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How to Sell All Your Stuff Before a Move

Relocating to a new home is often considered one of life’s most stressful experiences. There are countless tasks to check off your checklist – from organizing and packing to planning the logistics of the move. However, a strategy that involves selling everything in your house before making the move may be an option you may want to consider. While it may seem radical at first, this approach of decluttering and downsizing is not only practical but also incredibly freeing. Embracing this method can help reduce moving costs, prevent clutter in your new home, and offer a fresh start in your new space.

At first, you might be reluctant to part ways with your belongings. After all, they’re part of your history and memories. But when you dive deeper into this approach, you’ll find it’s rooted in practicality for several reasons:

  • Reducing Moving Costs: The more items you have, the more expensive your move will be. By selling off unnecessary items, you can significantly decrease your moving expenses.
  • Avoiding Clutter in Your New Home: By selling stuff beforehand, you’re less likely to bring clutter into your new space. This means less time spent on arranging storage and more time enjoying your new environment.
  • Generating Extra Cash: Selling items can provide a welcome financial boost. This extra cash could fund part of your move or be put towards furnishing your new home.

Why Sell Everything Before Moving?

1. A Fresh Start

Moving with just your essentials allows you to start anew in your new space. You get to decide what stays and what goes, creating an environment that truly resonates with your current lifestyle.

We sold all our stuff (seriously).

2. Saving Money

The saying “Less is more” rings particularly true when preparing to move. The less stuff you have, the less it will cost to move. By taking the time to sort through your belongings and selling those items that are no longer needed or wanted, you can significantly reduce your moving costs. This process not only simplifies your move but also has the potential to earn you some extra cash.

3. Freedom to Customize Your New Home

Moving with less means you’re essentially starting with a blank canvas at your new home. This opens up unlimited possibilities for customization according to your personal taste and preferences. There are several ways this can prove beneficial:

  1. Style Evolution: Over time, our style and preferences evolve. The decor or furniture that may have been perfect for you years ago might not align with your current tastes. Moving into a new home with fewer possessions gives you the opportunity to reflect your evolved tastes in your living space.
  2. Space Optimization: With less clutter, you can make the most of your space, arranging it in a way that maximizes functionality and comfort. You can design each room with a specific purpose in mind, without being limited by unnecessary items.
  3. Personalized Aesthetics: Starting fresh allows you to choose a color palette, themes, and styles that reflect your personality and lifestyle. Whether it’s minimalistic, bohemian, rustic or modern chic, you have the freedom to create a living space that truly reflects who you are.

The 4-Step Process to Sell Everything in Your House Before Moving

Embarking on a move often means deciding what to take and what to leave behind. Amy Bloomer’s 4-step downsizing strategy provides a structured approach to selling everything. This method, incorporating Discovery, Decision, Distribution, and Donation/Sale, can make the process smoother and more effective.

Step 1: Discovery

The first step is all about understanding what you own. Creating an inventory of your belongings is essential.

  • List every item: Go room by room and list out all your possessions. Digital tools like spreadsheets can be incredibly helpful for this task.
  • Assess condition and value: Determine the condition of each item and its potential resale value. For antiques or collectibles, consider getting a professional appraisal.
  • Identify emotional attachments: Recognizing sentimental items early on allows you to make thoughtful decisions about whether to keep, sell, or donate them.

Step 2: Decision

Making decisions on what to keep and what to sell is often the most challenging step.

  • Apply the one-year rule: If you haven’t used an item in over a year, it might be time to let it go.
  • Set criteria for keeping items: Define clear reasons for retaining certain belongings, such as utility, high sentimental value, or significant monetary worth.
  • Enlist help if needed: Sometimes an impartial third party can offer valuable perspective. Consider hiring a professional organizer if you’re struggling with this step.

Step 3: Distribution

Finding the right avenue to sell your items is key in this stage.

  • Match items with selling platforms: Use online marketplaces like eBay for collectibles, Facebook Marketplace for furniture, and specialty sites like TheRealReal for designer clothes.
  • Plan logistics: For larger pieces or high-volume sales, think about how you will manage shipping or pickup. Clear policies on returns and exchanges can also prevent post-sale complications.
  • Price competitively: Research similar items online to price yours competitively. Remember that pricing too high can deter potential buyers while pricing too low can undervalue your items.

Step 4: Donation/Sale

The final step involves saying goodbye to your possessions through sales or donations.

  • Organize a garage sale: Perfect for bulk items and less valuable pieces. Advertise locally and use clear signage on the day of the sale.
  • Donate wisely: Items that don’t sell can be donated. Research local charities that accept second-hand goods and ensure they are in good condition before donating.
  • Keep records: Maintain a list of sold or donated items for financial tracking and potential tax deductions.

By implementing this 4-step process attentively, you increase your chances of successfully decluttering your home before moving day arrives. With each item sold or donated, you’ll not only lighten your load but also pave the way toward a fresh start in your new home.

Strategies for Selling Different Types of Items

When it comes to selling your belongings, not all items are created equal. Different types of items will require different selling strategies. Here’s a look at how you can tailor your approach to maximize the return on various categories of possessions.

