Timothy Harris

Moving can unearth some long-forgotten belongings. That Christmas sweater from your aunt, your high school yearbook, old photo albums, your homemade barbecue sauce recipe and an assortment of other items will make their way back into your life. It can be tricky to figure out what stays and what goes.

As a part of your "moving checklist" you should consider donating some of the following specific items instead of throwing them out.

1. Your clothes

Many people picture moving as a "fresh start" and throw out much of their existing wardrobe. These can be items that don't fit, that you don't like to wear or that are no longer in style.

There's no reason to keep dragging any unwanted clothing items from house to house. Donate them.

2. Food items

So you clearly weren't going to try and move your food items to your new place, right? Then what do you do with them?

You could consider giving unopened food to your neighbors. You could also have a little fun and host a dinner party themed around the hodgepodge of items you have left in your pantry and refrigerator. This could even be a contest!

If you don't have the time or willingness to do that, food could be donated to a local food bank. Move For Hunger is a 501(c)3 organization that could help you do just that. The organization works with relocation companies to collect non-perishable food items and deliver them to food banks all across North America.

3. Unused kitchen appliances

We all have them — those kitchen appliances that we just knew we'd use daily but that have stayed in our cabinets, in the back, for three years now. Maybe you got caught up in the juicing craze of 2014 or maybe you thought you'd grow to be a die-hard panini-er. Regardless, you aren't alone.

But, you should really take moving as an opportunity to get rid of some of those unused appliances. Gift them to your friends. They don't need them, but they won't accept that reality for at least a few more years.

4. Your books

Books are items that take up a lot of space, are heavy and accumulate easily. When they're a dollar each at the swap meet, it's easy to have a stockpile after years of living in the same place.

If you've read it or aren't interested in reading it, give it away or donate it. There are also multiple options for donating books including to libraries and veteran's groups.

5. Coffee mugs

We all have so many coffee mugs. Mugs are given as gifts and as business giveaways. Whatever the reason, many of us seem to amass a ridiculous amount of them – mostly mismatched and branded with things that don't even interest us.

Purging coffee mugs from your cupboards before moving can make the whole process easier.

6. Children's toys

If you have children, then you're no stranger to the amount of clutter that toys can account for. Moving doesn't change anything about that clutter. Getting rid of children's toys that are not in use will make your move much more pleasant – and unpacking a lot less overwhelming.

Toys that your children have outgrown or do not play with can be donated to local children's charities or church groups. You can also give items like this away for free on Craigslist.

7. Unnecessary and duplicate tools

You might be apprehensive to get rid of tools right before a big move, but hear us out on this one. You probably have multiple duplicates of the same kind of tool and, if you look hard enough, you probably also have tools you don't ever use.

If you find tools you'd like to give away, Habitat for Humanity's ReStore project is a great place to donate them. ReStores are reuse-based home goods stores where the profits go to supporting the efforts of Habitat for Humanity. They'll accept new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more.

8. CDs and DVDs

There was once a time when an impressive CD or DVD collection was something to be very proud of. Today, digital media has made these mediums nearly obsolete. There's really no reason to physically own so much audio and video that's readily available online.

If you have a huge collection, sort through it and identify those CDs and DVDs that can go. If your friends want them, that's great. If not, you can always donate them. You don't have to get rid of your entire collection if you're feeling apprehensive, but slimming the number down at least a little will help make your move easier.

Make your move work for you

Moving is not something that would be, by definition, "easy." But, you can take action to make it easier for you. By taking some simple steps to declutter before you move, you're setting yourself up for success in the long run.

Take a look around your apartment and see what you can find that doesn't need to come along on the move with you. The more you're able to get rid of, the faster you'll be able to check off that moving checklist.

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About The Author

Timothy Harris

Timothy Harris is a freelance writer based in Albuquerque. He brings a professional background in event marketing, residential real estate and journalism to the table to provide useful and relevant content for the modern renter. Timothy has previously written content for Karsten & Associates in New Mexico and Up 'til Dawn, a philanthropic fundraiser that benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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