Moving across the country or across the street is a huge hassle, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Save time, stress, and most importantly, money, by getting rid of excess stuff first. The less you have to pack, the quicker and cheaper the entire move will be. Let alone the unpacking! So you’ll save money on both ends by lightening your load.
Use this list to help you comb through your home, instead of hiring someone to help you clean out your closets and storage spaces.
7 reasons why you should get rid of stuff
1. Time. Start getting rid of things months before you move so that you have the time to sort through what you will keep and what you will trash. It actually takes longer to get of stuff than it does to pack it!
2. Money. Plan to make money at a garage sale with your more valuable items. Clear out a space in your home or garage for items you’ll sell, so they don’t get mixed up with items for the trash or for donation.
3. Energy. Holding onto things takes up emotional energy (that’s why they call it baggage – it’s heavy!) Conversely, getting rid of things makes room for space in your life. Don’t believe me? Take a carload of stuff to Goodwill and tell me you don’t feel better afterwards.
4. Progress. You’ll be surprised how much progress you can make in just one hour a week. If your move is imminent, four hours a week.
5. Unlock potential. If it’s dusty, you haven’t used it recently. Get rid of it. Someone else will get lots of use out of it, so holding onto it is just preventing this item from reaching it’s full potential! It’s so sad that some of our perfectly good things never see the light of day. Let them free!
6. Downsize. The less stuff you have, the less you’ll want and the less you’ll spend. What a relief!
7. Fun. Plus, the less time you spend managing all your stuff and your household, the more time you have for what is important: spending time with people!
8. Clean. The less stuff you have, the easier it is to clean your house. My house and yard aren’t the biggest on the block but I also don’t have the burden of maintaining a huge property! If you like cleaning and mowing the law, by all means, buy bigger!
9. Benefit. As my mom used to say to encourage us to get rid of clothes, “Think of the poor kids. They need that a lot more than you do.” I always felt good knowing that what I was donating was going to better someone else’s life.
10. Space. Enjoy your clear open spaces and the happiness it brings you! Feel the openness in your life and welcome in good things, like spending time with friends.
What to get rid of in the kitchen
1. Appliances you haven’t used in two years
2. Extra sets of knives or mismatched knives
3. Mismatched dishes and serving ware
4. Little used kitchen tools and utensils
5. Small appliances that are broken
6. Old cookbooks
7. Surplus water bottles, travel coffee cups
8. Untouched spices, teas, sauces and the like
What to get rid of in the basement or garage
9. Scrap wood
10. Old tools you don’t have a use for any longer
11. Paint from your old house that you’ll never use again (many cities collect completely empty latex paint cans as part of regular household trash day). You can also leave for new owners!
12. Surplus camping gear (like that second cooler we have in the basement!)
13. Misc construction materials, like sheetrock, insulation, windows, plywood, etc.
14. Surplus gardening supplies (how many cheap plastic plant containers do i have in my basement???)
15. Extra garden hoses. Do you really need more than one?
16. Extra parts to appliances that you never use
17. Any furniture you have in your attic or basement, unless its use is imminent
18. Yard decorations like tiki torches, garden gnomes and other items gathering dust
19. Anything broken that has been waiting to be fixed for more than 6 months
What to get rid of in the bathroom
20. Cosmetics, beauty supplies, lotions, and creams that have expired
21. Beauty samples you still haven’t used
22. Products that you’ve used and don’t like. Consider doing a beauty swap with friends.
23. Dingy shower curtains that can’t be cleaned with bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
24. Medicine and pills that have expired or that you no longer use. Old prescriptions can be turned in to your local pharmacy.
25. Old beauty tools that you don’t use, like an old hair dryer or curlers.
26. Outdated artwork or wall decorations that have fallen out of favor.
What to get rid of in the linen closet
27. Old towels. Animal shelters often accept towels and old sheets.
28. Old sheets. Are you really going to use them again?
28. Extra blankets, comforters, covers, quilts or sheets (these really do come in handy at shelters!)
29. Old sewing supplies you don’t use.
What to get rid of in your office
30. Filed paperwork. Be brutally honest about what you actually need to keep. Scale down and lighten your load!
31. Surplus wrapping and gift materials. Mismatched cards and envelopes (guilty as charged!)
32. Office supplies you are not going to use in the next two years. I have way more file folders than I’ll ever use because I repurpose old ones for new files by covering the label with a new label.
33. Books you’ve been meaning to read for the past three years or that you can re-read at the library.
34. Old media, like LPs, cassettes, and DVDs that can be turned into a digital copy.
35. Old office furniture that you don’t use or that is uncomfortable. I offered a table to Freecycle (what is Freecycle?) that I considered barely useable and someone snapped it up!
What to get rid of in your bedroom
36. Surplus clothes. Easier said than done. It helped me to go through my closet with my husband. He said “You have a lot of clothes that you’ve just told me you can’t wear.” Hahaha, now it’s silly, but it was hard to get rid of them! Here’s how to successfully sell clothes on eBay.
37. Old jewelry that you don’t wear anymore
38. Most of what is under your bed.
39. Surplus dress shirts, jackets, blazers. You could help someone who needs professional clothes to land a job!
40. Accessories you don’t wear anymore, like scarves, wraps, handbags, date purses.
41. Socks and underwear with holes
42. Clothes that no longer fit
43. Shoes you never wear (They could make someone else SO happy!)
44. Unused fabric or material that you don’t have imminent plans for (fabric is really quite cheap to buy)
45. Old medals and participation tokens or certificates (or wherever you keep them!)
What to get rid of in your living room or TV room
46. Old media (hot garage sale item!)
47. Old picture frames that have fallen out of favor
48. Books you’re not going to read again (do you really need to have it to prove you read it?)
49. Lamps that don’t work. (Guilty!)
50. Extra lampshades. (Guilty, again!)
51. Old games you don’t play anymore or that your kids have outgrown. (Sell kids’ items at a consignment sale.)
52. Old toys and clothes that the kids don’t wear anymore
What to get rid of in your mudroom, entry way, or hall closet
53. Surplus hats and visors and caps. Let each person have two hats per season, if that.
54. Outer wear you never put on, like scarves.
55. Coats that no longer fit or are out of style.
What to get rid of in your attic
56. Rugs that have been waiting to be unfurled for more than 3 years
57. Surplus traveling bags, roller bags, and suitcases
58. Furniture that is broken or in questionable condition.
59. Your kid’s old artwork and school items.
60. Excess sleeping bags or camping gear.
61. Sentimental stuff that you don’t need.
62. College textbooks and reports.
63. Old mattresses.
64. Any clothes hanging in the attic. That’s a pretty good indication you’re not going to wear them anymore.
65. Extra kitchen gear or appliances. Donate or sell it!
How much stuff can you get rid of? I’m fascinated by stories of people who shed their possessions and live in clutter free spaces.
Are you scaling down?