While a cross-country move is a perfect opportunity for you to clear out all the clutter that has accumulated over the years, deciding what to get rid of when moving won’t be easy. If you’re not sure where to start, this blog will take you through more than a few items you won’t be sorry to leave behind.
Leaving Your Clutter Behind Makes It a Lot Easier to Move Across the Country
If you are planning on relocating to a new state soon, you better start decluttering right away. According to the Huffington Post, every fourth American has a serious clutter problem. Not only that, but their research also found that the average home contains over 300,000 belongings, which would be impossible to pack quickly when organizing a last-minute move. While you won’t have to live a minimalist lifestyle to move efficiently, know that cleaning out clutter before the relocation will bring many benefits.
For starters, you won’t have to worry about boxing up every single thing you own, allowing you to prepare for a move much more quickly. More importantly, it will help you save money on relocation costs. Whether it’s buying packing materials or hiring a professional cross-country moving company, your relocation expenses are going to be significantly lower. Finally, decluttering also makes it a lot easier to unpack after relocating, as there won’t be a ton of boxes to deal with.
How to Decide What to Get Rid of When Moving Across the Country?
For a vast majority of people, choosing what to throw away and what to keep is a lot easier said than done. But how do I declutter my house for moving if I don’t know where to start? The solution is actually pretty simple, as you only have to answer some critical questions as honestly as possible. For example, if you’re not sure whether something is worth keeping when relocating to a new home, ask yourself:
- Do I really need this thing?
- How long ago have I used it?
- How often do I use it?
- Would I rebuy it if I had the chance?
- Is it still functioning like it’s supposed to?
- Do I own more than one of them?
- Would it be difficult or expensive to move across the country?
- Is it irreplaceable, and does it have sentimental value?
- Would it fit at my new place?
Based on how you answer these questions, you will almost certainly find something that can easily be tossed out before the move. With that in mind, let’s go over some of the most common things people leave behind when relocating.
Deal With Old, Broken, and Unusable Items First
Belongings that are old, broken, or no longer usable are easily among the first things to get rid of when moving to a different state. People tend to hoard these goods and gadgets simply because they don’t want to throw them away. These can be anything from outdated pieces of hardware that require incredible special conditions to even work to worn-out shoes and clothing that has been stitched way too many times.
Most old objects aren’t even used that often if ever, making it very difficult to justify keeping them any longer. Other similar belongings you can also leave behind include receipts, expired gift cards, office supplies, worn-out blankets, towels, and chipped dishes.
Don’t Forget About All the Expired Goods You Have in the House
Besides everything old and broken, this category also includes anything that’s past its expiration date, including food, medicine, and makeup. Most expired goods are often not only unusable but could be potentially harmful if consumed. As a safety precaution and to avoid any unnecessary relocation stress, it is often best to just remove them before the move.
Avoid Bringing Things You Rarely Use or Forgot You Even Own
Raise your hand if you are guilty of impulsive shopping. There’s probably not a person alive who has never bought something on a whim only to quickly realize that they didn’t even need it in the first place. This category is probably the biggest reason why decluttering before relocating is crucial, as many people aren’t even aware of just how much junk they have accumulated over the years. If you were to look in the storage room, shed, or the top shelves in the closet at this very moment, you would certainly find at least a couple dozen objects you forgot even existed.
From clothes you don’t wear to gadgets that have been left unpacked and beyond, it’s safe to assume that you probably won’t be needing anything that hasn’t been used in the last year or so. Lastly, don’t hesitate to toss a gift simply to avoid disappointing the person who got it for you, especially if it was non-returnable.
Toss Out Some of the Stuff You Have Too Much Of
While it can be good to have a spare for something you regularly use, what happens when you go overboard and buy the same thing over and over again simply because you like it? You end up cluttering the space with items that you probably won’t even get to use that often. Clothes and shoes are the perfect examples of this, and as someone who bought almost a dozen pairs in a year, trust us when we say that the problem is more than real.
