While you’re organizing or packing for your move, sift, sort and use a heavy hand toward the trash can. Let common sense and these tips be your guide. Follow this rule: Cleaning out the clutter.

The floor plan
If possible, get a floor plan of your future residence, or make one to scale on graph paper. Try to fit your furniture in the mock up. If it won’t fit on paper, it won’t fit when you arrive. Consider not moving it.

Color-coordinate your move
If the sofa just won’t match, you might want to leave it. Often you can replace furniture and appliances more cost-effectively than you can re-upholster and move them.

Ignore the “I-might-need-it-someday” syndrome
Don’t move the riding mower to an apartment. Part with tools you won’t have a place to use. And remember, junk is junk. You don’t need a furnished attic.

Book learning
Condense your library as much as possible and then investigate the cost of mailing treasured volumes compared to the cost of moving them. The special postage rate for books may save you money.

Plan for plants
Check with us. It is illegal to bring plants into many states. Even if it is possible, it may not be sensible.

Dirt’s not dirt cheap
If you’re determined to take your huge outdoor planters, fill them with miscellaneous items instead of dirt. Same goes for the sandbox. There will be dirt and sand where you’re going.

The shirt off your back
While one dress or one suit doesn’t weigh much, the average full wardrobe carton weighs 75 pounds. So if you’re never going to wear it, don’t relocate it. Contact your local Goodwill agency and make a donation – there may be tax benefits.

The sound of money
Hundreds of CDs and DVDs can make for a heavy box. Burn your favorite songs to your computer and you’ll be able to keep the music without the bulk of the discs. Go through your DVD collection and eliminate DVDs you don’t watch anymore. Even sell your outdated CDs and DVDs for cash.

Toys – the kids’
Now’s the time to clean out the toy box. If the kids are old enough, give them incentive. Let them stage their own garage sale and keep the profits to buy something special – after you’ve moved. Read more tips on how to move with children.

Toys – yours
If your treadmill hasn’t gone a mile in years, moving it won’t help. Consider selling weight-lifting equipment and replacing it at your destination. Remember, weight equals cost. Sell any hobby equipment you no longer enjoy.

Food for thought
Frozen foods cannot be shipped, so eat up. Consume canned goods and food staples, and don’t replenish them. Plan menus to make the most of what you have, or donate non-perishable food to Move For Hunger. Be sure to empty your refrigerator completely and clean it thoroughly to prevent odor problems.

Handyman heavies
The workshop is a storehouse of bulky, heavy items. Evaluate them carefully – from the workbench to the tools. It might be advantageous to replace the massive workbench, etc.

Unless they’re valuable, or you’re sure they’ll fit and flatter your new residence, get them out from underfoot.

The swing set
You’ll probably come out ahead with your finances, your kids and your back if you replace it rather than move it.

Burn your firewood prior to your move. Sell or give remaining wood to friends or neighbors. Don’t move it, especially if your new home doesn’t have a fireplace.

Cue clues
A pool table requires special handling. Your best shot might be to sell it and then replace it at your new destination.

Musical notes
Pianos and organs also require special handling and should be tuned after a move. If they’re an enjoyable part of your lifestyle, move them. If they’re just impressive trimming, you might want to trim your moving cost.

Bah humbug
Be a Scrooge when it comes to special holiday decorations. Don’t move what you can’t or won’t use.

Don’t be fuelish
Do not under any conditions move flammable items. Empty fuel from the lawn mower, power tools and kerosene lamps. Don’t take paints (oil base), bleach, cleaning fluids, lighter fluids, matches, ammunition or any other type of combustible. Check the kids’ chemistry set. Butane tanks cannot be loaded into a moving van unless they are certified as being professionally purged. Check out more information about what not to pack. If you have doubts, don’t take it. Better safe than sorry.

Can your aerosol cans
A seemingly innocent aerosol can of hair spray could explode and endanger your whole shipment. Eliminate all aerosol cans – hair sprays, shaving creams, deodorants, household cleaners, insecticides, tarnish removers, car cleaners and others. Read more information about what not to pack.

Once you decide what you’re going to part with, decide how. If you’re selling a home, the buyer may be your best customer. Some items that can often be advantageously sold with the home are listed in the next section. There are other ways to make a good riddance and a good profit in the process.

Have a garage sale
Organize it, advertise it and manage it. You’ll be amazed to see how profitably your trash can become someone else’s treasures.

Advertise in the classifieds or online
For more valuable items, post a classified ad in your local paper or online. Many websites offer free or low cost listings that can reach thousands of people. Including a photo of the item can enhance its value and exposure.

Donate to your favorite charity
Itemize each donation and keep a receipt. It may help you qualify for a tax deduction.

Before you even put your residence up for sale, carefully consider extras that can be included to increase the appeal and the value of your home – and to cut moving costs. Discriminating buyers will probably want everything but your family portrait. Many extras add more value to the house than they actually cost in the first place. This is even true for apartment dwellers, who may find the future tenant a ready and willing buyer.