Thought Leadership

Moving checklist: Tips for planning your next move



Get ready for the next chapter in your life! Simplifying and sorting can take time. Use this checklist to help you conquer your closets.

✓ Sort and downsize

Start early and small. Tackle one closet or room per each week. Use a sticker color system:

  • Red for things to toss
  • Yellow for “to be determined”
  • Blue for donations
  • Green for items moving to the new location

TIP: Never pack glass on glass. Always wrap these items with packing paper and bubble wrap.

Donate items

Bring unwanted items to second-hand stores like Goodwill or Savers in your area. Schools can benefit from craft supplies while animal shelters welcome used linens. Donating clothing to charity not only helps those in need but also plays a crucial role in reducing textile waste. Keep only what sparks joy. You will feel good about helping others through your donations!

TIP: Find a thrift store near your Presbyterian Homes & Services community!

Sell excess objects

Give those unneeded things a second life by selling them. Try a website such as Craigslist, Ebay, Nextdoor or Facebook Marketplace to connect with buyers. These are great ways to earn some cash for your belongings! Alternatively, consider contacting your local bookstore to see if they buy used books and consignment shops for clothing.

TIP: An easy way to have people come and take larger items from your home is to put it on Facebook Marketplace for free.

Digitize photos

Instead of keeping many scrapbooks, albums and pictures in frames, scan photos and store them digitally. You can safely backup your photos on most computers. Check out these step-by-step instructions on digitizing.

Gift your treasures

As you sort through things, make a box or bag for each person in your family. Along the way, you’ll find things to give to a specific person. For family living out of town, take a picture of the item and ask if they have any interest. If not, consider making a donation and bless someone in need. Remember, although something is a treasure to you, your children may not feel the same way.

✓ Minimize keepsakes

Parting with memorabilia may be tough. Take photos of items and build a virtual scrapbook. Gravitate towards simplicity and help reduce the resources and energy needed to produce new items. By giving items away, you have the unique opportunity to bring joy to others.

Create an “open first” box

Create an “open first” box that includes things you will likely need right away at the new place such as:

  • Phone chargers
  • Toilet paper
  • Facial tissues
  • Clorox wipes
  • Hand towels for kitchen and bath
  • Hand soap
  • Pajamas
  • Medicine and critical possessions

This box travels with you or a trusted family member so it is easy to access in your new home.

Clean, clean, clean

It is no surprise a well-loved house will take time to scrub and polish. Wipe down walls, light fixtures, windows and bathrooms as well as hiring a professional carpet cleaner. Remove dirt or grease spots in the garage. Leaving the house as clean as possible is also just a thoughtful and considerate thing to do for the people who eventually buy your home.

Enlist a friend

It can be difficult to move all on your own. Ask for help! Maybe a daughter or son, relative, friend, or someone else can help in the process. Many hands make light work!


Moving can be stressful. Take it slow and know there are resources to make the process less taxing. Take into consideration all the tips and know you are not alone in this journey.


Presbyterian Homes & Services has resources to aid in the moving process, along with people you can connect with. Imagine your future of living life to the fullest at one of our communities and let’s help you get there!

Where to donate:


  • Stuff Etc., 2818 Commerce Dr, Coralville or 252 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids
    • Accepting clothes, household items, games, books, movies, stuffed animals, toys, electronics, musical instruments, furniture
  • Olivet Mission, 230 10th St NW, Cedar Rapids
    • Accepting clothing
  • Helping Hands Store, 802 12th St, Marion
    • Accepting clothing
  • Drop Inn Resale, 1625 J St SW, Cedar Rapids
    • Accepting clothing, toys, books, household items, small workout accessories
  • Habitat ReStore, 350 6th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids
    • Accepting appliances, decorative items, furniture


  • Hidden Treasures Thrift Store, 2915 Pentagon Dr., St. Anthony, MN 55418
    • Accepting gently used clothes, housewares, furniture, electronics, holiday décor, books and tools
  • Goodwill, 1239 University Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104 (see various locations here)
    • Accepting new or gently-used clothing, electronics and household items
  • The Salvation Army, 2445 Prior Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55113
    • Accepting clothing, accessories, furniture, books, CDs, toys and jewelry in good condition (various locations here)
  • Savers, 50 Coon Rapids Blvd NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55448 (various locations here)
    • Accepting new and used clothing and shoes, backpacks, purses, bed and bath items, books, media, electronics


  • The Salvation Army, 445 Madison St., Waukesha, WI 53188
    • Accepting clothing, accessories, furniture, books, CDs, toys and jewelry in good condition
  • St. Vincent DePaul, W359N5848 Brown St., Oconomowoc, WI 53066 (various locations here)
    • Accepting clothing, furniture and household items that are suitable for resale
  • Goodwill, 153 W Oklahoma Ave, Milwaukee (various locations above)
    • Accepting new or gently-used clothing, electronics and household items


For more information and to help make your move as soon as possible, visit our Moving services page.



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