If you also have a shoe collection the size of which even Carrie Bradshaw would be jealous of, we highly recommend you focus on boxing up shoes that you are going to wear regularly and toss the rest. Think about it – the more pairs you have, the bigger the chance they will just be sitting in the closet collecting dust. Dishes are another great example, as most people regularly buy new ones despite still using the older sets. Instead of boxing up dishes like there’s no tomorrow, focus on packing plates, glasses, and pots and pans you intend on using.
Leave Behind Things You Won’t Have Room for in the New Home
The lack of room in your future residence is one of the main limiting factors that need to be taken into account when deciding what to leave behind when relocating. After all, it wouldn’t make any sense to move something that’s only going to end up sitting in a basement. This is particularly true when relocating furniture and other large items that take up a lot of space, so make sure that all the objects can actually fit before you decide to keep them. If they can’t, there is no point in transporting them across the country.
Remove Perishables and Any Hazardous Materials
Organizing a move can be challenging, which is why many people get professional packing services when relocating across the country. However, while a cross-country movers group can pack up most of your belongings in a matter of hours, there are quite a few items movers won’t move even if they wanted to. Although they can’t transport living beings like pets and plants in trucks, they also can’t relocate anything hazardous or perishable.
Besides food and medicine, which we already mentioned, professionals also won’t be able to move anything else that could easily spill and contaminate the rest of your belongings. This includes cleaning agents, shampoos, oils, or anything flammable, corrosive, or explosive. While having to deal with these non-negotiables might be a nuisance to some, keep in mind that they serve as preventive measures to protect the rest of your belongings during transit.
Decide What to Do With Everything You Won’t Be Bringing to the New Home
After going through your entire inventory and dealing with everything we mentioned so far, you’ll probably have a massive pile of objects that won’t be carried over to the new place. But do you know how to get rid of the stuff before moving? Considering throwing almost any item away would be pretty wasteful, it’s best to explore other options first. Fortunately, there are plenty of different ways to deal with clutter efficiently, including:
Try to Sell Everything That Is Still in Good Condition
Selling your unwanted belongings is not only an excellent way to deal with them, but it enables you to earn some money in the process. Whether you want to use an online app or organize a garage sale, most of the objects in demand and good condition will go pretty quickly. Just set a reasonable price point from the start and watch how the pile gets smaller and smaller.
Donate Some of Your Things to a Charity Organization
Besides selling, another great way to quickly handle your clutter is to donate some goods to a local charity. While donating is a good deed worthy of praise, you should not try to donate something that’s clearly worn out. More importantly, not everything can be donated, with every organization having its own set of rules on what’s an acceptable donation. If you’re wondering where to donate, Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity are always a good pick.
Recycle Old and Unusable Belongings
Considering old and broken belongings can’t be sold or donated, you probably think they are ready for the trash. On the contrary, instead of simply throwing away something, why not try recycling it first. While most people already know that paper, glass, and certain plastic can be reused, many forget that computers and other electronics have many parts that can be recycled.
Remember that recycling keeps dangerous materials from reaching landfills and getting into the ground and our water supplies, keeping the environment cleaner and safer for everyone. If you want to learn some recycling basics, the video below has all the information needed to start recycling today.
Store Objects You Don’t Have Room for at the New Home
If you’re not sure how to get rid of furniture when moving without selling it or giving it away, why not simply store it for later. People relocate about twelve times on average, so there’s a good chance you might need some of your stored belongings sooner rather than later. Just try not to make an excuse for every single item and why it should be kept. If you are not already renting a storage unit, you can get one from any long-distance or cross-country movers.
With the Clutter Out of the Way, You’re Ready to Prepare for the Move
Decluttering might require you to go through the entire inventory just to figure out what to keep and what to throw away, but this is precisely what makes the rest of the preparations that much easier. After all, you won’t be needing as much time to pack all the belongings from your to-do list appropriately. Once the packing is done, all that’s left is to ship your car across the country, change the address officially, and transfer utilities.