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How to Get Rid of Stuff Before Moving (Decluttering, Tossing Out & Organizing Tips)

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Moving can be an absolute nightmare and the thought of having to do countless different things such as packing, hiring movers, taking care of documentations and legal work can all make you extremely anxious however if there is one huge benefit of moving out it is the fact that you finally get to do the decluttering that you have been avoiding for years. 

Moving out is the perfect opportunity to get rid of stuff and declutter your house from things you don’t need or find value in keeping any more. The more tossing out of junk or unneeded items you can do, the more time and money you save. Lowering your moving weight means less transportation cost and less packing supplies. It also saves on time you would have spent packing the items you’ve decided on tossing out

Some organizing tips before we get into the how and what to toss out. 

Be Prepared

Don’t just dive into ‘getting rid’ immediately. The aim is to plan things out strategically. You need to make sure that you have ample time before you move which is why its best to know your dates at least a month prior and don’t end up scrambling. 

Start With the Big Things 

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To make things easier for you, always start with the big things. How about you as a family decide to do a slumber party in the same room every night and get to packing in the other rooms. Pack all the major essential things that you are a 100% certain you’ll be taking with you. This could be furniture, major appliances, rugs, curtains and other similar things. To make sure you know what you’ve packed and what you haven’t make sure you’re constantly making a list and marking your boxes. 


Many donation centres across the US such as GoodWill or Salvation Army accept clothing items and smaller equipment items as well as home goods such as decoration items you don’t use or etc.

Food items can be donated to any local food shelter, make sure you drop off unexpired and canned goods if you are planning to donate.

Furniture and bulkier items can be donated at stores such as Habitat for Humanity, local thrift shops etc. 

Medicine items can be given to local medical nonprofit centres/clinics.


Items that are in good quality but you’ve decided to part with can be sold. Places such as Facebook market place, Ebay etc are great sites to sell items that you wont be taking with you in your move. 

Hosting a garage sale can also allow you to sell most of your items for some cash as well. 

Throw out

If the item is broken, unusable or expired it should definitely be thrown out into your local dumpster. For bigger furniture items to dispose you might have to rent a dumpster.

Give to friends/family

Maybe you had some clothing items your sister wanted to keep that you plan on throwing out. Or moms old dishware that she wants to keep but you’re ready to throw out. Consider giving items that friends or family might find value to before chucking it out.

List of Items You Can Donate

Prepare everything you might need before you start sorting through your house. Keep a box for donation items and a separate pile or bag for items to be thrown away. Additionally, the donation pile can be separated further into food items, linens/towels/clothes, other items. 

When picking what items you want to keep or toss make sure you ask yourself these questions before making your decision. If you need this item, if its condition is good, if you can easily buy it again, if it is sentimental to you, if it’s worth the space it takes up for the move and if someone else might find more value from it then you.

When deciding to throw larger items, it may also be relevant to keep in mind the distance you’re moving, if your moving larger distances or internationally the cost of transporting the item might supersede the cost of rebuying. You can also factor into whether that item is available where you are moving to.

Lets break things down into what we recommend are the best items to throw out before your move.


Shirts you haven’t worn in a decade, or socks you can’t seem to pair with anything are perfect examples of clothing that you can get rid of before your move. It might seem tempting to keep these items in the hopes that eventually you might wear it however chances are, you’re probably better off giving it away.

Shoes are another great idea for items you can give away, check to see if you have any worn out shoes or ones that don’t fit you or your kids anymore. It is however essential and should be a thumb rule that when you separate a pile for donation, make sure you dry-clean and/or wash all of your clothes before giving them away even if they smell or look clean, pack them neatly and then drop them off to your charity of choice. 


Sorting out your medicine cabinet can help your organize what items are expired and can be thrown away as well as medicines you might want to donate. It can also be a great reminder for what medicine items you need to rebuy after expiration to keep in the house. Not only does it save space but also it can keep your medicine kit updated. You can drop off unused medicines that are obviously not expired to a charity hospital. Make sure they are properly boxed with their expiration date clearly evident. 

Check to see if you have any bath products you don’t use or have gone bad, throw items that seem to have gone crusty or dried up. Other products you have but don’t plan on using can be thrown into the donation pile.

Kitchen items

Broken items, expired food, old takeout menus, tupperwear with no lids can all be thrown. Try to limit the kitchen items and remove those that are either not part of a set or don’t get used. 

Kitchen items tend to take up a lot of space therefore it’s a great time to start valuing what you need to keep in your kitchen versed mismatched unused items.

Appliances that you barely use might also be great to throw out, if not make sure your new home has the space for all these items. If there is any kitchen appliance that you don’t use but you think a family member or friend would, gift it to them. You can also donate can foods and appliances that you don’t use to soup kitchens.


Old towels that are torn on the edges, stained bed sheets, worn out rugs and old fabric can all be purged. Not only do these items take up a lot of space but also they are items that one can easily purchase again for their new home. 

Pantry and cleaning items

Pantry supplies such as mops/wipers/toilet rolls/air fresheners are not necessary for your move and take up a lot of space for an item that can be easily rebought. 

Prohibited items

Keep in mind that moving companies/services are prohibited from carrying items such as perishable goods, flammable items, aerosols, car parts, plants and toxic chemicals. Throwing these away before your move can save them and you future inconvenience.

Other items

Now that you have your piles for items you want to throw away or give you can now categorize them and decide where and how to toss them out.


Now that you’ve decluttered you’re house you are ready to start the moving process. The best part of decluttering your entire house is that you’ve simplified the whole moving process drastically. You now also have a better idea the things that you need to buy again and invest in and the things that do nothing but consume space in your house. 

When you’re decluttering you are naturally organizing as well. You wont even realize it but you automatically start placing things you need in one box and things you don’t need in the other, be it clothing, toiletries, kitchen items or linens. 

During this time it is important that you do your research and which moving company fits your needs perfectly. If you happen to live in Chicago, you should definitely check out Lyon’s Moving, the finest and most experienced movers in the best prices. 

Purging the house of accumulated things and clutter can be refreshing and rest assured you’ll be moving into your new house with a fresh start.

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