Throw it Out Before Moving Out

Declutter before moving (or anytime!)

If you have a few extra things around your home, you’re not alone. Many people accumulate clutter over time, and often, the best motivation to declutter is right before a move. You don’t want to waste time packing items you don’t want, so it makes sense to sell, donate or throw away anything unusable.  

Keep reading to learn the best ways to downsize belongings, what to do with extra things and how U-Pack® can help with a stress-free and affordable long-distance move.   

woman decluttering linen closet


How to downsize your belongings

Often, the best way to stay organized during the decluttering process is to focus on one room at a time. For example, decluttering the kitchen all at once.  

As you work through each room, sort things into four categories: keep, sell, donate or trash. 

For items you’re keeping, consider packing them to save time later or just set those things aside for now. Sell and donate items can be placed in a specific part of the room to keep them separate or into extra boxes or baskets, making them easier to remove from the home. Make sure to have some trash bags for things to throw away. 

What to get rid of when moving: the top 25 things  

The plan is to downsize anything you don’t want or need. Here are some of the most common items to declutter:  

  • Broken things. If something is broken beyond repair, throw it away. 
  • Building supplies. Things like fence posts or extra flooring tiles can be left behind for the next renter or owner. 
  • Clothing and shoes. Purge anything stained or torn, doesn’t fit or you just don’t like. 
  • Craft supplies. If you no longer use certain craft supplies, give them away for someone else to enjoy. 
  • Décor. It’s an excellent time to purge unused holiday decorations, old wall décor, worn-out rugs or any other items in your current home that won’t work in your new one. Give things new life somewhere else.
  • Dishes and silverware. It’s a good time to get rid of broken, unused or mismatched items. 
  • DVDs, CDs, records and books. If you’re not sentimentally attached or actively using it, pass it on. 
  • Electronics. Still have an old cassette recorder or MP3 player lying around? Now might be the perfect time to donate used electronics. 
  • Excess auto supplies. Old batteries, oil containers and other similar items don’t need to make the move with you. 
  • Expired food and medication. Throw away out-of-date food and medicines from your fridge, cabinets and pantry. Out-of-date products could be unsafe or might not have the correct potency.  
  • Extra or old linens. Keep only your favorite sheets, tablecloths, towels and wash rags and discard the rest (or use them for deep cleaning as you move). 
  • Furniture. Keep only the furniture you’ll use in the new home. You shouldn't pay to move if a piece won’t fit into your new place. Don’t forget to look at outdoor furniture to determine what stays and goes. 
  • Large outdoor toys. Unwanted bicycles, skates and skateboards can be donated if they’re still in good shape, and outgrown playsets might be left behind for the next residents.  
  • Old or unused makeup and beauty products. If it’s opened and older than six months, it’s time to throw it away. 
  • Old paint. There’s no need to take it with you if you have no use for it at the new place. Donate it if it’s usable or dispose of it properly. 
  • Paper. Shred old records and remove old magazines, paperwork or advertisements from your space. Note: The IRS recommends filers keep tax records for at least three years, or up to seven if you claimed significant losses. Consult your accountant for advice if you’re unsure about keeping records. 
  • Pet supplies. It's time to clean out the old or broken pet toys and hold off on buying new ones until you’ve moved. 
  • Planters. It’s time to toss old flowerpots and planters and only keep your favorites. 
  • Pots and pans. You might not need it if you haven’t cooked with it in the past year. 
  • Throw blankets and pillows. If you have way more throw pillows and blankets than people in your house, you may have too many. 
  • Tools. It’s a great time to get rid of duplicate or unused tools.  
  • Toys. Now’s the time to do away with broken, disliked or outgrown toys.  
  • Unmatched cords. You probably won't miss it if you’re not actively using a cord or can’t remember what it goes to.  
  • Unused cleaning products. There’s no need to hang on to cleaning products you’re not using. Use them to give your place one last cleaning or discard them. 
  • Unused exercise equipment. It might work for someone else if it doesn’t work for you. 

Disposing of the extra items

Now that you have your sell, donate and trash piles, it’s time to dispose of them. But how?

Sell unwanted items 

  • Host a sale. If you have a lot of things still in good shape, a moving sale is a great way to make some extra money while clearing out your home. 
  • Sell it online. Try Facebook Marketplace, eBay, ThredUp or other online resellers. 
  • Consign it. Look for a local resale shop that offers consignment. 

Make donations 

  • Give to a local animal shelter. They usually need extra blankets, towels and cleaning supplies. 
  • Donate to schools, libraries or senior activity centers. These places might be a good home for books or craft supplies. Just call and ask what they want. 
  • Drop off at a donation center. Look for a Goodwill, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity or another charity in your area. 

Properly dispose of household waste

Your regular trash and recycling services can’t handle some things. Here are some items that need special care:

  • Medications. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the best way to dispose of unused or expired prescription or over-the-counter drugs is through a local take-back program. Check with the police station or pharmacy for drop-off locations. 
  • Cleaning supplies, oil, liquid paint or other chemicals. Contact your trash service or city hall for proper disposal instructions. 
  • Metals, batteries, appliances and e-waste. Search for scrap metal recycling locations in your area or check with city hall for rules about throwing away these items. 

Save money moving less stuff with U-Pack

Don’t forget one of the most critical parts of your long-distance move — hiring the right moving company. At U-Pack, you handle the packing and loading, and then we take care of the driving so you don’t have to.  

One of the best features of U-Pack is that we base your price on the space you use rather than the weight. That means moving fewer belongings will save you money! 

Extra mattresses, pillows and blankets don’t weigh much, but they take up a lot of space — which matters when you’re moving with U-Pack.  

For example, if you’re downsizing from a 3-bedroom to a 2-bedroom home, you could save hundreds of dollars using 2 ReloCube® moving containers instead of 3 or filling 5 fewer linear feet in a moving trailer.  

U-Pack pricing differs from the weight-based rates of some movers, where plus or minus 200 pounds of things wouldn’t affect the price much.  

Get a quote today 

Request your free U-Pack quote online or call us today at 844-362-5303844-594-3077. We’re happy to help! 

Let us know in the comments if you have any questions or share your best decluttering tips!