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Decluttering Before Your Move: Here’s What You Should Get Rid of Now

Decluttering is a process where you go through your belongings to find and remove items that you don't need or want. Decluttering is the best way to start organizing an untidy or overcrowded space, and it is one of the most important things you can do before a move. Moving is made easier and cheaper when you've decluttered. You'll have less to move and moving into your new home will be far easier with unwanted items removed!

How to Declutter for a Move & What to Get Rid Of

While it’s true that decluttering is one of the most effective ways to make your move easier, it can be difficult to know where to start, what to keep, and what you should get rid of. That’s why we compiled a list of things you can probably donate, sell, or even throw away right now. If you're decluttering for a move, we have a lot of helpful information to get you started.

Here are a few things you can probably donate or sell while decluttering for a move:

Random Gadgets

If you’re like most people, you’ve either been gifted or have impulsively purchased kitchen gadgets and other devices that seemed so valuable at the time—only to now be collecting dust in a cabinet or drawer. It’s time to purge your home of all random gadgets that you don’t need or use. That fondue set that you got for your wedding and has been sitting in the pantry for 10 years? The electric egg cooker that doesn’t really work anymore? The fitness device that you’ve never even picked up? It’s time to say goodbye.

Old Technology

Technology is always changing. It has made massive leaps and bounds in the past few decades, making things like CDs and DVDs basically irrelevant. Even Blu-Rays are starting to become a thing of the past, with streaming services giving people access to nearly every movie and television show that’s ever been made. If you look around your house, you probably have a lot of dead technology lying around. Unless you still use your DVDs or need that pile of cables hidden in a box in the garage, you can probably sell or donate these things.

The same applies to old computers, phones, and other devices. Dealing with these can be a bit trickier, as they could contain information and files that are important to you or could compromise your identity. Thankfully, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers some helpful tips on how to protect your data before getting rid of your computer.

Exercise Equipment

If you have a treadmill, elliptical, weights set, or other exercise equipment that you never have time for or don’t use any longer, you don’t need to move it to your new home. Be honest and ask yourself if you will actually use it. If the answer is yes, bring it with you. If you’d rather go to the gym instead or have other equipment you use, sell or donate what you don’t need. You could make some extra money, which is definitely a plus considering all the expenses associated with moving!

Trinkets & Knickknacks

Little novelty items, sculptures, figurines, and other knickknacks can easily start to clutter every shelf in your house. Unless they have sentimental value or you find joy in looking at them, don’t go to the trouble of packing them up and moving them. Get rid of any trinkets and knickknacks that you just don’t need or want anymore.

Sheets, Towels & Blankets

Another common source of household clutter can be found in linen closets. You only need so many sets of sheets, towels, and blankets, so go through your linens and make up a box or bag of items that you don’t use or don’t need. You can even donate old towels and blankets to animal shelters.

Utensils & Cookware

You might be surprised to discover how few of the items in your kitchen you actually use. Go through your cookware and utensils and get rid of anything that’s broken or worn out. Sell or donate those things that you don’t have any use for. It might be time to get rid of duplicate items as well. Do you really need 6 spatulas and 4 potato peelers? Get rid of the extras.

Plastic Containers & Tupperware

Like pairs of socks, keeping plastic containers and lids together can seem impossible. Now is a good time to go through that cabinet or drawer in your kitchen that has all your Tupperware containers. Match containers and lids and set them aside if you want to keep them. Recycle or throw away those that don’t have a match and sell or donate anything you don’t need. That immense plastic container collection will shrink dramatically.

Papers & Office Supplies

Do you have drawers or boxes full of old artwork, homework, newspapers, instructions, receipts, and other papers that you don’t need? Do you have 100 pens, only half of which actually work? Go through your office supplies and papers and get rid of everything you don’t need. If you’re worried that some of your papers may have personal information on them, you can find a service to destroy them for you.


Most people only read a book once. Once they’ve read it, they put it on a shelf and never pick it up again. Unless you have an extensive library and the space to put all of your books on display, you might want to consider getting rid of those that hold no sentimental or financial value. Books are extremely heavy, making them fairly expensive and difficult to move. Keep only the books that matter and donate or sell the rest.

Deciding Whether to Declutter for a Move

If you are trying to decide if you should declutter unessential items during your moving process, there is one main question you should ask yourself: do you still want to keep those items, or will you ever need/use them again? Then ask yourself why. This will help you decide if you should take out items because you no longer need them.

Benefits of decluttering your home when moving include the following:

  • Fewer items to transport: The fewer items you keep, the less you will have to transport to your new home. This can save you on transportation fees.
  • Fewer packing expenses: The more items you declutter, the less you will have to spend on packing materials (such as packing paper or moving boxes).
  • Less packing time: Decluttering your home may actually reduce the time it takes you to pack.
  • More storage space: Since you won’t have as many items to store, you will have more storage space in your new home.
  • Make Extra Money: If you decide to sell some of your items for a profit, you can end up making a little extra money in the process of decluttering.
  • Donate to charitable organizations: If you don’t want to see your items go to waste, you can donate them to charitable organizations to help people in need. You can also deduct the monetary value of the donations you’ve made on your taxes.

Choosing Storage vs. Decluttering Before a Move

Although decluttering may seem like a good option, you should still consider the option of placing your things in temporary storage. There are many items we may not use often that still have value or that are worth keeping.

Benefits of storing your items when moving includes the following:

  • No post-move regrets: In your attempt to minimize the transport costs, you shouldn’t get carried away with decluttering your home if you'll regret it later. If there are items you really want to keep and that are valuable to you, don’t take them out!
  • Sorting time saved: If you are in a moving time crunch, one of the greatest advantages of keeping your belongings is that you might save time. If you decide that you don’t have time to sort through all your items to decide if you should sell, donate, or give it away, then storing your items is a good option. You can always declutter down the line.
  • Keep valuable items: If there are items you don’t use often but are valuable and could come in handy, it might be worth storing it.
  • Short-term solution: Keeping your possessions in storage can be a good option as long as you understand that it’s only a short-term solution. Keeping your items in storage for a long period of time will result in wasted money.

Call Our Southern California Moving Company

Decluttering is just one part of a move. If you are looking for help with packing/unpacking, storage, and moving, you can turn to the experts at Affordable Quality Moving and Storage for the trusted service you deserve. Our Santa Clarita movers can help with any local or long-distance move in Southern California, and we help with international moves, where decluttering is even more important. With over 25 years of moving experience, you can trust that we have the know-how to help. We are also licensed, insured, and accredited by the Better Business Bureau. 

Call (661) 622-2636 today to schedule your free moving estimate!