Declutter Before Moving
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In approximately 18 months we will move into a home that has an additional 1500 sq feet than what we have now. We already live in a rather large house. I am going to have so much space! Our house will probably look and feel empty for a while because we want to only bring things into our new home that we love. So why am I talking about purging? Why purge when I have more space to fill?
I’m not bringing anything in to my dream home that I don’t love, need, or find useful. I hope you feel the same. If so, this list will help you find ways to declutter your current home and only fill your dream home with things you really love and use.
Which brings me to a goal I have for the next few months: I want to get ride of a trash bag of junk a week. Because I know I have a ridiculous amount of stuff in my house I don’t use or need. It’s cluttered. I refuse to start my new home off as a cluttered mess.
One thing I love about moving (which I’ve done 3 times in the past 4 years and 10 times in 10 years) is purging junk I don’t need. It’s so freeing!
So here’s my list of items to unburden myself with and purge over the next few months
Toss it before you move:
1) Clothes You Don’t Wear
I swear by the hanger trick. I’ve done it every year for the last 3 years and ended up getting rid of 20-40 articles of clothing each year! I still own clothes I owned 10 years ago, but it’s definitely a step forward. I still have the suit I wore to my first job interview, maybe its time to purge that…
If you don’t have time to wait for the hanger trick to work. There’s always options such as the Konmari Method. What tricks do you use to clear out your closet?
2) Old Textbooks
Two years ago I sold some text books and made a couple hundred bucks. I wish I had sold more at the time because now I have about 10 books I can’t make any money on and that I haven’t cracked opened for 2 years. Time to find a place to donate these.
I was… okay I am, a total nerd. I love learning. I’ve had this thought that I would probably need to look something up one day in my textbooks that I’d forgotten and I could save someone’s life or at least wow a colleague. Guess what? I’ve had my masters for 4 years and have not needed them once. Not once!! Take it from me – sell your books while you have the chance. Don’t move them to your dream home – purge them while you have the chance.
I moved an entire tote of magazines 3 times. These included professional journals that I keep for continuing ed purposes, however I don’t need to keep them after I’ve read/used them. New plan: if I don’t use them after 1 year for continue education they get recycled. I’ve already recycled the first batch. But I need to scour my house for more. I’ve seen them lurking on the bookshelf, end tables, and, let’s be honest, the bathroom. Also, in the future I’ll be sticking to electronic subscriptions that way I don’t waste so much paper and I don’t have to continuously purge old magazines from my dream home.
4) Toys Your Kids Have Outgrown
Thankfully my kids are used to this. We do it together. They given away toys to their younger cousins and we donate the rest. With the exception of the amazing rocking horse my mother-in-law made for our oldest; all the baby/toddler toys have been removed. Plus – my kids don’t even play with half of their toys! What about yours? Make it a family affair. Get your kids used to purging items that go unused and unenjoyed.
I had 2 food processors for a while. Does it help that they were 2 different sizes? *insert cheesy grin*. I also had 2 rice cookers for a bit. These got new homes this year. Recently I found that we own 5 calculators… Time to purge them since nowadays we just use our phones for that anyway. I will be keeping my eyes open for other duplicates. Are there any unnecessary duplicates in your house?
6) Old Makeup
I recently went through my makeup drawer. Why did I still have makeup from 2010 in there? Who knows?! I wear 3 things on a daily basis: compact powder, blush, and mascara. Pretty sure I do NOT need 46 types of eye shadow. Even for special occasions I could probably down size to about 10. I might need help with this one. How do I know which ones to keep or which ones to purge? *leaves to go look for makeup guides on pinterest*
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7) Old CDs, VHS tapes, and Books
Are you ever going to listen to, watch, or read these again? Be honest. Because I have several I’m not going to use again. I have 2 bookcases to sort through. I need to make room for these collectible book editions on my wish list. Luckily we already purged our VHS tapes and most of our CDs. Most of my books will come from the library (or my mom *wink*) in the future. We use Netflix and Kodi for movies. The internet should suffice all my music needs. Can you do the same?
Before you say “what? I don’t have any trash lying around” hear me out. It’s amazing how much garbage my family accumulates. From receipts, to lidless Tupperware (or if your from the south old sour cream and cool whip containers), to broken crayons, to socks with holes in them, to broken appliances, to, well you get the picture. I walked through my house 2 weeks ago and filled an entire trash bag with random trash I found. Embarrassing but I bet I’m not the only one who could do this. It only took me about an hour – see if you can beat my time!
We are giving my MIL our current bed frame so she can re-purpose the wood. It’s old, broken, and ugly. It has matching night stands and a dresser that will probably end up in our guest room. I have dreams for our new master suite and it doesn’t include our old set (hand me down from MIL initially). Time to make our home more our own style. We re-purpose or reupholster a lot of our furniture but if that’s not possible and it doesn’t fit our style it’s not coming with us.
10) Excess Items
We have 100 blankets. Okay, not really, I’m exaggerating to make a point. We actually have 33 if you combine blankets and comforters into 1 category (yes I counted). Still way more than we need or can use. They aren’t all coming with us to our forever home. Granted about 10 of these are for our 5th wheel camper, but still. We don’t need over 30 blankets.
When we moved to AZ from AR I had about 10 scarves. Guess how many times I’ve worn a scarf since? Not 10. Maybe once when we were on vacation to Chicago 3 years ago. I had lots of cold weather gear when we moved. I’ve been slowly purging these down to 1 tote full. I’d toss it all but we actually do camp and visit our family out-of-state both of which means cooler weather. Also, the longer you live in Arizona the colder you become when its 60 degrees out.
11) Things You Haven’t Used in the Past Year
If you haven’t used it in a year, you probably don’t need it. This might include: appliances like that waffle maker that’s still in the box, that special face cream you got to fight wrinkles and now you have more wrinkles and a still full bottle of face cream but it stinks so you don’t use it, shoes you NEVER wear. Walk around the house and look in drawers and cabinets that hardly get opened, you might be surprised at the things you’ve forgotten you own. If you forgot about it, purge it!
12) Items That Don’t Bring You Joy
I actually own Marie Kondo’s book The Art of Tidying Up. It’s a great read and has a lot of useful advice. It wasn’t 100% applicable to me but I do encourage those trying to downsize or purge to give it a read. I really like her philosophy that everything should have a place. Now if only I could get my kids and husband to read her book…
Please comment with items I’ve forgotten so I can purge them before we move!
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Get rid of old towels, sheets, pillows once they’re past their due date. “If you don’t need it, can’t use it, or don’t want it, toss it” as my dad used to say