9 Tips From A Moving Expert

A new home symbolizes a fresh start: new paint, a new bedroom, even a new eye on arranging your old furniture, cherished heirlooms and valuable collectibles. But, your new space won’t feel so wonderful if it’s weighed down with stuff.  Now’s the time to purge your home, this means a deep dive into what stays and what goes.

“Your possessions should have three purposes: function, purpose, usefulness or sentimental value,” says Karmin Daniel, champion purger and CMO of Alliance Moving & Storage. Pick up each item in your home, and ask yourself, “Why do I have this item? What does this item do for me? Why am I keeping it?”

There are a lot of things you should toss or donate before packing up the truck. But, here are nine of the most common offenders:

1) Old Towels & Linens

When’s the last time you bought new towels? If its the last time you moved, turn those suckers into rags and buy something new! After years of use and hundreds of washings, I am sure they are looking a bit worn out too. You don’t need those old bed sheets either. Fitted sheets lose their elasticity over time, and exposure to sweat and oil can cause them to look stained and worn.

2) The Juicer

We all have goals. Yoga Class three times a week, and beginning each morning with a glass of cold juice pressed from spinach, kale, ginger, and pineapple. Don’t give up on achieving your dreams — Assess your achievements at moving time, and donate everything that didn’t work out. At least you’ll have more room for your next wild aspiration. Maybe a FitBit?

3) Unworn Apparel

Organizing a closet before a move should be simple. A keep pile, a toss pile, and a donate pile—right? But we all have those jeans we keep around just in case we finally lose 15 pounds. Or a dress tucked deep in your closet in case you ever go clubbing again. (Never mind that, the last time you were out of the house after 10 p.m. was the night your first child was born.) Watch out for clothing you’re keeping “just in case,” which take up precious room in your closet. And even if you do lose the weight, or get an invitation to a bachelorette party in Vegas, you can always buy (or rent) something new—and we bet you’ll love it even more.

4) Multiples & Collectables

Clutter grows in the strangest places—like your mug tree, the chair in your room, or your dining hutch. You might have started out with two novelty mugs, but now you own a coffee cup from every place you’ve visited right? “Try to keep only one from your favorite vacation.” Look for duplicates throughout your kitchen. Do you really need three bread pans? Or more than one cake platter? You should only hold onto what can fit neatly in your space.

5) Gifts You’ve Outgrown

A long time ago, you told your mom you liked giraffes. You were 8. Your next birthday: a giraffe necklace. Your graduation gift: a porcelain giraffe statuette. Your housewarming gift from your aunt: an Etsy giraffe print. But it’s not too late to trim down your collection. If Mom stops by and looks confused, you say, “I just couldn’t fit it into our new space. I’m sorry they had to go.”

6) Beauty Supplies and Makeup

Like most things in life, skin and beauty products don’t last forever. So before you move, ditch the pile of half-used products you’ve amassed under your bathroom sink; that goes for skin creams, sunscreens, shaving cream, beard oils, deodorant, and even soap. That means tossing the four year old nail polish too. That stuff has a shelf life of two years. Same goes for cosmetics: For example, you should replace your mascara every 90 days.

7) Space Stealers

Sometimes, when moving into a new home, we buy stuff just to fill the emptiness. Unattractive tables, a TV stand that doesn’t match the rest of your furniture, or that poster you bought at an art fair 15 years ago, that’s out of step with the rest of your decor. Your next home doesn’t need to be a clean slate, but before moving in, giveaway furniture and anything that just doesn’t fit the current you. Next time you buy for your home, seriously consider exactly what you want before you spend money.

8)  Extra Wires, Cords & Cables

You don’t know how it happened, but you have 32 micro-USB cables and 12 random charging cables that seemingly belong to nothing and everything at the same time. Get rid of duplicates now—as well as anything that doesn’t have a match, sort the remaining cords and cables into an organized system.

9) Old Paperwork & Records

It’s time to sort through all your old paperwork. Setting aside tax records, closing documents, recent bank statements and tossing everything you don’t need to keep. Create a filing system that works for you, since that paperwork’s going to keep coming, and pledge to sort once a year.