Bay Realty Blog: 10 Things to Dump Before You Move

10 Things to Dump Before You Move

Even if you are not moving this is a great post to follow! Lise Howe has laid out some great tips to helpmake a fresh start!

A new home means a fresh start: new paint, a new bedroom, even a fresh take on arranging your old furniture.

But your new space won’t feel so wonderful if it’s weighed down with junk you didn’t bother ditching during the move. Now’s the time to purge your home—from the magazines hiding under the sofa to the toys that your children haven't played with for thierty years. 

Pick up each item in your home as you are packing, and ask yourself, ‘Why do I have this item? What does this item do for me?"

There are a lot of things you should toss or donate before packing up the truck. But here are nine of the most common offenders.

1. Old towels and linens

When’s the last time you bought new towels? If it’s the last time you moved, turn those suckers into rags and buy something new. After years of use and hundreds of washings, there’s no denying your fluffy bath towels have lost some of their plushness.

Ditch old bed sheets, too. Fitted sheets lose their elasticity over time, and exposure to sweat and oil can cause unpleasant stains.  Your gently used towels and sheets are welcomed at local pet shelters.  Then you would get a justification for new linens - and a tax deduction! 

2. Your juicer

It was a nice thought, but... c'mon.It was a nice thought, but when was the last time you actually used it? 


I have lots of  goals. Long walks with my poodle three times a week.  Starting each morning with a glass of cold juice pressed from spinach, kale, ginger, and pineapple.  But those goals seem to run away in the face of day to day pressures! 

Don’t give up on your goals —but if you’ve tried to make a change and found it didn’t work with your lifestyle, don’t hang on to the reminders. Assess your achievements at moving time, and donate everything that didn’t work out. At least you’ll have room for your next wild aspiration. Perhaps a set of dumbbells? A pasta maker? 

3. Unworn clothes

Organizing a closet before a move should be simple. A keep pile, a toss pile, and a donate pile—right? But what about  those jeans that I held onto just in case I finally lose 15 pounds. Or a dress tucked deep in my closet in I am invited to the White House.

Really analzye the clothing you’re keeping “just in case,” which take up precious room in your closet. And even if you do lose the weight, or get an invitation to an inagural ball, you can always buy (or rent) something new.  Isn't that what Rent the Runway is for after all? 

4. Duplicates and souvenirs

Clutter accrues in the strangest places—like your mug tree or your dining hutch. You might have started out with two novelty mugs, but now you own a coffee cup from every place you’ve visited. 

Look for duplicates throughout your kitchen. Do you really need three bread pans? Or more than one cake platter? Only hold on to the things you have a place for in the new kitchen!


5. Collections you’ve outgrown

snow globe collectionLet it go, let it go, let it go…


One day, a long time ago and a few galaxies too, you told your mother you liked unicorns. You were 8.

Your next birthday: an unicorn necklace. Your graduation gift: a porcelain unicorn. Your housewarming gift from your best friend: a Cluny tapestry pillow.

It’s too late to convince family and friends that you have moved beyond unicorns, but it’s not too late to cull your collection.  Your friends can find a new theme for their gifts! 

6. Cosmetics and toiletries

Before you move, get rid of all those half-used products hiding under your bathroom sink.  Make sure to toss the nail polish which only has a shelf life of two years.  Face it, you’ll likely never finish a bottle before the polish gets gloppy and hard to apply.

Cosmetics don't last for ever either.  Some experts say you should replace your favorite mascara every three months. Otherwise, you may be exposing your eyes to contaminants and air particles.

7. Space fillers

When you move into a new home that is bigger than the last one, there is a temptation to buy stuff just to fill the emptiness. You end up with unmatched side tables, a TV stand three shades darker than the rest of your furniture, or cutesie wall art with messages that don't work any more.

Your next home doesn’t need to be a blank slate, but this is the time to get rid of all that stuff that doesn't really speak to you or match your new lifestyle. And next time, buy slowly and really think about what you want before draining your checking account.

8. Cords and cables

You don’t know how it happened, but suddenly you have 34 micro-USB cables and seven random charging cables that belong to electronics that stopped working three years ago.  I still have my Palm charger somewhere in my desk!

