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23 Items to Declutter Before You Move

A woman sitting on the floor after decluttering and packing for the move.
If there’s an upcoming move in your calendar, plan the big decluttering of your home, too. Check out the top 23 items to declutter before your move and make it easier.

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We know – moving house is quite a venture. There’s so much to do and be careful about; the whole thing can be overwhelming. But think of it this way – this is your chance to ‘reset’ your home and have a fresh start on a new relocation. 

Before you start packing, use this opportunity to remove everything that’s eating the space in your home and making the relocation even more difficult. This guide is perfect if there’s an upcoming move in your calendar – learn everything about purging and get the list of top items to declutter before you move.

Items to Declutter Before You Move

Benefits of Decluttering Before Moving House

It’s not uncommon for people to underestimate the power of decluttering. They often consider it a waste of precious time before the moving day, not knowing the benefits of paring down your items – especially those you don’t need. Let’s see why decluttering matters and why you shouldn’t postpone it any longer:

  • Packing gets more manageable (and cheaper) – let’s state the obvious first. Fewer items in your homes mean less money spent on packing supplies, and you’ll also need much less time to pack. It’s easier to sort out your belongings without clutter, so you’ll accomplish it faster.

  •  You instantly make more space at the new home – packing is not the only issue with moving. It’s unpacking that can give you a lot of trouble, especially if you’re moving into an even slightly smaller property. Decluttering will help you make more space in the new apartment and house, and unpacking will go smoothly and efficiently. It will be easier to organize items in your new home and make the most out of the space, as there will be no clutter.

  • Your moving budget will be more manageable – we know that relocations can cause a lot of stress due to the high moving fees and unexpected costs. Help your budget out by decluttering your home before packing. Not only do you save on packing supplies, but the boxes in the moving truck can be significantly lighter. You’ll pay less for your move if you’re not moving stuff you don’t need. Finally, selling items in good condition but not needed in the new home can help you make the extra cash required for the relocation. Use online platforms like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist to find unused items in a new home.

  • It’s ecofriendly – fewer items to pack means you’ll decrease the waste made from packing supplies and reduce fuel consumption with the moving truck. Decluttering before the move is a great way to protect the environment.
moving boxes in a home

Tips for Efficient Decluttering

There are a couple of techniques for helping you make sure you really part ways with items you don’t need anymore.

Have a System

To do it well, do it systematically. This means you should hit one room or problematic area at a time, which will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and eventually giving up. Start early in your moving preparation process and give yourself enough time to review the whole household. Even though there are some commonly critical spots in every home regarding clutter, the truth is that every room usually needs to be covered. Begin with a small area in a room, such as a drawer or a shelf, and then work through the whole space.

Set Emotions Aside

Clutter is often connected with our emotions, reminding us of times we used it or even some dear people. That’s how people get carried away and find it hard to let certain items go. Try to be as practical as possible by asking yourself these questions:

  •       Does the item carry real sentimental value?
  •       Does it remind you of something good or bad?
  •       When was the last time you used the item?
  •       Is it irreplaceable?
  •       How often do you use it?
  •       Is the item worth taking up the space in your new home?

Answering all these questions will give you the best idea of whether you should toss something and help you declutter efficiently.

Avoid Saving Items ‘Just in Case’

This is the number one reason people collect clutter in their homes. They fear needing an item and keep it ‘just in case.’ Often, such situations never come, or the item is too easy to find or buy in case you need it. If you haven’t used an item for too long and almost forgot you have it – toss it away.

23 Items to Declutter Before Your Move

Now, let’s review the list of the most common clutter in family households that you should probably get rid of before you start packing for the move.


  1. Old mugs, plates, and utensils – Worn-out or damaged kitchen items occupy your precious kitchen space.
  2. Scratched pans and pots – These take up unnecessary kitchen space and are also a hazard to the food you prepare in them. Get rid of damaged pots and pans and make space for a few pieces you need that are safe to use.
  3. Dirty, worn-out cutting boards – If not taken care of properly, these can collect a lot of bacteria, so be sure to get rid of overused boards and replace them with fresh ones you’ll use in your new kitchen.
  4. Rarely used appliances – We all have a huge mixer, an ice cream maker, or an air fryer we rarely use. If it’s dusty and hidden in a cabinet, it should be on your ‘toss’ pile.
  5. Expired foods – Old spices, boxes of cereals, and canned foods are everyday kitchen items to declutter.  Go through your pantry and check all the expiration dates – you’ll be surprised how many things are not suitable to eat anymore.
  6. Useless utensils – Every time we buy a utensil set, it comes with a couple of pieces we hardly ever use. Serving spoons, task-specific knives, weird spatulas – they can all go!

