Knowing what things to get rid of before you move and how to do it is an intimidating problem. Moving to a new home should be a time of excitement and anticipation, both of which can become marred by a strenuous decluttering process. Fortunately for experienced and novice movers alike, there are steps you can take to make the decluttering and moving process seamlessly simple.
How To Decide On What To Keep And What To Toss
One of the hardest parts about moving is sorting out the trash from the treasure. It’s stunningly easy to get wrapped up in nostalgia, what-if doubts, and the past use of an item. This trap is a difficult one to avoid without a game plan. First off, is to remember the various methods of disposal that you’re using. This should speed up your process and help envision an more final destination for any item in question.
Decide on how to dispose of unwanted items
The disposal methods you’ll find useful are pretty standard:
- Throw It Away
- Sell Online
- Host a Garage Sale
Renting a dumpster is a great way to streamline the disposal process and the moving process as a whole. Whatever doesn’t make it into your sell or donate piles can simply be tossed into the dumpster, shuttled away, and out of your hair when you finish.
Items to prepare for ejection
Moving into a new house generally requires ruthless decluttering, where the goal is to rid yourself of as much tedious and unnecessary junk as possible. But besides obvious trash, what should get the boot? Probably more than you’d expect.
Expired food and toiletry items
Your pantry likely contains as many expired cans of food as it does unexpired. Sift through the contents of your fridge, pantry, and freezer to weasel out any expired foods. You don’t want to end up lugging inedible food from one house to another, especially not the canned stuff. Check your bathroom cabinets for old beauty items, medications, and skin products.
If you have a creaky side table or a tarnished mirror, toss it. Even if it ‘works’. New homes are a great excuse to get rid of anything that isn’t in good condition. You likely won’t miss that old chair or the lamp that has to be plugged in just right to turn on.
Unless you still love your paintings and knickknacks, toss them. Again, new homes are a great excuse to start fresh in more ways than one–like with new decorations you’ll be excited to put up.
Heavy exercise equipment
Dragging a treadmill from one basement to another is a good way to add misery to your move. Unless you use it often, consider selling your treadmill, elliptical, or exercise bike. Your back will thank you.
Every house comes with its unique requirements and layout. Massive mirrors or pieces of wall art won’t work so well in a home with less wall space. The table that fits perfectly in one dining room may be too big or small in another. If it won’t add anything to your new home, toss it.
It may be time to get rid of the sofa in your basement or the one in your living room with dents in each cushion. Treat yourself to a couple of new pieces of furniture and toss out anything that’s no longer your style or comfort.
Sheets, bath towels, and bedding
Treat these pieces as you would your furniture. If it’s looking worn and bedraggled, or just isn’t comfy anymore, save space and weight by tossing it.
Qualifying questions to ask as you progress through decluttering:
- When was the last time I used this?
- When did I wear this last?
- Does this add value to my life, especially in my new home?
- How hard and expensive will this be to move?
- Will I actually need or use this after we move into the new place?
- What would happen if I didn’t have this item anymore?
There are plenty of items you’ll encounter in the decluttering journey that will have you second-guessing the process. Keep a ruthless spirit, especially as you sift through bedrooms and nostalgic areas. Be warned of the temptation you may face when you reach these items:
- Pots and Pans
- Mugs and Water Bottles
- Decorative Statement Pieces
For many people, less is more!
Save yourself the hassle of moving too much by tossing more than you may think is necessary. It’s estimated that between 5 and 14 million people in the US are compulsive hoarders. Don’t be a statistic.
Sometimes it’s better to start with too little than end up with too much. It’s been said that “What you own, ends up owning you.” Keep that in mind when you’re deciding on how to streamline your move and make a fresh new start. Best of luck and if it doesn’t spark joy, then throw it away!