Moving is never going to be easy or fun, at least not until I can pay to not lift a finger. At least now I know if I want that kind of service someday, just how much it will cost. After having done quite a bit of research, I have found the following sources to be very helpful:
Yelp is a great resource for all things local, including movers, packers, cleaners, you name it. I like it that people talk freely about their experience on Yelp.
Angieslist is not free, but it does have a good list of service providers for all sorts of projects and consumer needs. I pay membership in order to access this list, but it is well worth it to be able to research companies for consumer ratings. Angieslist also offers a conflict resolution service, in case you ever need it. I get discounted movie tickets through Angieslist, and they make great stocking stuffers.
Freecycle is a an organization that uses Yahoo Groups to post and connect people who want to “recycle” instead of throw away. By posting things you don’t want anymore on Freecycle, you keep it out of landfills, and someone else can extend the useful life of the the thing that you Freecycled. As long as it is for free, and no money will exchange hands, anything can be posted. I have given away an amazing range of things via Freecycle, and I love the ease and convenience of having the stuff picked up.
Ever since I graduated college, I have used Craigslist to find just about everything — apartments, jobs, and cheap labor. I used Craigslist this time to do some price research. You can find some deals out there on movers and cleaners on Craigslist, but I ended up going with ones that had reviews on Yelp or Angieslist instead. One can also use Craigslist for selling stuff that can be parted with.
In the city of Alameda, it is quite easy to donate clothes and shoes, but there are also a bunch of different places that will take clothes, such as organization such as http://www.wardrobe.org/ that will take clothes. Getting money for the clothes takes a bit more effort — you’d have to find a consignment store and go at the right time for them to pick out what they will buy from you.
The local library will always take books. If you have a lot of books, there is usually one day in the week where they will take larger boxes of books. There are so used books stores like Blue Rectangle that will take books. It’s not exactly a lucrative trade, but then again, money is money!
It’s that time of the year when food drives are going on. I can empty out the pantry pretty easily. You can locate your local foodback by searching on http://www.feedingamerica.org.
If you are super organized and/or energetic, then you might want to have a yard sale and see what you can get out of your old stuff. Every little bit counts, and cash is always helpful when one is moving. I am contemplating doing a yard sale, but it won’t be without additional help!