Is It Downsizing Time?






Getting Rid of the Detritus:

Ah, moving day... creator of so much junk!  Well, and continuing on as you unpack.  But you'll be glad you set up a system for dealing with all the debris right away (because you will generate some of it from the get-go).

So, here are some tips on handling moving day, and later, trash (and treasure)...

An overview:

  • Get set up for a deluge of cast-offs:  Especially if you had to add in boxes once or more during the packing process, you'll be amazed at how fast gigantic piles of broken-down boxes and liberated cushioning materials will accumulate as you unpack.  Right away, select a good-sized corner in which to house these.  Hold out a few sturdy giant-sized boxes in which to stand the boxes to be broken down.  Large garbage bags can readily store the bubble and foamy wrap and the styrofoam peanuts.
  • One man's trash is another man's treasure:  As mentioned in the page on Packing, there's plenty of still-usable packing material left after sorting out the trashed matter after a move - and someone else may want it.  Someone else may even be glad to pay something for it. ...But even if not, having a donee take it away can save you labor and/or trash removal expense.  
    Moving into an apartment complex or co-op housing of some sort? - put up a sign, ask around.  How about a sign at the senior center, if there's one nearby?  Realtors are in a good position to link you up with someone who needs your discards - or put a sign out on the street (or stop by the houses of people with "for sale" signs in their yards?).  Or take it to a recycling center - where even if it isn't on the list of recyclables, someone who's moving is bound to turn up looking for boxes and gratefully grab the bags! 
    By the way, professional unpackers will probably offer to get rid of the residue as part of their service.
  • How to get rid of what remains:  If you haven't hired unpackers who will take it all away, there will be, at the very least, a lot of garbage for a single household.  In some areas where trash pickup is a free service, you can arrange to just put it all out at the curb, or to have it all hauled away for free.  Most recycling centers take all kinds of paper for free.  And then there's a possible trip to the dump, where it may or may not be free to dispose of trash in bulk.  (Have some fun whirling the last of it into the dumpster - "Yay!, it's over!!")  At the least, you ought to be able to pay for it all to be hauled, by a garbage service or an individual.  How lovely it will be to be free of it at last!
  • Or keep it?:  No, not all the boxes...  But here's an idea for storing a useful portion of the light stuff:  hang it in the garage.  Assuming your garage ceiling is tall enough to accommodate a big garbage bag or two without your banging your head into them, hoisting them up with a rope and pulley, or into a net strung high, is a good way to get them out of the way below.  (As you may have discovered to your dismay during the packing process, that stuff is expensive if you have to buy it.  I always keep some around.)
  • Whatever, do it soon:  Get the junk out of the way as soon as you're able so you can feel like you're moved in.  Find two families who need the discards, or one that's willing to come get them a few times as you build them up.  You might think you can get used to looking at stacks of moving detritus, but it saps your spirit on the sly.  Free yourself!

What you'll need:

  • Things you can't do without:  Box cutters - don't rip apart when you can just zip a blade through the tape.  (I like the retractable little ones that slip into your pocket.)  You might need a big taper - because you'll open some boxes (to refresh your memory about their contents?) and want to close them up again (not what you were hoping for! - or, you're going to repack stuff from two or more emptied boxes).  Scissors might come in handy - if you're into saving the good portions (though prepping to that extent would take too much time if you're in a hurry).  You'll be glad you had ready a supply of big garbage bags for the actual trash (and some still-usable bags might get freed up as you unpack).
  • A sorting system:  Decide now on what you'd like to set aside, to keep or make usable for others.  Unwrinkle and fold the once-flat stuff before bagging.  If you're going to go the all-trash route, you're free to stuff and stamp on it all into boxes to compact it as much as possible.





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