Moving, daunting as it may seem, is the perfect time to declutter because it’s also one of the only times you will get your hands on everything that you own.
As moving day draws near, and you start to sort out your belongings, try answering questions like “Why do I have this item?” “What does it say about me?” or “Is this really going to add any value to my life?” Answering these simple but often ignored questions will help you figure out what you need to keep and what to get rid of.
Here is a quick list of items that you can safely chuck out and prevent the hassle of packing unnecessary stuff:
Clothes and Shoes
If your shopping habits are relatively tame, you may not have too much of a problem with this. But if you’re like most people, you will need to spend some serious time on sorting out your wardrobe.
The biggest problem with clothes is that most people hang on to old clothes in the hopes of things that used to fit might fit again. Or, others that look too cute to be thrown away regardless of never having worn them. Then there’s the secret hope of certain items coming back in style.
Instead of punishing yourself by reminders of the struggle to lose weight or the guilt of having worn something only once, get rid of items that just don’t or won’t fit. If it’s not comfortable to wear, needs repair that’s long overdue, or hasn’t been worn in the past year, pack it up and let go.
Shoes may be a little trickier since shoe size doesn’t really change- but your style and comfort level does. So now if you are more into wearing comfort based footwear like loafers or flip flops, then consider getting rid of your other shoes that do not fit this comfort profile.
This one may need you to be a bit more ruthless as you sort stuff out. Memorabilia collects up easily and becomes that much more difficult to discard. So look at everything that was important once but has now lost meaning. This could include anything from old birthday cards to elementary grade art projects. Or souvenirs from trips to grade school sports jerseys.
You need to draw a line here between the meaningful and meaningless and get rid of stuff that holds no use in the future.
Old Gadgets and Electronics
Technology is hard to keep up with, which means that all your old CDs, DVDs, video games, and other pieces of media are obsolete anyway. Instead, new gadgets constantly flood the market so your collection can quickly get out of hand.
Before you move, do a thorough inventory of what electronics have become outdated, what you still use, or will continue to use in the future. Anything that is outside the scope of future use and serves as a mere ‘collectible’ needs to go while others can be donated to friends or charities.
Given how quickly electronics can be replaced, selling or giving away some of your old media can make your moving day inventory a little smaller.
Kitchen Pantry Essentials
These are only “essential” while you have a running pantry. But when it’s time to move, know that seasonings, spices and canned goods can quickly become dead weight.
For one, spices and seasonings both lose potency fairly quickly once opened. Canned goods may still be useable but make sure to check the expiry date. Anything that is expired can go into the garbage while unexpired cans can go to donations.
The same goes for little-used appliances such as beaters, blenders, or juicers collecting dust on pantry shelves. If you don’t have the heart to ditch them, then gift them to someone who might actually use them.
Personal Grooming Items
Most makeup, beauty products, and perfume tend to be seasonal. When you go through this lot of items, discard anything that’s old, expired or unused.
And if the size of your cosmetic collection is anything to go by, chances are you’ll collect more once you move to your new home. So why carry extra weight for things you are unlikely to use in the future?
Toys, Games, and Sports Items
If the kids have grown up, then it’s also time to purge the toys and games department.
Board games with missing pieces won’t allow you to play them again and toys could do so much better in hands that will actually play with them. Look up local charities or donations to give to and make some kids very happy.
The same goes for sporting equipment and camping gear. Kids grow up fast and busy parents just toss sporting goods into the garage or basement to deal with later.
Make good use of your time when cleaning up for moving day by getting rid of sports items too small to be used by your kids and sell off or donate generously.
If you have this in the form of magazines, catalogs, or other subscriptions, you can easily dispose of these. But if there’s other paper such as receipts and documents, you will need to sort before throwing.
Throw out anything that you don’t need a return receipt for or for tax purposes. If you think some may still serve a purpose, digitize it and save. Shred or dispose of old documents properly while holding on to legal ones.
Likewise books and dictionaries also have a knack of piling up. Those that have been read and used can go to schools, libraries, and children’s centers for others to enjoy.
If it’s remained unopened so far, chances are it will remain unopened in your new home as well. Look through closets, pantries, and the garage to find any unpacked items or others you didn’t even know you had.
Both types often identify things you don’t need or will ever use. Keep them packed as is and donate to your favorite charity.
While not technically “ditching”, stuff borrowed from friends, siblings, and others needs to be returned. It was never yours to keep, so do yourself a favor by returning it to its rightful owners. You may actually be surprised how much less sorting you have to do once borrowed stuff gets returned.
Following these quick tips will save you both time and money when it’s time to move. Tap into your inner minimalist and trim your belongings without any stress or guilt.
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