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To Pack or Not To Pack, That’s the Question

Posted in Packing on Oct 05, 2015, tagged with decluttering, household goods

One of the most fun parts of moving is reliving the memories associated with the objects you encounter while you back. With these memories fresh in your mind, deciding whether to keep or toss a particular item can also be one of the hardest things you'll have to do while your moving. Trouble is, you know it's time to move on and get rid of it, but part of you (the nostalgic, sentimental part) just can't let it go. Whether it’s finding a new life for the things you cherish (but don’t have space for), or simply trashing something because it was only precious to you, now is the time to finally downsize those objects that you once loved. 

Here is a quick and easy series of questions to help you determine if you should keep it, toss it or find it a new home.

1. Can it be used in your new home?

Be honest. Do you have a place where it will be visible or useful, or will you just put it back into storage? 

DECLUTTERING TIP: It's okay to hang on to some sentimental items that don't have a practical use—just think critically about each item you want to keep, and try to limit the number of things you keep "just because".

2. Is it able to be used in your new home?

If you have lake toys or outdoor furniture but your new home isn’t near the water or doesn’t have a patio, it might be time to sell it to someone local since you won’t be able to use it anymore. Same goes for any broken or damaged items, and outdated electronics like your 80s-era video game consoles or your staticky tube TV. 

If your new home is smaller than your current one, you'll have to put some serious thought into what larger pieces to keep and what ones to toss. Start with bulky furniture that's worn, dated, clunky, or just doesn't suit your tastes. 

3. Is it age appropriate?

Your DJing equipment may have been cool in college, and those toys your little ones played with when they were small are adorable, but as you become an adult and your kids grow up, it’s time to let those things go.

DECLUTTERING TIP: Kids toys and other paraphernalia are hot ticket items at garage sales (as long as they are clean and in good condition). 

4. When was the last time you used it?

It may be something you “will use”, but how long has it been since you actually used it? 

DECLUTTERING TIP: Follow the "One Year Rule". If it’s been over a year since you last used or wore an item, it may be time to move on—especially if you're debating an article of clothing.

5. Are there similar things on eBay?

A great way to tell if you should sell or throw something out is if people are selling the same or similar items on eBay. Whether you sell online or at a garage sale, if people are bidding on similar objects, it may have value and can go to a good home. Craigslist can be another good resource, but you won’t be able to see how many people are actually interested.

6. Do you have duplicates?

If you discover during your packing and decluttering process that you've somehow accumulated duplicates (or even—gasp—triplicates) of the same item, keep one and sell, donate, or recycle the rest. 

What to do with your "toss" pile

Take a look at everything you've decided you no longer need and divide it into three piles:

  1. Sell: Items that are in good condition can be sold at a garage sale, or on websites like Craiglist or Facebook Marketplace. Set a deadline, and if the item doesn't sell, donate or recycle it. 
  2. Donate: Anything that isn't worth selling, but is still in good enough condition to wear or use, can be donated.
  3. Recycle: Take anything that's damaged, worn out, or otherwise unusable to your local dump or recycling place. Make sure you wipe any personal information from electronic devices, and recycle these items at a special electronics recycling center. 


Asking yourself the questions above make make it easier to figure out if you should keep, sell, or throw out the things you once loved, but might have finally outgrown. Letting go of the things you love can be difficult, and figuring out if you should sell it or keep it can be just as tricky, but shipping your items can be easy if you let an expert shipping company handle it. Give us a call at 800-626-1257 or use our shipping weight calculator and get a free shipping quote.