Cute dog sticking its head out of a cardboard box
Moving? 10 Things to Toss Before You Pack

Moving to a new home can be exciting, but no matter how you unpack it, it’s also an exhausting affair. Do yourself a big favor and donate or toss items that don’t deserve to make the trip. Boxes that haven’t been opened since your last move? Probably not much in there that you need. 

I’ve got a list of 10 things to add to the garage sale, to drop at the donation center, or simply chuck in the bin. Getting yourself and your family organized ahead of time makes the whole move a much more enjoyable affair.

1. Old Toys

There may be a few special items that are worth keeping, but generally old plastic toys, stuffies or children’s games don’t need to make the move. If they are in good shape, drop them off at a donation center. Many schools or daycare centers are often in need of toys and games, as well, and would welcome your gently used items. 

2. Old Paint

Paint is a hazardous material and cannot just be tossed in the trash. Find a collection center that will take and dispose of it properly. Alternatively, Habitat for Humanity or PaintCare may be able to reuse or recycle your leftovers.

3. Bath Products

It’s common for half-used shampoos, lotions and beauty products to become lost in the back of bathroom cabinets, and these items have a shelf life. Toss out old products before you start packing. 

4. Old Medication

Prescription medications that have expired or that you no longer need should be disposed of properly. Tossing old pills in the trash is often not the safest or best way to discard of them, and flushing may contaminate the water supply. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy has an online tool to help you find a disposal location and offers additional disposal tips.  

5. Clothes You Haven’t Worn In Years

Cleaning out your closet can be a daunting task, especially if you haven’t done it in a while. But there’s no sense in taking clothes with you that you haven’t worn in years. Pop them into a bag, along with any old shoes that you don’t want, and drop it at a nearby donation center. 

6. Books / Cookbooks

The last time we moved, I realized I had a dozen cookbooks that I never used. I brought them with me on a girls’ night out for my friends to peruse and add to their collection, and donated the ones that my friends opted to leave behind. Take stock of the other books on your shelf, as well. You probably have lots of paperbacks you won’t ever reread, or books that you started and just couldn’t get into. Many libraries have donation programs for used books.

7. DVDs and CDs

We carried around my husband’s collection of CDs for years before we finally got rid of them. We also had quite the collection of Disney DVDs from when the kids were little. An easy test- if you don’t even have the equipment to play them anymore, it’s time to let them go. Don’t just toss CDs and DVDS in the trash, however, as they take years and years to break down, and can leach harmful chemicals into the environment. This site will help you pinpoint a recycling center in your area to dispose of CDs and a variety of other items.

8. Electronics

Old electronics that you don’t use anymore probably don’t have a place in your new home. If they still work, you can sell them or donate them, or find a recycling center that will accept them. 

9. Pillows 

Your new house deserves fresh pillows. Old lumpy pillows, especially ones that are stained, should be tossed. You may want new throw pillows, as well, if your current ones are worn or tattered.

10. Kitchen Gadgets

The last time I moved, I realized how many kitchen gadgets that I had and never, ever used. Not to mention the duplicates. How many can openers does a household need? Pop them in a bag and take them to the donation center. 

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