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What to Throw Away When Moving

Published by Chris Townsend

We’ve all been there. You’re preparing for a move and then you realize just how much stuff you have accumulated over the past 1-15 years, and it’s overwhelming. Well, we’re here to help! Moving is a process, and a large part of moving is organizing your belongings before you even get the chance to move them.

What do we recommend?

The best advice that we can give you when evaluating and preparing for a major move is to look at what you need and what you can part with. This is especially difficult to crack down on when a move is right around the corner, as everything you own may feel more personal and important at that moment. But take a step back. Breathe. We’ve got time.


Where do I start?

The best place to start is by looking at the old and used belongings in your home. Start small, and move from one area to the next.


Here’s what to get rid of:

  1. Clothes and shoes that don’t fit
  2. Clothes that are stained, torn, or damaged in any other way that cannot be repaired or have not been repaired in the last month
  3. Clothes you only wore once or twice (Even better, evaluate what your staple items are and what you are not wearing frequently, and then donate or dispose of the things you don’t wear often)

Are you the type of person that stuffs everything in addition to your clothing in a closet? Well, it’s time to take a look at those old, dusty VHS players and tapes that you keep for sentimentality and ask yourself how often are you actively cherishing these items. It’s likely that, if dust has been collecting on them for months, maybe even years, then it’s time to let go of these belongings.


Here’s what to get rid of:

  1. Expired makeup
  2. Products that you rarely or never use
  3. Expired medications (really anything that is expired)
  4. Broken Bathroom tools like hair dryers
  5. Stained, frayed, and old towels
  6. Old toothbrushes and other supplies you can get more of

Has your bathroom become your dumping ground where drawers and cabinets collect old and unused products? Again, it’s time to get in there, throw out those grimy, stray Q-tips, and take a look at the products that you actually use.

Did you end up buying a shampoo and conditioner set because it was on sale and now you don’t even use that brand? It’s not doing anyone good by just sitting there being unused. Consider donating these products to a friend or shelter.


Here’s where it gets tricky for so many kitchen users.

Here’s what to get rid of:

Multiplying items that serve no purpose to you including:

  1. Extra plates that you never use
  2. Cups and mugs
  3. Glasses
  4. Appliances
  5. Cooking spices (especially the ones older than 6 months)
  6. Expired foods
  7. Grimy kitchen utensils

The reason why this one is so difficult to complete is that multiple/numerous items are very different from damaged or unused items. They likely have a very good reason for being in your drawers or cabinets. Maybe they’re part of a set? Or, maybe you splurged when you first moved in, declaring that you’re an adult and you can buy all the dishware you want? But the question to ask yourself is, “Do I use all of these materials fully?” Are you living alone and only really eat takeout meals? Do you really need to have 10 dinner plates in your cabinet?

Maybe you even went through a phase where you wanted to become an active chef in your own home. Trying out all kinds of new recipes that involved having different spices around. When was the last time you used those spices? Do they still even have a plastic seal on them? Although these items are excellent to have around the kitchen, are they serving a purpose in your kitchen?

Our Takeaway

If there’s anything to be learned about preparing for a move, it’s that we gather so much extra stuff that it’s hard to let go, especially when some of these things are useful to have lying around for once-a-year projects. We’re not encouraging you to have a complete maximalist to minimalist lifestyle change with the disposing of these items. Three Movers only wants to help you realize that some products and items have not served you in a long time. Now, imagine taking the time to move all of these possessions into your new home and not utilizing any one of them. Wouldn’t that feel like a waste?

Your move should be exciting. It’s a new place for you to build your life or to start over. It should not be spent lugging around the untouched past.

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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