TIP

The Urge to Purge

Here are some helpful hints for making sense of the mess before you move.

Sort it Out

Moving can be stressful and the temptation is to throw everything into boxes and sort it out in your new space. But why pay to move items you’ll just be throwing away later? Set aside some time before you begin packing to do a thorough top-to-bottom house cleaning. As you go through every item in your house, from family photos to old clothes, ask yourself which category it goes into: Keep, Consolidate, Donate, Recycle or Toss.

What to Do

As you go through your things, try to imagine where each item will live in your new place.

Here are some sorting recommendations:

KEEP:

  • personal correspondence
  • tax returns
    for the past 6 years
  • family photos
  • journals
  • family photos
  • kids drawings/art
  • health records
  • bank/credit card statements
    from the past 3 years

CONSOLIDATE:

  • datebooks and daily planners
    that have birthdays or other important dates to remember; buy a new datebook and keep all your important dates in one place
  • address book & passwords
    you might already keep these in one place, but if not, now is a good time
    to start!
  • shoes
    do you need 4 pairs of jogging shoes?
  • clothes
    have you worn it in the past year or two? If not… donate it.
  • toys
    let’s face it, some gifts miss the mark— if it doesn’t bring joy, it’s a burden
  • books
    some are old friends you’ll want to keep around, but if you’ll never read it again… donate it.
  • unused items
    do you use that panini press, or the old grill you used before you got the new one?
  • papers
    if it isn’t important, don’t keep it but be sure to shred anything with your personal info like your social security number, or bank account numbers

DONATE:

  • old clothes
  • eyeglasses
  • computers
  • electronics
  • toys
  • books
  • unused items
  • furniturethat is too big or expensive to move

RECYCLE:

  • junk mail
  • old magazines and newspapers
  • old clothes
    you could use as rags

TOSS:

  • old medicines
  • expired food items
  • broken tools or appliances
  • clothes
    that are stained, torn, or worn out

Some prefer to set aside a weekend and do it all at once, while others prefer to do a little each evening.