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Let It Go: 10 Things to Ditch Before the Moving Truck Arrives

Everyone has too much stuff, and that becomes super clear when it’s time to start packing for a move. Do you really need 17 frayed bath towels, or a drawerful of expired antibiotics? Take a hard look at your old or [cringe!] still-new-but-never-used belongings and you’ll find plenty of things to sell, donate, recycle or trash — anything but stick in a box headed to your new home! Consider saying “buh-bye” to these items:


1. Old Paint

The colors are dated, the buckets are half full and — admit it — you have no intention of using any of it again. Donate leftover latex paint that’s still in good shape (not lumpy or dry) to a local school or charity, such as Habitat for Humanity; take oil-based paint to an authorized disposal facility in your area.


2. Tired Pots and Pans

Has Aunt Rhoda’s hand-me-down cookware seen better days? If it’s scorched, scratched or dented, recycle it; for nonstick pans, consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for disposal (some coatings can’t be recycled). Either way, cross one heavy box off your list!


3. Toilet Brush

The only place this germy, bacteria-laden cleaning tool belongs is in the garbage. Spring for a new brush in your new bathroom.


4. Expired Medications

Think of them like milk: Once they’re past their freshness date, old meds lose their potency and may become chemically altered. That’s why you need to get rid of them. But you shouldn’t automatically flush them down the toilet, which may compromise the water supply; instead, follow the Food and Drug Administration’s disposal guidelines.


5. Unused Gifts

Maybe it’s owl-emblazoned napkin rings, a bamboo steamer or a neon plaid tablecloth—if you received it for your wedding (or your last housewarming party) and still haven’t opened it, it’s ready for the sell or donate pile.


6. Coffee Mugs and Souvenir Cups

Yes, you are the “World’s Greatest Napper,” and that visit to “Alcatraz, 2006” was certainly memorable, but if too many souvenir mugs or plastic cups are crowding your cabinets, it’s time to edit your collection. Pick six of your favorites, and recycle the rest.


7. Plastic Takeout Containers

No judgment here about your eating habits, but if you’ve got enough containers to start your own restaurant, it’s time to head to the recycle bin with every last one of these beauties.


8. Anything That Doesn’t Fit

Sadly, moving closets won’t magically make that little black dress from college fit again. Don’t bother moving ill-fitting clothes or anything you haven’t worn in the past 6 months; direct them straight to the “donate” box instead.


9. Vases

Lucky you: Every birthday and Valentine’s Day, someone sends you flowers in a vase. If the containers are cheap glass or plastic, march them to the “donate” pile before the next delivery arrives.


10. Linens

Give your worn-out towels and sheets a second life by dropping them off at your local animal shelter, which will use them to care for abandoned dogs and cats. While you’re at it, assess your bed-pillow collection. If any pillow isn’t worthy of your head resting on it at night, it’s not worthy of your overnight guests’, either!

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