the memory box. You could select, for example, samples of your child’s work through the years instead of keeping everything. Take heart: in this case, less can definitely be more. If you’ve saved boxes and boxes of life souvenirs, most likely they end up stuffed into an attic or storage room. A smaller memory box is easier to keep at hand and when the mood strikes you, to browse through.

When making any final decisions on furniture and large appliances, first measure all the pieces to make sure they will fit in your new space. And if you’re considering replacing old furniture for something new after you move, take into account replacement costs. Many people who haven’t purchased furniture recently are surprised by the expense.

If you’re a fashion pack-rat, the cardinal rule is: if you haven’t worn it in the past year, get rid of it. When it comes to clothing, shoes, and handbags, if you don’t love it or need it, leave it. The idea is to purge yourself of excess and keep only what you truly love or need.

The general rule for paperwork, is that you should keep tax records and other important receipts for about six years.

Important tip: When it comes to clearing your files, be sure to destroy or shred all financial documents or other items containing personal information. You can also be at risk for identity theft when discarding computers, cell phones or other technology that can store confidential information. Experts say that it’s not always enough to simply erase a computer’s hard drive – you may want to literally destroy it.

How to hold a moving sale
If you’ve amassed a fair amount of items to get rid of, a moving sale might be an option. Or if you haven’t enough for a sale of your own, you could look to join forces with a neighbour and hold a mutual yard sale.

To hold a successful moving sale, consider these 8 tips:

1. Compile a master list of all items that you no longer need or could easily replace at your new home.

2. Visit second hand stores to get an idea of how to price each item. Use coloured stickers to attach the price to each item. If you’re holding a joint venture between several families, you can colour-code each family’s items to track sales.

3. Select a date, making sure it’s not a holiday weekend (also establish a rain date, if you wish). Promote your moving sale by posting signs locally. You may also wish to place a classified newspaper ad. In both ads and signs, promote the most popular items first, such as furniture, electronics, appliances, tools etc.

4. On the day of the sale, place large signs at high-traffic areas with directions and arrows.

5. Start saving grocery bags to make it convenient for people to buy in bulk. Have a good stock of newspapers or tissue paper on hand to wrap fragile items.

6. At the sale, arrange items by type: i.e. clothing, sports equipment, etc.

7. Set up a cashier’s “desk” with a cash box with lots of change, calculator, scissors, tape and string.

8. Assign everyone a task, including cashier, clerk, and sacker.

For more information:

One person’s junk is another’s treasure. Holding a moving sale isn’t the only option for turning your junk into other people’s treasures (and in some cases, a little cash in your pocket).

Friends and family. Designate certain items for family members and friends. This is a good opportunity to pass on special family heirlooms and other treasures – and it will make downsizing the memory box a bit easier.

Charities. Some charitable organizations still offer to pick up items in good condition. For a list of organizations across Canada that accept goods as charitable donations, visit

eBay. Many entrepreneurs have made a career out of selling on eBay. The popular e-commerce website offers tips on how to sell your item online, including how to produce compelling product descriptions and photos, as well as dealing with payment and shipping.

For a fee, you can also hire an eBay assistant to take care of the logistics. This option is best for high-priced items as you can expect to pay a commission of 30 to 40 per cent as well as an upfront fee of up to $20.

And some cities offer drop-off eBay stores where staff will sell and ship your product for you in return for an upfront fee and sales commission.

Consignment companies. Consignment and re-sell stores such as The Elegant Garage Sale in Toronto will sell your item for you in return for a commission. This innovative “worldwide gifting movement” uses the internet to connect people who want or need items with people who are giving them away. Simply sign up on the website to list the items you want to part with and interested persons will contact you via email. Most pick-ups work similarly to garage sales: the giver leaves the item on the front yard or curb at a specified time, and the receiver picks it up.

1-800 GOT Junk. While the fees are considerable, starting at a minimum of $98 and going up to $558 for a full load, this national junk removal service will do all the work for you (including loading and clean-up). About 60 per cent of items collected are donated or recycled.

The storage option.
If you’re downsizing, but don’t want to part with some items, storage can be an option. (In Florida, for example, many residences don’t have basements, so long-term storage is common.) Premiere Van Lines Storage Services offers clean, secure, climate-controlled storage facilities across Canada, for short or long term storage.

Moving flammables.
As you’re sorting through your possessions, keep in mind that moving companies do not accept hazardous or flammable goods. For a complete list, go to:

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Premiere Van Lines is North America’s fastest-growing moving services company with 30 offices and over 1000 employees coast to coast across Canada and into the U.S.A. Hard work and excellent customer service has made us the leader of the moving industry in Canada and across North America.

Contact us to arrange a no-cost, no-obligation consultation for your residential moving needs

For more moving tips or to find out how to make your smartest move, go to: