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Declutter before a move: 15 things to throw away.



With so many things collected everywhere in your house – basement, attic, garage, shed, bedroom, etc., not to mention the storage if you have it, the question of what to keep and what to get rid of when moving your home becomes very important. Why is that? One of the factors that define the cost for your move is the weight of your home belongings. Decreasing the weight can mean a lower moving cost.

READ ON to find out things you need to do away with before relocating.

There are many factors that play into what you should get rid of and what you should keep as you pack up your house and prepare for you move. That's a topic for another blog post. But, there are some items we know you really should get rid of. Here is a list of things Victory Van’s relocation consultants packing tips and things to throw away before moving. 


Things to Get Rid Of Before Packing For Your Home Move.


1. Clothing and Shoes You Don’t Love to Wear.

Packing cloths and shoes when moving.

"Would I buy this again today?" If the answer is ‘No’ then don’t keep it. Is the item of clothing in the back of your closet that you may wear someday. Consider donating it to charity (GoodWill or local women’s shelter), give it to a friend or sell it (try Poshmark, Mercari, theRealReal). Just because you spent money on it doesn’t mean it’s worth keeping.



2. Paint containers.

Those cans of paint in the garage or basement - they're great for touching up walls but when you repaint a wall and no longer need the color beneath it, or you haven't painted in several years, you should consider responsibly throwing it away.

Liquids in general are a moving nightmare - a mess waiting to happen. The chance for containers, or cans of paint, to spill is just too high.


3. Unread Books.

Here's a packing tip: books make heavy boxes and drive up the price of an interstate or long-distance move. If you keep all those books, full-service packing will cost even more!

A woman packing up books that are not useful.

How many books do you have on your shelves that will never be read or never read again? Probably quite a few. Go through them today and donate them, so that someone else will get enjoyment from them.

Learn More About Victory Van's Moving Services


4. Expired Medicines & Vitamins.

What to do with expired drugs when moving.

Moving or downsizing a home is the perfect time to evaluate your medicine cabinet. Not only is this a space-saver, it could also be a life-saver. When drugs go past their expiration dates, they become less potent. So if you're taking them for a certain illness, you may not be getting the correct dosage. Be safe. Throw them out. 


5. Cups and Mugs.


cups and mugs to get rid of

You open the kitchen cabinet and reach for a cup or mug to pour yourself a coffee. That's when you're greeted with a vast array of unmatching, chipped, and faded cups and mugs that you've collected over the years. Get rid of them. Start over in your new home with kitchenware that matches! And, getting rid of mis-matched dishes also means less boxes, less packing supplies and an easier move.


6. Plastic Containers.

Oh my, let's face it. We all have a drawer full of Tupperware or plastic containers for leftovers. Can you every find the lids to all of them??  Packing all of these is going to take time and probably won’t get unpacked any way. Go through the collection and be brutal. Hello trash can!


7. Linens.

Old, dated, worn, mismatched linens that no longer have a use other than "what if?" If they aren’t your best sheets or your guest sheets, donate them. Animal shelters love to get old sheets! And giving to an animal shelter always makes you feel good. (Just look at these cute pugs!)

Sorting out linens for a relocation.


Learn More About Victory Van's Moving Services


8. Kitchen Spices.

Have you ever taken a look at the date on your spices? If you have a big collection of spices, check the expiration dates. If they have none, use these guidelines and your best guess:

  • Seasoning blends: 1-2 years
  • Herbs: 1-3 years
  • Ground spices: 2-3 years
  • Whole spices (such as cinnamon sticks and peppercorns): 3-4 years
  • Extracts: 4 years (except for pure vanilla, which lasts indefinitely)



9. Old Forms of Media.

VHS tapes. Cassette tapes. 8 Tracks. These are all no-brainers. Even some DVDs, CDs, and video games will be outdated for the kids.

Did you know there are many people on the internet who collect them and would love to purchase these mass market media items? Sell them and make a little money to help with your move.


10. Things Like the Picture on the Left - VHS Camcorder.

Anything electronic, even old cell phones can be removed from your belongings. If they are in good working condition and less than 5 years old, you may even be able to donate them to charity. Try Habitat for Humanity or a charity called Cell Phones For Soldiers. It gives our troops the ability to call home. It's so much better for something that you consider useless or trash to be passed along to someone who could really use it! 


11. Ancient Magazines.

If you have magazines or catalog subscriptions, I bet you have a pile of them lying around your house. Get rid of all magazines, except for current ones. You can donate the magazines to children’s centers, libraries, nursing homes, doctors offices, or nail salons.


12. The Project You Never Got Around to Doing.

You bought a scrap piece of furniture or machinery at a garage sale three years ago, fully intending to sand it, prime it, paint it, and make it look like new again. Of course, the day after you bought it you stored it away in the basement or garage and it's been there ever since. Start to fix it up today, or get rid of it.

Learn More About Victory Van's Moving Services


13. Old Bath Products, Perfumes and Colognes.


old perfumeWe all have them, lurking in the back of the medicine cabinet or closet. From empty shampoo bottles to 5-year-old hand lotions to old perfume, it’s time to let go of all of your old bath products. I recommend trashing anything expired or you no longer use. Don’t forget to take a look at your old makeup items, soaps and washcloths as well.



14. Old Furniture and Rugs.

These heavy, big items can take up a lot of room in your moving truck or cause a headache to move because of their weight. A move is a great chance to start fresh. Look into having your local Habitat for Humanity pick up the furniture from your house, or try hosting a garage sale to sell belongings still in good condition.




15. Leftover Food.

Don’t forget to empty the fridge before moving! While you may be able to pack leftover snacks, canned goods and pantry items for the move, I don’t recommend bringing everything with you. For starters, unless you’re moving nearby and are able to pack a cooler, perishable foods in your refrigerator and freezer must go.


This list should give you a good place to start organizing and decluttering before your big move. Here's a list of places that may help you as you purge unwanted items.  Good Luck!


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