Save yourself from future headaches, and get rid of duplicates now—as well as anything that doesn’t have electronics to go with it.  

9. Paperwork

Go through all your old paperwork, setting aside the paperwork you should keep (tax records, closing documents, recent bank statements) and ditching everything that’s  no longer needed —like old insurance policies. Create a filing system you’ll stick to, since that paperwork’s gonna keep coming, and promise yourself you’ll go through it once a year. 


10. Books and Magazines

Do you know how heavy books and magazines are to move? Get some boxes from the greengrocer section of your local Giant and thin out your collection of books. Take them to the library or a nursing home.  Throw the magazines into the paper recycling bin! Anything in those magazines is online - get rid of them! 


If you are looking for a home in the DC metro area, you know there is more to the process than just picking a property and making an offer. You need to find the best location for your wants and needs, get a great price, and work with a lender who will make your life easier - not harder.  Trust your search with a Realtor who is licensed in DC, MD and VA and really knows the city and all its secret neighborhoods.

Start your search with the Lise Howe Group, Washington Natives who love the city and all its quirkiness! If you are moving or relocating to Washington DC, be sure to ask for our relocation guide. Call us at 240-401-5577 to schedule an appointment or email us at  Too excited to wait to talk to us about a great home? Just click here to start that home search.

If you want to see what is for sale in Washington DC, Chevy Chase and Bethesda, check out these links below:

Bethesda Condos for Sale

Chevy Chase Condos for Sale

Bethesda Single Family Luxury Homes


Chevy Chase Single Family Luxury Homes

Luxury Single Family Washington DC Homes

Washington DC Single Family Homes Under $1 Million


Washington DC Condos


Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties
240-401-5577 (24 hour direct)
Licensed in DC, MD, and VA
Associate Broker, GRI, ABR, CRS
The Lise Howe Group
Howe Real Estate Should Be!




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Comment balloon 12 commentsDebra Leisek • November 04 2016 12:57AM


thank you so much for the repost - I hope that you have a lot of comments! and may your spring cleaning start in November! LOL

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 3 years ago

Excellent article, Lise


Make it a Baker's Dozen


11. Old phone books. Recycle them.


12. Old paint cans. Are you really considering repainting with them. Keep the magic formula for the color mixand a list of the rooms wehere you used it.


13. Ancient financial records. Do you expect to be audited over a dispute over the basis for a stock you bought 10 years ago?


********** and one to grow on ***********************

14. Retire your old "yardwork" or "cleaning the garage rags and clothes". Idf you wouldn't be caught dead in them, get rid of them.





Posted by Lee Marlin, ATL Metro 404.384.2274 - Luxury/Divorce/ShortSales (First United Realty of Georgia) over 3 years ago

Debra Leisek Whew! I am relieved that Lise Howe did not advise us to dump our guns! Never know when you'll need one!

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc.) over 3 years ago

All good additions Lee Marlin  Thank you!

Yes we need gun just to fish up here! cant dump those!  Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386  Thank you!

Posted by Debra Leisek ( Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska) over 3 years ago

Lee Marlin - those were all excellent suggestions which I will certainly remember!

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 3 years ago

Hello Debra

Great repost and I got a laugh out of Norm's comment, what a hoot he is

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz over 3 years ago

That would have been going to far Lise Howe   and Robert Vegas Bob Swetz knos we have to have a gun to fish halibut up here! right AK Bob!

Posted by Debra Leisek ( Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska) over 3 years ago

Of course Debra and also to protect ourselves from wild animals while hiking, and survival should we get lost

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz over 3 years ago

That's a helpful list for those moving!  I'm sitting here thinking I have lived in my home too long (35 years).  I need to dump some stuff!

CONGRATULATIONS on having this blog featured in the "FEATHER NESTERS" group!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 3 years ago

Hi Debra... great topic for a reblog. I remember reading it when Lise first posted. But this is a subject that needs to be repeated again and again. People are so overwhelmed when they need to move with deciding what to keep and what to toss.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) over 3 years ago

I love the post. Thank you for reblogging. I hope others will read it too.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 3 years ago

Excellent list, we do need to take a close look at the cost of moving each item and determine if it is work taking it with.

Posted by Bob Crane, Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671 (Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities) over 3 years ago

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