Out With the Old: What to Keep and What to Purge When Moving

By Giggle Magazine

By Nicole Irving

The day has finally arrived. You and your family have busted the seams of your home and it is time to move to a bigger house. You put your house on the market, it sells, you find the perfect new home with the swimming pool and basketball court (MOM SCORE!) and just like that, you have to move. Panic sinks in at the thought of having to move 15 years worth of life into boxes and bags. You open your first closet and weep.

Moving can be hard. But, it should be looked at as a fresh start. So, how do you begin to tackle all those things that you and your family have been hoarding and holding onto for so long? With tough love and a plan!

CLOTHES

Unless you are still expanding your family or can use the older one’s clothes as hand-me-downs for the littler one, let go of the old baby clothes. They will only take up space in that new walk-in closet. And if there are clothes in your closet that you have not worn in a year, get rid of them. This goes for your husband’s closet, too!

WHAT TO DONATE /THROW OUT

Donate any clothes that still have life in them that you can no longer use, and throw away any clothes that are stained or torn. Take the same approach with shoes.

WHAT TO KEEP

Ball gowns and classic tuxes. You never known when you will have to get all dolled up for a big night out.

BOOKS

They may have once been bedtime story staples, but those old board books probably haven’t seen the light of day in six years. This is the perfect time to clean them out and make room for the new.

WHAT TO DONATE

School libraries are always in need of good books. Contact your school or nearest preschool to see if they can be put to good use.

WHAT TO KEEP

Keep your kiddo’s favorite board book, along with any collector’s editions or signed copies. If you will have the space for a home library, keep encyclopedias and reference books. Purge all paperbacks and hard covers that you might have already read and aren’t interested in rereading.

PAPER

This is going to be harsh, so hold on. I know, it was his first book report! But, unless that report is going to be his key to financial windfall or a full ride to Yale, I say, throw it out. It has served its purpose, but now it is time to move on. There will be more book reports to read.

WHAT TO THROW OUT/SHRED

Old school papers, school notebooks from previous grades, science fair boards, indecipherable art projects, etc.

WHAT TO KEEP

One art project from each year that you can place in a binder/scrapbook or frame, report cards/test scores/evaluations/ teacher notes/award certificates, bank account information, tax information, and other important papers you have to keep on hand.

WEDDING GIFTS

If you have not opened that hammock you got from your wedding 15 years ago, purge it. If it is broken, chipped or replaceable, purge it. If you have no use for that fondue set, purge it. See the pattern here? If you do not use it, cannot remember where it came from or hate it, purge it.

WHAT TO THROW OUT/DONATE

Donate anything that you will never or have never used along with china that you do not like the pattern of. Throw out anything that is changing colors or has an odor from being stored too long.

WHAT TO KEEP

Fine china (only if you have a use for it), jewelry that you can pass down to your children and serving pieces that can be used for parties.

GARAGE/SHED

If your new house has a smaller lawn and you don’t foresee the need for the John Deere tractor you have, sell it. Organize and consolidate all tools, supplies and the like. If your new house does not have a pool, get rid of the pool supplies, even if you anticipate building a pool later. You can always get new and improved items later.

WHAT TO THROW OUT/LEAVE BEHIND

Get rid of anything broken or in need of repair. If you haven’t fixed it yet, you probably never will. Leave behind paint (in good condition) that matches the house you sold for the new owners.

WHAT TO KEEP

A full set of tools, lawn equipment that you can use, extension cords, hoses, nails/ screws, car maintenance equipment and tarps that are in good condition.

KITCHEN

You may lose or gain kitchen counter or cabinet space. In any case, a good kitchen cleanout is the perfect way to start healthy kitchen habits.

WHAT TO GET RID OF

Plastic utensils, plastic containers without lids, extra water bottles, chipped cups/plates and extra coffee cups can go to the trash.

WHAT TO KEEP

A complete set of pots and pans with lids, serving platters, entertaining pieces (as long as they are going to be used), a complete set of plastic containers with lids, silverware/knives that are sharp and in good condition, and measuring spoons and cups (one set should be plenty).

FURNITURE

If your home is smaller, you will have to come to terms with the reality that your new dwelling will NOT hold all the current furniture you have. Assess what MUST come (like your bed), and once you have a list of must-haves, start selling and donating what you can’t take. If your new house has built-in closets, you may need to purge the dressers. If you are downsizing from two living rooms to one, a set of couches will need to go.

WHAT TO THROW OUT/DONATE

Old mattresses, extra dressers and extra couches.

WHAT TO KEEP

Antiques, piano and pieces you have built or are collector’s items.