Moving is an excellent time to clean house (pun intended). As you start the packing process you’ll find yourself unearthing all kinds of things you forgot you had. Even if you’re not downsizing, there are likely to be some items that you should get rid of before moving. Saying goodbye to your possessions doesn’t mean you have to throw everything in the trash. The garbage can should be your last resort. Below you’ll find our best tip on how to determine what you should keep, and how to do away with your unwanted items.
Should I Keep It?
Ask yourself this: Have I (or someone in the household) used it in the past year? We usually see this rule only applied to clothing, but it’s a good rule of thumb for your entire household. Anything that you’ve used in the past year can stay. Everything else? Seriously consider if it’s worth packing. Really think things over, do you really need five sets of linens for the guest bed when one or two sets will do just fine? Ignore the “What If” or “Just in Case” thoughts floating through your head. If you suddenly truly need a specific item, you can likely borrow it or purchase a new and improved version.
It’s okay to keep some sentimental items. Everyone has some loved possessions that don’t get a lot of use, but are saved because they mean a lot.
If you are keeping sentimental items, try finding a use for them. For example, if you’ve inherited your Grandmother’s dishes, instead of only using them on special occasions, make them your regular dishes and get rid of your everyday set. You’ll be reminded of your grandmother every time you use them, and we’re sure she’d be happy to know they are being used.
Another idea is to condense your collections. Have a lot of art work and report cards from when your kids were young? Instead of keeping it all in boxes and totes, select one or two items from each year and create a scrapbook or collage with them.
And one final tip – Those Beanie Babies you’ve been keeping around? Time to say goodbye, they are never going to be worth anything.
How to Part With Things
Offer items up to friend and family. Young adults moving into their first apartments, and new parents will often gratefully accept just about anything in good condition. Have you had people over to your house who have commented that they love a certain lamp or your curtains? Have if they’d be interested in having it.
Next, host a garage sale. It’s always surprising to see what different people are interested in, and it’s a great way to earn some extra money to help with the new move.
Put up anything that you don’t sell at the garage sale on Craigslist, either for a nominal amount or for free, if you just want to get it out of sight.
For anything that you can’t sell, if it’s in good or at least decent condition, donate it to a good cause. Many charities will even come pick up the goods, saving you an extra trip.
For the remaining items, if they are broken or beyond repair, look to see if they can be recycled, or if they need to be disposed of properly, like electronics.
Finally, after you’ve gone through all the above steps, if you are still left with a few items, you can put them in the garbage.
We hope this post will help make things easier for you on your next move, and help you enter your new home with a clean slate.