What to Get Rid of When Moving – Things You Don’t Need to Keep During a Move

August 16, 2021Moving Tips
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

Having a house full of belongings doesn’t automatically make you a hoarder, but you could possess hoarding-like behavior. Deciding what to get rid of when moving could make a stop to it by forcing you to look at each and every item to conclude whether it’s worth keeping. And if you are not sure where to start or what to do, don’t worry – just follow our guide.

Did you know that 80% of what we keep we rarely use? More than that, all that stuff keeps you from enjoying the full potential of your home – it is no wonder that each day a number of people decide to change their life with a minimalistic way of living. And when you are moving to another state and new home, the benefits only increase. If you want to know how do you minimize when moving in order to move efficiently, just keep reading.

One of the First Items on Your Moving Checklist Is Decluttering

What is the first thing to do when moving? Of course, that would be determining your relocation budget or choosing a trustworthy relocation company. Still, before you start with the tiring process of packing, there is one more important item – decluttering, and one simple rule – the more, the merrier. However, brace yourself – every beginning is hard. You’ll soon find yourself wondering how to decide what to get rid of when moving while looking at piles upon piles of unconsciously collected stuff.

Before you start physically sorting your things, you must set goals for what you want to achieve. Ask yourself what items are not worth moving and which ones could be better for some other than you. Whether you opt for partial or total decluttering, many important decisions lie ahead of you, so make sure to save enough time for each room in your home.

Questions to Answer Before the Purge of Your Home

Once you start organizing for your move, you may start wondering: “How do you minimize when moving?” One of the best relocation tips when it comes to decluttering is to respond to a set of questions before deciding what to do with each of your items, such as:

  • How often do you use a specific item, or have you used it in the past year? We all have those clothes and shoes that are not very comfortable anymore, but we stubbornly keep them nicely tucked inside of our closest.
  • Is it broken or damaged? An old washing machine or chipped mugs and plates are certainly something you can continue without.
  • Do you know what it is and how to utilize it? Let’s face it – we all have one small box full of cords and cables but don’t know what device they belong to.
  • Are there any more items of the same type? Overflowing a drawer with kitchen utensils is unnecessary for a family of four, much less for a smaller one.
  • Does it have strong sentimental value? Sometimes we form an emotional bond to some objects, and, understandably, we want to keep them close by. The problem occurs when we develop it for many objects – and that is how the hoarders are made.
  • Are you keeping it out of need or guilt? That ugly vase your aunt gave you will keep collecting dust in your new home, too. To hesitate to throw stuff you don’t like because of guiltiness.
  • Will it fit your new home? If your huge sofa will take up all the space in your new living room, it is time to think of ways to get rid of it.
  • Do you associate it with bad emotions? A pair of jeans that haven’t fit you for years or memories from bad relationships will never bring you joy – it is time to find them a new home.
A woman choosing what to pack before cross-country moving
Relocate only the clothes you'll wear

How to Get Rid Of Stuff Before Moving – One Room at the Time

You don’t realize until you start decluttering how much stuff you’ve accumulated over the years. You’ll be surprised with the number of items you’ll find in each room – we guarantee many of them are long forgotten. That is why it is crucial to go through each room carefully and separate items for relocation from those who didn’t pass the practicality test.

Attic, Basement, Garage – Start With Storage Spaces

One of the general packing tips for relocation is to begin with spaces you put stuff not needed very often. The same goes for decluttering – storage spaces are probably the most complicated home areas, so they require a lot of time and patience. The good thing is that, when you finish decluttering, all your belongings will be sorted and prepared for packing.

It would be best to start with old appliances and other outdated items stored in those spaces and think about how to get rid of furniture when moving. You were probably hoping that you are going to repair them someday soon and put them to good use again, but deep down, you know that it’s never going to happen. Make it easy on yourself and part from them for good.

One of the common relocation mistakes is not thinking about the nature of your new home and city. For example, when you are relocating to an apartment without a garden, your gardening tools and lawnmower will not be used in your new home; ergo, you shouldn’t take them with you. If you are relocating from the East to West Coast, you must decide what you’ll do with a snowblower and winter shovels. Take everything you know about your new home into consideration.

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Things to Get Rid Of When Moving – Kitchen and Bathroom

The kitchen and bathroom are also not easy to declutter, with so much stuff we use rarely or never. When thinking: “What should I throw away before I move regarding kitchen and bathroom” ensure to remember:

  • Items with the expired date, especially if you are not too organized by nature. When decluttering the bathroom, check dates on the shampoo, shower gels, make-up, and medicine, and throw them if expired. The same goes for your kitchen, primarily for species. It is a known fact that spices lose their flavor after six months, but we often keep them in our homes for a few years after opening them! If you use jars with no date to show, open them and smell each spice – if you can’t sense their unique smell, they belong in a trash can.
  • Kitchen utensils – everything that is damaged or unreasonably multiplied has no place in your relocation boxes.
  • Items in your junk drawer – there is the reason for the nickname. When you go through with it, you’ll see that most of that stuff is not worth relocating.
  • Shower curtains and rugs – because of their constant contact with water, there is a possibility that rich microbial life is already formed on them. If you don’t want to relocate it alongside your other belongings, don’t pack them.
A white shower curtain in the bathroom
Avoid relocating shower curtains if you don't want to relocate bacterias, too.