Living Room

  1. Furniture – If it’s too old, unpractical, or doesn’t fit your new home space, you should find a better home for it or toss it away. Moving furniture can be unnecessarily costly if you’re moving items you don’t need.
  2. Old electronics – With smart homes and modern gadgets, it’s unnecessary to keep old music or DVD players and similar outdated electronics, as well as CDs and DVDs you won’t use in the future.
  3. Décor items – Think about the décor style you want to create in the new home. If the art and decorative pieces don’t complement it, you might as well get rid of them. Old pillowcases, rug figurines, wall art, lamps, and similar decor items you don’t want in your new home can be removed.
  4. Revise your bookshelf, too – Books take up a lot of space, and having such an extensive home library is often unnecessary, especially in the age of digital books and e-readers. Keep your favorites or those that fit that beautiful bookshelf and give away the rest.


  1. Expired medicines and cosmetics – Decluttering your bathroom cabinets of expired medications and cosmetics should be done regularly. Use this opportunity to remove everything that has passed its expiration date.
  2. Half-used toiletries – Use as many shampoos, conditioners, and similar items as possible before the move. Moving a mainly used shampoo bottle will probably cost more than buying a new set of toiletries after the move.
  3. Cleaning supplies – Use your cleaning supplies to clean the old home before you move out and throw everything away. It is more sanitary to move into a new home with a new mop, broom, toilet plunger, and similar items.
  4. Shabby towels, bath mats, and shower curtains – If these seem worn out and old, it’s better to throw them away and get a new set to match your new bathroom.
a stack of towels in a bathroom

Kids Room

  1. Worn out, old clothes – Get rid of everything that’s ripped or stained, but also the items that don’t fit anymore. If they are still in good condition, give them as hand-me-downs to family or friends.
  2. Unknown toy pieces or toys that miss pieces – Incomplete toys will probably not be played with, so it’s better to get rid of them before packing.
  3. Outgrown books and toys – If your kids are a bit older now and you don’t plan on having any young ones, get rid of items they are too big to play with. Make space for new items that suit their current interests and development.
a woman decluttering kids clothes


  1. Old clothes – Unless you created a capsule wardrobe and have only the essentials, there are probably items in your closet you need to part ways with. Anything you haven’t worn for over a year shouldn’t be among your clothes. Ripped, stained, and worn-out pieces simply need to go.
  2. Shabby shoes – Don’t keep shoes just because you have loved them for so long. If you have a new pair of sneakers, there’s a reason you don’t need the old ones.
  3. Out-of-style pieces – Indeed, trends do circle back to us, but you don’t need to keep everything that was trendy ten or more years ago. Keep statement pieces or items that have sentimental value only.


  1. Hobby items – If you like to try out new hobbies from time to time, you probably have different hobby-related clutter that’s eating your space. Ask yourself if you will do crafts, paint, or go fishing again and if that’s something you genuinely enjoy. If not, these supplies need to go.
  2. Garage items – Garages are usually full of clutter, as they tend to be storage spaces for most families. Get rid of old paint cans, expired chemicals, damaged equipment or tools, and, of course, any trash that might have lingered by. This will help you pack your garage more efficiently and pay less for its transport.
  3. Old linensBed sheets, covers, and pillowcases you haven’t used in years shouldn’t be on your moving inventory list. Donate them or use them to protect fragile items during transport. However, if you use professional packing services for your move, you don’t need to worry about the safety of your items.

Finally, after reviewing the list, you might wonder what to do with the items you no longer need. Well, you’ve got a couple of options here. If an item is in a bad condition, recycle it or throw It away. If it’s in good condition, though, there’s more than one solution. You can donate to the local charity center, give away to neighbors, family, or friends, or even sell items online or in a garage sale. Depending on the size of your household and the number of decluttered items, choose the most practical option and enjoy a fresh, clutter-free home.

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