If you’re getting ready to move, you have some big decisions to make. One of them is figuring out which items to take with you and what to leave behind or sell. These tips can help you decide what to keep when moving:
There is no broad-brush explanation as to when major household appliances should be replaced. The 5-10-15 rule, by Stanford University doctoral candidate Rachel Adams, is a good starting point:
Keep any refrigerator, washer or dryer that is less than five years old.
Consider replacing 10-year-old appliances after calculating their daily energy consumption. Refrigerators, for instance, can account for up to one-fifth of monthly electric bills. Replacing an old refrigerator with a newer model that is Energy Star-compliant could drop your monthly electric bills substantially and pay for itself within a few years. EnergySavings.com features four steps to estimating energy usage.
Replace any appliance that is more than 15 years old.
Another factor to consider is storage costs. The more appliances you keep, the larger storage facility you’ll need while between homes. A 10 X 10 unit costs around $70 per month (depending on where you live), whereas a 10 X 20 will be double that amount. But if the items you’re storing are worth keeping, then the price difference doesn’t matter.
The best time to buy new appliances is late September and October when retailers are introducing the latest models and slashing prices on last year’s merchandise. Holiday deals, particularly Black Friday and the days following Christmas, are also good times to find bargains.
We typically buy furniture based on the space in which it will be placed, and your old furniture may not fit physically or aesthetically in your new home. But you can always make current furnishings feel new to you.
First consider the quality and sentimental value of your furniture before deciding to reupholster. The labor and materials that go into reupholstering can equal the cost of buying new furniture in some cases. If it’s the couch that you and your spouse had your first kiss on, then perhaps you’ll want to keep it. The same goes for a comfortable bed that you fall asleep on as soon as your head hits the pillow.
But don’t reupholster a couch or chair with wobbly legs and a cheap wood frame. Vitian Robinson, who owns a reupholstery business in Indianapolis, told Angie’s List that many furniture manufacturers have lowered their wood standards in recent years. Today they use materials that would have been deemed garbage for furniture 20 years ago. In other words, if your furniture is relatively new, it’s usually better to replace it than restore it.
Moving to a new home usually means more space. Now is the time to decide on some new items you’ve always wanted, but never had the square footage to make happen. Hot tubs are not only great for relaxation and pain relief, but are also conversation and party starters. An exercise bike or elliptical trainer can help you take control of your health and eliminate gym membership fees.
Moving can be a stressful, drawn-out process. But having a picture in your mind as to what your new home will look like when finished is a great motivator.