Planning A Move? Cut Down Your Clutter With A Dumpster

When you're planning a move, whether it's to the next town or across state lines, you don't want to bring a lot of unnecessary items with you. Not only is it a waste of time to pack and unpack these items, but they'll take up a lot of space, causing you to rent a larger moving truck or pay your moving company for more time. 

The best strategy is to get rid of anything non-essential before you move. And a good way to do that is by renting a dumpster. Here's a closer look.

When should you rent the dumpster?

Consider having the dumpster delivered to your property about two weeks before you plan on moving. This way you can spend a week going through your things and tossing any trash in the dumpster before you really have to move on to serious packing.

Most dumpster rental companies charge a flat rate for up to a certain number of days. They may add a small fee for each additional day after the initial three or five day period, but it's not a lot. Having the dumpster on hand while you pack is worth the cost since it makes it easy to dispose of things as you come across them. Arrange to have the dumpster picked up the day before you move so that you have plenty of space for the moving truck.

What kinds of things can you put in the dumpster?

Anything that you do not want and that is not in good enough shape to donate to a thrift store or charity should go into the dumpster. Keep in mind that even if you could earn a couple of dollars selling an item, it may not be worth your time to make a sale—especially right now when you're busy planning a move. Thrift stores typically only want items that are in good condition, so if a shirt is stained, a spatula has a little tear in it, or a pair of shoes is scuffed, it belongs in the trash.

Note that there are some items that cannot go in the dumpster for safety and health reasons:

  • Tires
  • Batteries
  • Paints and stains
  • Fuels
  • Refrigerants
  • Oils
  • Inks
  • Infectious waste (such as used bandages and injection needles)

How large of a dumpster should you rent?

Unless you have an enormous home and know that you have an excessive number of items to clear out, a 20-foot dumpster should provide enough space for your pre-move clear-out project. If you have a small home, an apartment, or have managed to keep your collections pretty small over the years, a small 10-foot dumpster may be big enough. Large dumpsters don't typically cost too much more to rent than smaller ones, so go with the bigger size if you're unsure.

How can you stay safe when loading the dumpster?

Safety is a big concern for anyone who rents a dumpster. You not only have to keep yourself safe, but you have to protect passersby and your own kids from harm, too. Purchase a lock, and put it on the dumpster whenever you're not around. This will prevent people from "dumpster diving" so they don't get hurt on your property, leaving you or your homeowners insurance liable. Do not let kids climb in the dumpster. Also, when you fill the dumpster, avoid letting the piles get any higher than your head. This way, if anything tumbles, the chances of injuries will be much lower.

To learn more about the process of renting a dumpster before your move, speak with a dumpster company in your local area like Peterson's Service Corp.