In our last blog post we told you our 11 Home Moving Tips To Relive Stress, however, we only scratched the surface on which items you should throw away when moving. In this article we will dig deeper in how to know which items to throw away when moving. Our guide will offer you a simple systematic approach to implement for your next move.

Questions to ask yourself

Pick up an item and ask yourself one of the following questions below to know if will be coming with you or getting left behind.

Where will this item go in my new home? – Well have you decided not? If you see no practical use for it, don’t pack it.

Am I keeping it just for the sake of it? – This usually applies to very small items that can be crammed into boxes to make them ‘full’, or a bunch of miscellaneous stuff that nobody in your family has ever touched. How many moves has that old mobile phone charger seen that nobody has ever used?

When moving, people have this idea that each box must be filled as much as possible and end up sticking any old rubbish in there.

Can it be replaced? – Items that you have not seen or used for well over a year which can be easily replaced shouldn’t be packed. For example, your badminton racket that hasn’t seen a shuttlecock for well over half a decade can be left behind. Badminton rackets are usually inexpensive and can easily be replaced or rented out at sports clubs. Apply this method to other items you may own.

Items that hold more sentimental value or will be near impossible or expensive to replace should be interrogated more thoroughly before throwing them away.

Am I deluding myself? – Are you holding onto a special edition Star Wars plastic drinking cup that you kept from the local cinema over a decade ago, because you think it will be worth thousands of dollars in the future? Our guess is it won’t be worth more than a few dollars than what you paid for it.

Tip: Take your items to a local specialist to see if they are truly worth something or head on over to Value My Stuff to get an online evaluation. If they turn out to be junk, get rid!

Is it practical /do I like it?– Almost every household has at least one item that is awkwardly big, useless and is used by no one. When deciding what to throw away when moving, subconsciously the bigger the item the more we want to keep it, as we think it has more value. Don’t be scared to throw large items away such as wardrobes, chairs or even dining tables that are collecting dust in the garage.

Am I throwing away too much? When deciding on what to throw away when moving, one can sometimes go overboard. There’s a fine line between throwing away items you never use to getting rid of all your expensive perfume or makeup.

Throw away when moving

Common throw away items

At this point, you’ve asked yourself a bunch of questions and hopefully you have gotten rid of some dead weight. Next we will advise you on how to tackle specific items or ‘draws’ of items.

Junk draw – Everybody has one somewhere in the house that’s full of ,well, junk. Junk draws commonly have a few batteries lying around, an old remote control for a TV you no longer own, scissors, glue and maybe a spider. Any items that you have not used in the past month or can’t be used to help you pack boxes, throw away.

Paper draw– Here you will find bills and receipts for a grocery shop you did 6 months ago, that pizza you ordered for your birthday last year and several dated bills that serve no purpose. Our advice is this: help save the environment and recycle or re-use this paper instead of just throwing it in the bin.

Tip: We always suggest to look through your documents carefully to ensure you’re not throwing away anything important such as insurance papers, tax forms or other important documents.

Medicine cabinet – Check each item to ensure they are still within their sell by date, if they have expired you could be saving a life by throwing them away. This is even more important if you have children in the house.

Tip: Always pack your medicine in sealed boxes and label them clearly so they do not end up in a child’s room or somewhere for them to gain easy access.

Books and magazines – Let’s start with the magazines, If you have yet to re-read your box full of Men’s Health or Reader’s Digest, recycle them. The energy to move these heavy boxes is a waste of everyone’s time and effort.

Books are a bit different as some you may wish to read some again, but ask yourself truthfully if you really will or not.

Tip: Give your books and magazines away to either a charity shop, local library or a school.

DVDs, VHS and cassette tapes – You’d be surprised at how many times our moving team come across VHS and cassette tapes, literally boxes full of them. Most likely you do not even own a device that will play VHS or cassette tapes. Any tapes that are of value get them recorded to either DVD or mp3 and then throw them away.

Old children’s toys – First rule of throwing away children’s toys is never to consult your children. They will not want you to throw anything away and may even make the point of playing with certain toys for a few days before getting bored of them (again). Give away no longer used toys to local nurseries, schools or charities that may have more use for them.

Rugs and linen – Have a few rugs sitting in the basement that you didn’t even know existed until now? Perhaps you have old linen and blankets that you packed during your last move that still haven’t been unpacked? Once again, don’t fall for the trick of “because it’s big we should keep it” methodology, you haven’t used them now and chances are you won’t in your next house. Throw them away!

Food– Please don’t ever pack food to move, you will only open yourself up to a world full of problems and smells. Condiments and spices are fine but make sure to only bring with you what you actually use and doesn’t require to be refrigerated.

Tip: One month before your move date, aim to eat as much food as you can in your fridge so you don’t have too much to throw away. A recent study showed that Canada wastes around $27 billion worth of food.

Baby equipment – From cribs, baby strollers and car seats, if your children have outgrown them, throw them away. The laws and regulations based around such equipment change all the time, so think twice before handing away your baby car seat that you bought 10 years ago, it may not be legal to use. Please check thoroughly that your items are still legal and meet all health and safety laws of today before giving them away.

We hope this article gives you a good idea of what to throw away when moving, you should have de-cluttered quite a bit after following our tips. Anything you can recycle or give away to somebody else, we urge our clients to do that instead of just throwing items in the trash. For anything you cannot give away or dispose in a green way, hold a garage sale and price everything as low as you can to tempt people to buy.