Tips for Deciding What to Keep and What to Toss Out When Moving

Relocating to a new home can be a mixed bag of emotions, as it brings excitement and stress. It presents a golden opportunity to purge and begin anew. However, determining what to retain and discard can be overwhelming, particularly if you have accumulated an overwhelming number of possessions over time. In this article, we will provide a few tips on deciding what to hold onto and what to bid farewell to when moving.

Brown boxes

Decluttering your home is considered one of the most effective methods to guarantee a hassle-free move. Removing unnecessary items from your living space reduces the time, effort, and money required to pack and transport your belongings. Additionally, decluttering can help create a more organized and functional living environment, leading to a smoother transition into your new home. Therefore, if you are planning to move soon, it is highly recommended that you declutter your home beforehand. Decluttering can be a meaningful way to pay tribute to the memories you have created in your previous living space before embarking on a new chapter in your life. By sorting through your belongings and deciding which items to keep, donate, or discard, you can create a sense of closure and appreciation for your experiences in your old home. This process can also help you feel more organized and prepared for the transition to your new living space. Even if you perceive your living space to be relatively organized, there are a few items scattered about that could be eliminated. 

1. Start Early

Analog watch in hand

Starting early is crucial for a smooth and successful move. It is well known that planning and preparation are the keys to any successful endeavor, and moving is no exception. By beginning the process early, you give yourself ample time to organize and execute all the necessary tasks. This includes everything from finding a reputable moving company to packing your belongings and notifying your utility providers of your change of address. By taking a proactive approach to your move, you can avoid the stress and chaos often accompanying last-minute preparations. So, if you want to ensure a hassle-free move, make sure to start early and give yourself plenty of time to get everything done. 

When decluttering, give yourself ample time to sift through your possessions and make difficult decisions about what to keep and discard. Rushing through the process can lead to hasty choices and potential regrets down the line. Take the time to carefully consider each item and its value to you before deciding its fate. By doing so, you’ll be able to create a more organized and intentional living space. Procrastination is a common habit that many individuals struggle with. However, delaying tasks until the last minute can lead to increased stress levels and potentially poor decision-making. It is essential to recognize the negative consequences of procrastination and take steps to avoid it. Individuals can reduce stress levels and make more informed decisions by planning and prioritizing tasks. Ultimately, avoiding procrastination can lead to greater success and overall well-being.

2. Make a List

Black pen on hand

Compiling a list of essential items that you cannot function in daily life without is a task that requires careful consideration. There are certain items that you cannot afford to lose or damage. These items may hold significant sentimental value, such as family heirlooms that have been passed down through generations. Important documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, passports, and financial records should also be carefully packed and transported to ensure their safety. Finally, it’s important to consider the items you use daily, such as toiletries, clothing, and electronics, and make sure that they are easily accessible during the move. By prioritizing these essential items, you can ensure a smoother and less stressful moving experience. Prioritizing and avoiding the accidental disposal of important things can be challenging. However, with the help of a list, you can ensure that you are making informed decisions about what to keep and what to discard. By following a systematic approach, you can prioritize your belongings and avoid the regret of discarding something valuable.

3. Use the One-Year Rule

Woman in brown shirt

When it comes to decluttering and organizing your belongings, a helpful guideline to follow is the one-year rule. This rule suggests that if you last used or worn an item in the past year, it may be time to consider getting rid of it. By applying this rule, you can simplify your living space and reduce clutter, making it easier to find and enjoy the things that truly matter to you. So, next time you’re faced with the decision of what to keep and what to toss out, consider the one-year rule as a helpful tool in your decluttering process. This can be a useful practice in decluttering and simplifying one’s possessions. This rule applies to items such as clothing, books, and electronics. By following this, individuals can effectively streamline their belongings and avoid clutter.

4. Donate or Sell

Basketball hoop

One way to declutter your living space and potentially make some extra cash is by parting ways with items that are still in good condition but no longer used in your life. This can be achieved by either donating or selling these items. Not only will this help free up space in your home, but it can also bring joy to someone who may benefit from these items. So, look around your living space and consider whether there are any items you can let go of responsibly and sustainably. These things can range from clothing to furniture and household items. By decluttering your home, you create a more organized living space and positively impact the environment and community. This simple act of tidying can have a ripple effect that extends beyond your personal space. By donating or recycling items that you no longer need, you are reducing waste and conserving resources. Additionally, your donations can benefit those in need within your community. So, the next time you embark on a decluttering project, remember that you are improving your life and making a difference in the world.

5. Get Rid of Duplicates

Person holding knitted textiles

Suppose you enjoy buying and hoarding different things or like cooking and entertaining guests. In that case, you may have amassed numerous items and accumulated multiple sets of dishes, pots, and pans over time. Having a variety of cookware and tableware can come in handy when hosting dinner parties or preparing different types of meals. However, it can also lead to clutter and confusion in the kitchen. So, do you have multiple sets of stuff at home? Eliminate duplicate items. 

When moving into a new home, it is crucial to consider the amount of space you have available and the things you plan to bring with you. One way to make the moving process smoother is to keep only what you need. Not only will this save you space, but it will also make it easier to unpack and organize your belongings once you arrive at your new residence. By taking the time to declutter and prioritize your possessions, you can streamline your move and start fresh in your new home with a sense of order and simplicity.

6. Be Honest With Yourself

Woman in white and black polka

When decluttering, it is vital to be truthful with yourself about what items you should keep and what items you should discard. It can be tempting to hold onto things that have sentimental value or that we may need in the future, but assessing whether these items are truly necessary or taking up space is crucial. We can create a more organized and functional living space by being honest with ourselves. 

When making purchases, it is essential to consider whether or not you truly need or use the item in question. Before making a decision, take a moment to reflect on your current situation and evaluate whether the purchase is necessary or simply a want. Doing so lets you make more informed and responsible choices with your money. Ask yourself if you really need or use something. If the answer is a resounding “no,” it could indicate it’s time to let go.


Moving to a new home is the perfect opportunity to declutter and start fresh. However, deciding what to keep and what to toss out can be a challenging task. By following these tips, you can make the process easier and ensure that you only bring with you what you need and love. Remember to start early, make a list, use the one-year rule, donate or sell, get rid of duplicates, and be honest with yourself. Happy moving!