Organizing a Successful Garage Sale

A garage sale can be a quick and effective way to clear out a significant amount of items with less effort. Though you might not fetch top dollar for your things, you’ll certainly make space and earn some cash in the process.

Tips for a Successful Garage Sale:

  1. Planning is key. Choose a date with good weather, ideally on a weekend when people have time to browse.
  2. Advertise in advance. Use social media, local community boards, or even old-school flyers to get the word out.
  3. Presentation matters. Display items attractively and group similar objects together.
  4. Price reasonably. While you want to make some money, remember the goal is to sell as much as possible.
  5. Be prepared for negotiations. Garage sale goers love a bargain, so be ready to haggle.

Selling Specialty Items

If you have collectibles or specialty items, consider selling them through online platforms or auctions. These platforms allow you to reach niche buyers who understand the value of what you’re selling.

Tips for Selling Specialty Items:

  1. Research is essential. Understand the market price for your item before listing it.
  2. Use high-resolution photos and detailed descriptions when listing your item online.
  3. Consider using an auction format for highly sought-after collectibles.

Designer Clothing and Handbags

Upscale consignment shops or online platforms like TheRealReal are perfect for selling designer clothing and handbags.

Tips for Selling Designer Clothing and Handbags:

  1. Ensure that the item is in excellent condition before consigning it.
  2. Do your homework about the shop’s policies and commission rates before committing.
  3. For online sales, take clear, well-lit photographs and provide detailed descriptions about the condition and measurements of the item.

Selling your belongings before a move can be a daunting task, but with a strategic approach tailored to the type of item, you can maximize your profits while cleaning out your home. Remember, each place where you sell will have its own rules and strategies for success, so do your research and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Utilizing Online Platforms and Tools for Wider Reach

Embracing the digital age, many sellers are turning to online platforms to expand their reach when clearing out their homes. These virtual marketplaces are not just convenient; they’re a gateway to a vast audience of potential buyers actively searching for items just like yours.

  • eBay: Perfect for unique collectibles and everyday items alike, eBay’s auction format can sometimes help fetch a higher price for in-demand goods.
  • Facebook Marketplace: With its integration into social media, it’s ideal for local sales and has the added advantage of community groups for niche items.
  • Craigslist: This long-standing platform is great for larger items, such as furniture or appliances, attracting local buyers who can pick up directly from your home.

Creating Effective Listings:

  • Use clear, high-resolution images that show the item from multiple angles.
  • Write detailed descriptions with specifics about the item’s condition, dimensions, and any other relevant features.
  • Set a competitive price by researching what similar items are going for.
  • Be proactive in responding to inquiries promptly and courteously.

When it comes to selling your biggest asset — your home — specialized tools can make all the difference. HomeLight’s Agent Match tool is designed to connect you with experienced real estate agents equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of selling property.

Considerations for Selling Your House with All Its Belongings

Selling a house is a big decision, and deciding whether to include all your belongings in the sale adds another layer of complexity. It’s important to think about the pros and cons before you make any final decisions.

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Benefits of Selling House with Belongings

There are some advantages to selling your house with all the furniture and other items included:

  1. Convenience: Selling everything together means you don’t have to worry about packing and moving everything. This can save you a lot of time and effort.
  2. Appeal to Buyers: Having nicely furnished rooms can make your house more attractive to potential buyers. They can see how the space can be used and imagine themselves living there.
  3. Attract Specific Buyers: Some buyers may be looking for a fully furnished house because they’re moving from far away or just don’t want to deal with buying new furniture.

Drawbacks and Potential Challenges

However, there are also some potential downsides to consider:

  1. Limited Buyer Pool: By selling everything together, you may limit the number of potential buyers who are interested in your house.
  2. Different Tastes: Buyers might not like your furniture or want to keep it, which could affect their willingness to pay a higher price.
  3. Negotiation Complexities: Figuring out a fair price that includes both the property and its contents can be tricky for both parties involved.

Attracting Cash Buyers

If you decide to sell your house with all its belongings, you may want to focus on attracting cash buyers, as they tend to be more flexible than traditional buyers. Here are some tips:

  • Price it Right: Set a reasonable price that takes into account the value of the furniture and decor.
  • Highlight Unique Items: Mention any special or valuable pieces included in the sale in your listing.
  • Stage Professionally: Consider hiring a professional stager to arrange your furniture and decor in the most appealing way.

In conclusion, selling a house with all its belongings can be a good option depending on your specific situation. Just make sure to carefully weigh the pros and cons and make informed choices to achieve the best possible outcome.


Selling everything before a move undoubtedly presents its own set of challenges. Yet, it’s essential to remember the numerous advantages this approach brings.

Is it worth the effort? Yes, absolutely! The benefits clearly outweigh the challenges involved.

If you are considering selling your house quickly with leftover unwanted belongings, we are here to help! Our company offers no-obligation cash offers and can close in as little as 10-14 business days.

Now is the time to take action! Embark on this journey towards a fresh start by selling all your stuff before moving.

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