One of the worst parts about moving to a new place is figuring out what to do with all that stuff you forgot you even owned — like the trashy mug you got for your annual white elephant party and that pizza-cutting contraption you bought before going gluten-free. Start a new life at your new place by getting rid of all that old stuff. And if you’re not sure where to start decluttering, use this list of seven things to get rid of before you move.
1. Old (or Unused) Appliances
It’s easy to get ambitious when walking down the kitchenware section of your local department store, but do you really need a panini press, a toaster, and a convection oven? Unless you’re on an all-bread diet, the answer is probably no.
Go through all your kitchen cabinets and make a list of your appliances and cooking tools. Once you’ve got an itemized list, highlight any duplicate items or gadgets you haven’t used in over a month. Put all these items in a donation box and take them to your local non-profit thrift store or offer them to your neighbors via Facebook Marketplace or the Nextdoor app. Chances are there’s someone in your vicinity who can put all those gadgets to good use!
2. Duplicate Cookware
While you’re sorting through all your kitchen appliances, take note of your cookware. Most people have more pots and pans than they know what to do with — and you might be one of them. If your weekly meal prep routine is pretty simple, you probably have two or three pots and pans in your rotation, and five or more unused ones under your kitchen sink!
Separate the cookware and baking trays you actually use, from the stuff you don’t! Donate these items or post them to your local Buy Nothing group to gift them to someone in your neighborhood! Trust us, a college kid in your area will thank you.
3. Delicate Decor
Packing small, fragile items like glass paperweights, ceramic planters, and accent mirrors can be one of the hardest parts about getting ready to relocate. After all, these items often have a sentimental (or retail) value that’s as high as their chance of breaking while you move!
Take a cold, hard look at your dainty decor and decide which items you can part with. Sell everything else on social media or to a neighbor and move on. You can use that cash to buy cute trinkets for your next place.
Pro tip: Sell decor as a set rather than by the item to make the exchange process easier!
It’s hard to sell everything and move when you’re anchored to a pricey sectional and other clunky furnishings! However, moving furniture cross-country is hard and expensive.
Instead of stressing over moving company reviews and furniture relocation expenses, borrow these tips from Freshome and take a few stellar photos of your home’s interior. Then, use those photos to sell your furnishings online or to friends! Bundle furnishings by type or room to incentivize people to buy things as a set and help you clear your place out faster.
For example, by pricing your TV and entertainment set at $300 together and pricing them at $250 and $150 separately — you may encourage buyers to take the set over single items. This means you’ll get paid faster and have fewer buyers to deal with.
5. Clothes and Textiles
Decluttering your closet before a big move is different from regular spring cleaning. If you’ve lived in your current city for some time, your wardrobe is probably well acclimated to the local environment — but if you’re moving somewhere with completely different weather, you’re going to need to make some big changes! Plus, if you’re relocating for a more (or less) corporate job, you’re going to want to overhaul your closet to fit your new employer’s requirements.
Consider the climate (and dress code) that awaits you at your next destination and tailor your to-donate, to-recycle, and to-keep clothing racks accordingly. Take advantage of this time to part with items you won’t use again, like mismatched socks, damaged underwear, and those pants that don’t fit anymore. Bonus points for getting rid of extra sheets and blankets, too!
Take the stuff you don’t need to local nonprofits like Dress for Success (only women’s clothing), Careergear (men’s apparel), or another non-profit of your choice. Many of these places will recycle any clothes they can’t use, so you can feel good about not contributing to the 16 million tons of textiles that end up in landfills each year, as reported by the Northeast Recycling Council.
6. Bathroom Items
One shampoo bottle for colored hair, another for chemically-treated hair, and a third for the occasional bout of dandruff. With their pretty packaging and promises of unlimited beauty benefits, it’s easy to find yourself drowning in bath and body products. However, you probably don’t need that many toiletries — especially when you’re moving out in just a few weeks!
Many homeless shelters and residential treatment facilities take unopened personal care items such as shampoo, bar soap, and even pads and tampons. If you have barely-used products, consider asking friends and neighbors if they want them. If not, empty the bottles and place them in the recycling bin!
Additionally, make your move even easier by throwing out any expired cosmetics. Determine if your products are expired by using the period after opening (PAO) symbol on the label — it looks like a jar with an opened lid, and it tells you how many months a product is good for once opened. If you can’t find one on the label, refer to this makeup expiration date guide from HuffPost. Lastly, open your bathroom cabinets and add old towels, unused styling tools, and extra cosmetics bags to your donation bag.
7. Laundry Products
From a family-sized jug of detergent to dozens of lavender-scented dryer sheets, there’s probably something you can get rid of in the laundry room. Wash any clothes, towels, and bedding you don’t plan on getting rid of before your move and offer your leftover laundry products to a friend or trusted neighbor. After all, who doesn’t need a little extra detergent every once in a while?
Donate (or Sell) Everything and Move
Don’t let a heavy sofa or an expensive bed get between you and your goals. Whether you’re moving to pursue a new job, another degree, or your long-distance partner — consider renting furniture in your new city. You’ll be able to walk into a fully furnished place on day one and walk out unencumbered by the costs of furniture ownership when your lease or stay ends! Visit your local CORT for info on furniture rental with free delivery and setup on your next move.