cleaning · declutter · lifestyle · Organization · packing

What to declutter before you move

What’s the point of packing up things you don’t need when moving to another home?

I didn’t think it’s a big deal every time we moved to a new place. I always thought that I would just sort through the things while I was unpacking which would make it easier and give me more time.

All I ended up doing was placing the items into the cupboards with the rest of our belongings because I felt pressed for time to finish unpacking as quickly as I could and be done with it.

Didn’t really solve my clutter problem now, did it?

I just continued hoarding and coming up with excuses about why I was keeping everything and reassuring myself that I would need them all at some point. Even though some of the things I hadn’t touched in more than a year.  The clutter just travelled with us each time we moved.

I call it clutter because that’s exactly what it was. Furniture and other household items that tagged along but had very little use to us. Either I already had doubles of things or I forgot that I even owed the items. How do you forget about what you own? Easy. You shove it into a cupboard where you put all things needing storage and you forget about it. When you’re getting ready to move and sift through that cupboard, “Wow, I forgot I had that. I can use it for x and y.” It goes in a box, then in a new cupboard and it’s forgotten again. 

I’m sure you’ll find items in your home as well that you’ve forgotten about, and this will all make sense. 

I’ve struggled with clutter for many many years. I have a hard time letting things go. There’s always some or other excuse going through my mind about why I shouldn’t give/throw something away. Which resulted in a cluttered environment in every room. Yes, I said it – in every room. You could walk into any part of our house and spot it immediately. 

It made cleaning more difficult as things weren’t in their right place and I had to move a lot of things around to clean around it which made my time management absolutely impossible. I spent more time moving the clutter around than actually cleaning.

It caused tensions between Hubby Byren and I as he would come home to a half-cleaned house and I had no real reason as to why it was so, apart from my kids taking up lots of my time.

I did things a little differently with the last move we did. Even though I had little time to complete the packing before move day, I incorporated the decluttering into the process. We were moving to a new home and I wanted to leave all things we didn’t need anymore behind.

That’s not to say that a couple of things didn’t sneak through with the packing, I’ll admit. There were a couple I was hoping I would find use for again. Instead, they went into the let go pile a few weeks again when I took up decluttering our home a bit after a few months.

If you’re unsure of what you should declutter before moving, I’ve put together a list to give you some ideas and help jolt our memory about items you may forgotten about that you might not need anymore.

I’ve created rules for myself around decluttering, and one of them is if you haven’t used or needed something in six months, you don’t really need it. There are also other rules I blogged about regarding decluttering that I’ve been trying my best to keep implementing.

I’ve sorted the categories by room to make it easier for you focus on specific areas.


  • Old utensils
  • Chipped glasses, cups and plates
  • Containers without kids
  • Broken kitchen appliances
  • Cookware
  • Bakeware
  • Old spices
  • Expired food in fridge
  • Expired food in pantry
  • Outdated frozen food
  • Take-out menus you don’t use
  • Old or stained dish cloths
  • Cookbooks

Living Room

  • Old DVDs
  • Old CDs
  • Old PC games
  • Puzzles missing pieces
  • Games missing pieces
  • Remote controls that don’t work anymore
  • Old throw pillows 


  • Old or stained towels
  • Old/expired toiletries
  • Skin products 
  • Hair products


  • Toys not played with
  • Broken toys
  • Clothes too small
  • Torn or stained clothes
  • Old or broken shoes
  • Shoes that are too small
  • Socks without pairs
  • Old bedding
  • Old pillows
  • Baby things you won’t need
  • Small baby clothes


  • Clothes too small
  • Clothes you haven’t worn in a year
  • Torn or stained clothes
  • Old or broken shoes
  • Shoes that are too small
  • Socks without pairs
  • Old bedding
  • Old pillows
  • Stockings that have ladders
  • Scarves
  • Headbands
  • Handbags
  • Purses and wallets
  • Old make-up
  • Make-up brushes
  • Dried up nail polish
  • Jewelry


  • Expired medication
  • Used tea light candles
  • Old wrapping paper
  • Old tissue paper
  • Gift bags
  • Greeting cards
  • Used batteries
  • Broken Christmas decorations
  • Stationary
  • Notebooks
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Spam mail
  • Letters
  • Old papers
  • Expired coupons
  • Unneeded receipts
  • Business cards
  • Old calendars
  • Old planners
  • Manuals (can view online)
  • Duplicates of anything
  • Half finished craft projects

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