How to Get Rid of Clutter Before Moving



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Like most people, you probably have things stored around the house that you don't use anymore – in the basement, attic, garage, shed, bedroom, etc., not to mention a storage unit if you have one. So, how do you get rid of clutter before your big home move? The question of what to purge before moving is an important one. Why is that?  Because minimizing before your move is a way to decrease the weight of the things you're moving. By purging before the move and decreasing the overall weight, you will end up with a lower moving cost.

READ ON to learn what and how to get rid of stuff when moving...

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 are some of Victory Van’s relocation consultants' packing tips and a list of things to throw away before moving. 


Things to Get Rid Of Before Packing For Your next Homeove.


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

Packing cloths and shoes when moving.

"Would I buy this again today?" "Does it bring my joy?" If the answer is ‘No’ then don’t keep it. This is one good way to get rid of clutter befor you move.

Is that dress, suit, pair of jeans in the back of your closet something 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. Take our moving tip, donate it and save money during your house move.


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. Not only will most movers not accept paint containers, why not purge them and save money when moving to your new home?


3. Unread Books

This is a hard one for many people, myself included. But here's the thing: 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? Be honest - probably quite a few. Go through them today and donate them, so that someone else will get enjoyment from them. This will help you de-clutter before your move and help save money on that big move.

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4. Expired Medicines & Vitamins

What to do with expired drugs when moving.

Moving or downsizing a home is the perfect time to clean out and purge 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. Use this as a way to minimize before a move.


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 realize you have a mug from every place you've ever visited. They probably don't match. Some are chipped and faded. 

As part of purging before your move, 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. And you know what that means - another way to save money when moving.



6. Plastic Containers

We all have a drawer full of Tupperware or plastic containers for leftovers. Can you ever 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. Purge them before you move. Try going green and replace them with glass containers!


7. Linens

Old, dated, worn, mismatched linens that no longer have a use and you really don't like?  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. 

Sorting out linens for a relocation.


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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)

For all of those spices that you've had longer than the recommended guidelines, throw them away before you move. Not only will you save money, but you'll be sure to be starting fresh in your new home.


9. Old Forms of Media

VHS tapes. Cassette tapes. 8 Tracks. These are all no-brainers. Even 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. Now you've gotten rid of more stuff before your move, made a little money and saved a little money. I call that a win-win all around.


10. Really old things like VHS Camcorder

Anything electronic, even old cell phones can be purged 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're like me and have a pile of them lying around your house. Throw them away! 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. This is a great way to save some money when you're planning your move.


12. The Project You Never Got Around to Doing

You bought an old 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. 

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13. Old Bath Products, Perfumes and Colognes


old perfumeWe all have them, hanging out in the back of the medicine cabinet or linen 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. Purge them before you begin packing for the move. 




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. And remember added weight equals added cost.

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.


where to get rid of stuff before your move

This list should give you a good place to start organizing and de-cluttering before your big move. As you are cleaning out your closets and purging for the move, here's a list of places that may take your unwanted items.  Good Luck!

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