Tips to Downsize During a Move

Whether you’re an empty nester moving from a large home to a condo, or a couple moving from the suburbs to a small apartment in the city, we’ve got some tips for downsizing during a move to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

Make a List

Take a good look around your home and start listing your must-have items. Do you really need to make room in your new home for that treadmill that you’ve been using as a place to hang your laundry? If you haven’t used it in over a year, consider getting rid of it.

Get Started Early

Don’t wait until the last minute. Several months before your move date, begin making time each day to go through your things and start thinning them out. Devote at least 20 minutes a day to organizing your closets, shelves and drawers.


Ideally, you should sort your items into three bins. You can label them: keep, sell, donate; or: must-have, can live without, can be replaced. Whatever labels you decide to use, try to stick to three.


Get the room measurements or floor plans for your new place. Measure your furniture and plan your room arrangements prior to your move. Remember to keep doors and windows in mind.


Once you’ve decided which items you can’t live without, begin selling the rest. You can have a yard sale, or if you want to get more money for your items, you can try selling them online. Large, heavy household items, such as appliances and furniture do well on local Facebook marketplaces and Craigslist.

Poshmark and eBay are good options for selling used designer clothing and accessories, or you could check with local consignment shops and see what they are accepting.


Whatever you can’t sell, consider donating it to a charity or secondhand shop.

Should You Tip Your Mover?

Tipping your mover is not a requirement, however, as is the case with any service-oriented business, your tip should reflect your level of satisfaction and appreciation for the job that was done. And while tipping is not expected, it is always very much appreciated.

So, what is an appropriate amount to tip a mover? Although opinions on tipping vary, it is ultimately up to you how much you decide to tip. There are no hard and fast rules. It would be difficult to base tipping on the cost of the move. The amount of time it takes for movers to load a truck is the same whether the truck is going across town or across the country, although the cost of the move will vary significantly. You may want to take the number of days it takes the movers to drive to your new location into consideration. Again, there are no hard and fast rules, these are just suggestions.

You may also want to consider the level of difficulty of the move when deciding how much to tip. The movers have been entrusted to handle your personal items with care and get them safely to your new home. The physical labor involved is hard work, and if the crew has carried heavy items up or down a long flight of twisting stairs, that should be reflected in the tip.

Keep in mind that while offering your moving crew food and drinks is a kind gesture and will be very much appreciated, it shouldn’t be viewed as a substitute for a tip.

The biggest tip about tipping your movers is don’t give all the cash to one person for distribution. It is always best to give each person their own tip and show them your appreciation for the work they have done.

Tips for Hiring a Mover

More than ten percent of Americans move to a new home every year. A great deal of those are long distance moves that are taken care of by a moving company. If you have a move planned in the future and will need to hire a company to assist you, be sure to keep the following tips in mind to help ensure you hire the right company and that everything goes smoothly.

  • Before you hire a company, check online with the BBB and other review websites to see how well the company has performed for others. Some companies do not have anything listed with the BBB or review websites, but many of the older companies may. If you can’t find reviews, ask the company for references.
  • Check the company insurance certificate to make sure the coverage is valid.
  • Ask upfront what items will be covered. Most companies will not cover personal items and household goods unless they pack and load everything for you.

Deciding on the right company to hire during a move can be difficult decision to make, but when you take the time to really check the company out and see what they have to offer, you can easily narrow down your list to hire the best company for the job at hand.