Clean Out the Clutter: How to Decide What to Toss During a Move


There’s no denying it – moving can be pretty overwhelming. Deciding what to keep, what to toss, and what to store can be very stressful, especially when strong emotional ties are involved. We asked the relocation experts over at imove to share some advice on cleaning out the clutter without the stress. See their tips below, and head on over to the imove blog for more packing and moving advice!

Every year, around 19 million Americans pack up their belongings and move. That’s a lot of cardboard boxes, a lot of money spent hiring professional movers, and a lot of time spent packing your belongings. As overwhelming as it can be, moving your house is an ideal opportunity to clean out the clutter you’ve acquired over the years. When you start packing box after box, you’ll begin to realize just how much stuff you have. Don’t risk cluttering your new place with furniture, art, decor, and clothing you no longer need. As you begin packing, ask yourself these five questions to help you decide what to toss and what to keep.

Will My Artwork Fit the Style of My New Place?

Some antiques, collectibles, and artwork fit perfectly within a home and its aesthetics. However, they may not translate as well in your new place. While you have an emotional attachment to the first piece of artwork you bought on your own, maybe your tastes have evolved since then. And that antique set likely won’t have a sensible place in your new modern-style home. Rather than toss family heirlooms, ask family members if they would be willing to house the pieces. For art, antiques, and collectibles, consult with an appraiser about selling the pieces.

Chaos im Kleiderschrank


When Was the Last Time I Wore This?

There are always items of clothing with which we can’t seem to part, whether it’s a tattered leather jacket or a lucky pair of boots. While some items are sentimental and worth keeping for memory’s sake, others are just wasting space in your closet. As you pack up your clothing, toss any items that don’t make you feel good when you’re wearing them, as well any items you haven’t worn in the last 12 months. If an item no longer fits in your daily wardrobe, you likely won’t wear it again in the future.

Have I Ever Used This Gift?

Wedding gifts and other presents from celebratory events are both a blessing and a curse. On the upside, you receive items you would have never purchased yourself. On the downside, you receive items you would have never purchased yourself. From duplicate coffee grinders to specialty feather dusters, if you haven’t used the item since you received it, you’re not going to use it in the future. Use your move as an excuse to get rid of those unwanted gifts without worrying about hurt feelings.


Will I Watch That Movie or Read That Book Again?

There’s something comforting about adding a new DVD to your movie collection or contributing a new book to your expanding library. But as online streaming and eBooks have become cheaper and more convenient options, some of your books and movies may have gathered a heavy layer of dust through disuse. As you pack up your book and movie collection, consider which items you could access digitally instead and assess the likelihood of you popping that DVD into the player or cracking open that book. Pack up your must-keep items and separate the rest to donate or give away to friends and family.

What’s the Storage Situation at My New Place?

While the tiny closet in your apartment meant you had to rely on multiple dressers, your new place may have more hanging space. Evaluate your new home’s storage options before packing and unpacking dressers, bookshelves, tables, and desks. If your new place has large closets or built-in shelving, say goodbye to unnecessary and hard-to-move furniture.

Once you have decided what items to toss, donate gently used clothing, appliances, furniture, books, DVDs, and other items to charities that help those in need. By cleaning out the clutter in your home before moving, you can start life in your new home with a clean and organized slate.