Keep it or Toss it: Here’s How to Decide

by Dusty Rhodes on May 14, 2021  in 
  • Organization
  • Long Distance Move
  • affordable moving


One of the hardest parts of moving is the packing process. It’s quite an undertaking to pack up everything you own and move it to a new house. That’s why it’s important to simplify the process by only taking those items you really need. Packing broken, unused, or unwanted items is a waste of precious time...something you need plenty of when you are moving! For this reason, it is always a good idea to sort through and declutter your belongings before moving.


For many people, however, the process of decluttering can be difficult. Deciding what to keep and what to get rid of is not always easy. No one wants to live in clutter, but you also don’t want to discover that you need something a month after you got rid of it. Furthermore, many people find that they are emotionally attached to some items which can make it even harder for them to get rid of things. A big part of the organizing process is being objective about whether or not you really need each item. As you prepare to sort through your belongings, consider these tips for deciding which items to keep and which ones to toss.

How Often Do You Use the Item?

As you come across items that you are unsure about, ask yourself this important question; “How often do I actually use this item?” If you haven’t used the item in the past year, this item should automatically go. Unless, for example, it happens to be something like a baby swing that you plan to use in the future for another child. Otherwise, there is no sense in hanging on to things you clearly don’t use. Even seasonal items including decorations, outdoor tools, lawn equipment, and sporting goods should be used from time to time. If you truly haven’t used the item in quite some time, that’s a good indication that you don’t really need it.


On the contrary, if the item is something you use daily, consider the condition of the item. Perhaps it’s time to toss your current item and start fresh with something new. For example, your toaster might be a commonly used item but if you’ve had the same toaster for several years, now might be a good time to freshen things up and replace it. Not only is moving a good time to get rid of things you don’t need, but it’s also a great time to replace and refresh some of those items you use all the time.

Is the Item Valuable?

Sometimes deciding whether or not to move an item can depend on its financial value. Certain items such as antiques, artwork, collectibles, pianos, and certain electronics can be worth a great deal of money so it’s worth considering their value. These items should go to your new home, unless you don’t want them anymore. In that case, you should consider selling the item.


Other items might not hold financial value, but they hold sentimental value. Items with great sentimental value might include family heirlooms, photographs, or other keepsakes that you feel emotionally attached to. These items would be considered irreplaceable that you would want to hold onto, no matter what. Keep in mind, however, that you don’t need to keep every item from the past. For example, you might keep a few of your children’s drawings and artwork but you don’t necessarily need to keep every picture they ever made. A great way to remember those things without actually taking them with you is to take pictures of special notes and drawings and save those pictures on your computer.

How Far Are You Moving?

This is very important to consider when deciding whether or not to keep or toss items. If you are moving locally, chances are you can take most of your belongings with you. If you are moving long distance, however, you are probably going to want to keep your packed belongings to a minimum. That’s because it just isn’t worth the hassle or the money to move everything you own. It can be very expensive to move an entire house a great distance so it’s definitely more cost effective and efficient to declutter and minimize your belongings if you are moving long distance.

Will It Fit In My New House?

Finally, you want to think about how much space you will have in your new house and whether or not you actually have room for everything you plan to bring. Perhaps you are downsizing or moving to a house with less storage. You also need to  think about the layout of your new home and whether or not your furniture will fit. If you have large items or several items that are definitely worth keeping, you could always invest in a storage unit for additional space. Otherwise, it might be time to think about reducing the number of items you pack. If you have items that you know you won’t have space for, now is the perfect time to sell them to make a little extra cash.


Dusty Rhodes