couple cleaning out clutter in garage

If you're like most Americans, you probably have way too much stuff in your house. Besides storing items in their living quarters, people often use their attics, basements, and garages as storage areas. An overabundance of belongings can be especially problematic when it's time to relocate. Here are three basic steps to take, regarding what to do with household items you no longer want or need.

1. Learn to Identify Clutter

The first step is determining what to keep and what not to keep or what is clutter. Go through every item you're considering discarding, and ask yourself if you've used it during the past year. If not, then you probably don't want or need it anymore. Thus, the item needs to be either thrown out or donated. There are several red flags that can suggest clutter, so ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the item something you needed in the past but is no longer useful? If so, it's clutter.
  • Do you have too many items of the same kind? Then, it's time to get rid of the duplicates.
  • Have you lost your love or need for the item?
  • Is there not enough room in your home to keep the item? 

2. Sell or Donate Your Items

If your items are still in good condition, and you need to make some extra cash, why not sell them. For example:

  • Consider having a yard sale.
  • In addition to listing them in newspaper classifieds, take advantage of online classifieds.
  • Advertise your items on Craigslist, Amazon or eBay.
  • Another idea is donating them because this is an ideal way to help others.
  • Look for drop-off boxes in your community.
  • Besides dropping your stuff off at thrift stores, contact fire departments, shelters, and local churches to see if they could use your donations.
  • Often, animal shelters are looking for donations, such as leashes, cat litter, litter boxes, blankets, animal shampoo and even old newspapers for lining crates. 

3. Throw Out Useless Items

Of course, you'll have some things that are defective that no one else wants. You certainly don't want to pay to move items that are worn out or considered junk to your new home. There are several ways to get rid of them.

  • Toss them out in your regular garbage.
  • Rent a dumpster for larger items. 
  • If you have recyclable items, find out where you can drop them off at a local recycling center. 
  • For questionable items, such as old laptops and other electronics, visit where you simply enter your zip code to find a local drop-off location.

Other Considerations and Warnings

  • Don't wait until it's time to move to declutter. Rather than letting your clutter accumulate, decide to declutter each day. One suggestion is going through your house for 20 minutes every day to pick up items you no longer need.
  • Have two trash bags: one for throwaways and one for donations. Don't stop too long to rethink your decision to get rid of something. Chances are, you'll keep it, which doesn't accomplish your goal for decluttering.
  • In addition to causing frustration, overcrowded drawers and closets can slow you down.
  • When going through your kitchen cabinets and bathroom drawers, look for expired products and toss them.
  • Get rid of and shred useless documents and other paperwork that you no longer need.
  • Throw away old greeting cards.
  • If you tend to be sentimental and keep dead dried flowers, consider how they can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, bugs and other pests that can be health hazards for you and your family. Therefore, as soon as flowers start drying out and wilting, toss them.
  • Get rid of old makeup, underwear, and socks with holes, defective pens, old toothbrushes, and other useless items stuffed in drawers.

The Bottom Line

  • The more stuff you move into your new home, the more your moving bill will be.
  • Besides being cheaper, fewer items to move means less to pack. 

When it is time to relocate, you can depend on the highly trained and experienced moving professionals at Solomon & Sons Relocation. Our full service moving company, based in South Florida, can guide you through every step of your move, taking the stress out of moving.  Please contact us for a free quote.