Getting Ready to Sell? Declutter now!

Anyone who has ever moved from one home to another will tell you that the moving process will always involve decluttering. We often don’t realize how much stuff we accumulate until it’s time to move it. Often, your clutter may need to be moved twice: once to a storage unit, so your home can be staged for sale, then again when you finally move into your new home. No one wants that headache! So decluttering and purging the old, so you can start fresh in the new is the perfect reason to tackle decluttering now!

Getting rid of your accumulated clutter can be a daunting, and often emotional, task. So it helps to have a solid plan in place on what you will do with unwanted items before you start. Here are several clever ways to get rid of unwanted items for a move.

First, sort through everything you own and divide it into categories: what you will keep and move to the new home, what you’re throwing away, what you can sell, and what you will give away to charity. If it helps, tackle this process in stages, going one room at a time over several weekends. This will help make the tasks seem more manageable.

Selling Platforms

If you are planning to sell any of your clothing, furnishings, or household items, there are a number of options. Many people commonly think of Craigslist when considering selling personal property, although many view this as a potentially risky option. There are actually numerous “buy, sell, trade” options available through the miracle of technology.  ThredUp, is an option for selling clothing, while the Trove platform is more geared toward furniture and home décor. 5miles offers a more localized version of Craigslist, and LetGo offers a convenient mobile app. Many communities have closed-groups on Facebook that require approval to join and are actively administered by people who live in your community. This isn’t your Grandmas’s garage sale!

Regardless of which platform you use, exercise caution when meeting with buyers. Don’t go alone, and choose locations that are well lit and have security cameras in operation. Some police stations even allow the use of their lobbies or parking lots for buyers and sellers to meet. Safety first!


For things you aren’t able to sell, or if you just prefer to donate your items to a cause, the options are endless. Goodwill and the Salvation Army are great, because they will even take cars, boats, and RVs, and they will come pick up large items for your convenience. But there are lots of other options out there, too!

Habitat ReStore takes home improvement salvage like cabinets, sinks, hardware, and appliances, as well as furniture, rugs, paint, tools, lighting fixtures, and other items.  You can also consider homeless shelters, animal shelters, churches, and other service organizations to donate gently used items. Click here for  a list of donation sites throughout Silicon Valley.

Upcycling is a great way to keep unwanted items out of landfills, and your trash may be another person’s treasure! So don’t be afraid to donate gently used items. Plus, you may be able to take a tax deduction for your donation.


No matter how much you donate or sell, there are still going to be things that just need to go in the trash. Really old computer hardware and software, items that are broken or that don’t work, medications, and items with personal information/data are among the things you will need to safely discard. Look for community shred days to bulk shred large quantities of paper, or take it to a dedicated shredding place (these are often better for large shred jobs, as your personal office shredder may burn up the motor if you have too much to shred!).

Electronics and old computers have precious metals that can be recycled, and may contain components that are harmful to the environment. There are numerous places that will recycle old electronics, just be sure to wipe the drives of personal data before dropping them off.

Medications are also harmful to the environment and should never be placed in the trash or flushed through the sewer system. Many pharmacies and local police stations have collection boxes for prescription and non-prescription medications, so that they can be safely disposed of. Just remove any identifying labels from pharmacy bottles.

For more on decluttering and platforms to use for this purpose, check out this article at

Decluttering is hard, but it’s necessary in order to prep your home for sale and execute your move with the minimum of hassle. Let my team at Keystone Realtors® meet all your real estate needs. I have over 16 years of experience in buying and selling in the Santa Clara and San Mateo County areas, specializing in the high-end, luxury market. Visit our website at for listings and information. You can contact me at 650-924-2544, or email at

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