How to Declutter the Bedroom and Living Room?

The average person wears 20% of the owned clothes most of the time, and the rest we keep “just in case.” However, there is nothing nicer than a well-organized closet in which you could find anything you want. Save one day just for clothes – try each piece you haven’t worn for a while. If you still don’t like it or it doesn’t fit anymore, remember that someone will have better use of it than you. Except for clothes (and shoes), you should also think about:

  • Old and outdated linens and curtains – they would occupy space in your new home, too, and that would be their sole purpose.
  • Unread books – not the ones you bought yesterday, but those sitting on the shelf for quite a long time. If you haven’t read it yet, the chances of you doing it at all are slim.
  • Inessential documentation – one of the most common things people forget to do when relocating is to organize your important documents before they relocate. Thet results in relocating all kinds of inessential papers with those important ones such as birth certificates, medical reports, the car bill of lading, and so on. Ensure to go through all documents and shred those you no longer need, such as old receipts, expired warranties, and alike.

If you could use some help with the ways of sorting your paperwork, ensure to watch the following video:

YouTube video

Decluttering and Saving at the Same Time With Digitalization

There is a significant chance that old forms of media, such as VHS tapes or CD’s occupy your shelves and boxes. They could represent your music or movie collection, alongside some recordings of important events. With modern days and the expansion of streaming sites, outed media forms are no longer needed. Wedding tapes, however, should be kept and cherished, but digitized, too. And when you have them on your computer, there is no need to keep them in a physical form.

The same goes with your books and magazines – if you have no problem reading from your phone or kindle, you could get rid of hard copies and make a lot more room in your new home for your other belongings.

To summarise, opt for a digital subscription to your magazines and use your phone to read articles about classic cars vs. modern cars or to learn about the evolution of cars. And when it comes to the CD’s versions of the best racing games or even the best car shows, try to download them on your computer.

VHS tape on top of the VHS recorder
Digitize old memories to make room for new ones

What to Do With Your Old Stuff When You Figure What to Get Rid Of When Moving

When you finish dividing stuff on what to relocate and what not, it is time to figure out what to do with things that are not coming with you. Obviously, you could throw them all without rethinking, but you can achieve so much more if you consider other ways.

Items from each room should be separated into a few separate piles – for donation, selling, and throwing away. Of course, all those broken and damaged items that can’t be put to use should be tossed, such as faulty appliances, torn clothes and toys, ragged furniture, and so on.

To Donate or Sell Things From Your Old House – How to Choose?

It is up to you to decide between those two options, but we can give you some general suggestions. Research where you could donate clothes, furniture, blankets and search for places to donate old appliances and electronics or just recycle them. The food you won’t eat until the relocation date should also be on a list for donation. On the other hand, you could organize a garage sale for those not-so-essential items, such as jewelry, and earn some money.

Women going through her clothes
Decide which clothes to donate, sell or even gift to a friend

Should You Get Rid Of Your Car When Relocating?

Many people would agree that selling a car before your relocation is the best option, primarily because of the financial costs of relocating a car and numerous relocation scams you could become a part of. However, if you choose a reliable USA auto transport company, it could provide you with safe relocation and even different transportation options, such as door-to-door auto transport or terminal-to-terminal car shipping, as well as open trailer option alongside with enclosed auto transport. On top of that, if your chosen car shipping company has relocation services as well, you could get a significant discount.

Of course, if you are immune to driving stress or want to enjoy some famous routes in the USA, you could always opt for driving it yourself instead of using the benefits of car shipping. So, think twice before you make up your decision about selling your vehicle.

Red Mercedes Benz convertible
There is no need to sell your car before the relocation

What Should I Throw Away Before I Move – See Into Items Mover Won’t Move

Hazardous waste, such as corrosive items and flammables, is not allowed in relocation trucks since it could endanger people. You could choose to relocate them yourself, but the smarter choice would be to throw them away. Look for the proper ways of disposing of hazardous waste, such as:

  • Paint,
  • Batteries,
  • Pesticides,
  • Used motor oil,
  • Fluorescent lighting,
  • Cleaning products,
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover,
  • Firework, and alike.
A pile of old batteries
All hazardous waste should be disposed of appropriately

Benefits of Decluttering Your House When Moving

By getting rid of unwanted items, you could decrease the cost of relocation, often estimated by the weight of your inventory, but you can also spend less money on packing materials, and you could have fewer things to do after the relocation. You couldn’t do wrong by decluttering, so try to follow the relocation hacks we provided you with and make your relocation process more manageable.

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