What to Purge When Getting Ready to Move

Congratulations! You’re getting ready to move into a new place. It can be an exciting time, but it can also be a stressful time. Whether you’re moving into a new home or an apartment, across town or across the country, the anticipation of a fresh start can be overshadowed by the concern about “where to start.” Before you start collecting boxes, you’re going to have to decide what to purge. If you’re like most people, you’ve collected a lot of things over the years—many with the intention of using them again. Unfortunately, saved items often just end up taking up space until it comes time to move. By eliminating some of those unwanted items before your move, you’ll save time and money. You won’t need to pack and unpack them, and you won’t have to find a new place to store them. So now it’s time to de-clutter. Let’s look at some of the most common offenders:

Old Clothing, Shoes and Accessories

We’re all probably guilty of hanging onto clothes a little too long. While you may have a “lucky” pair of jeans that have some sentimental value, it’s more likely that you have a collection of clothes in varying sizes, styles and condition. You’ve probably got a number of mismatched or worn-out shoes too. It may be difficult to let go of old clothing, shoes and accessories, but the time spent cleaning out your closets and drawers before your move will help cut down on expensive shipping later. Consider giving slightly used wardrobe items to a donation site like The Salvation Army Thrift Store or Cash4Clothes Canada that pays you by the pound for bagged clothing in any condition. Anything that’s damaged, stained or older than five years should be sent to the trash. old appliances

Out-of-Date Electronics

Admit it, you’ve got an old flip phone, a couple of ancient desktop computers and a 19-inch tube-style TV lying around collecting dust. If so, you’re not alone. To keep up with ever-changing technology, we tend to set aside the old units with the hope of someday pulling off old photos to store on the cloud but never do. Even if you’ve extracted all the valuable data, it’s more and more difficult to find a facility that’s willing to take them off your hands. So, now is the time to clean house. If your electronics still work and are less than five years old, you can donate them to a Goodwill Donation Centre where they’ll use them to train staff members or refurbish for resale.

Magazines, Newspapers, Books

Remember when you couldn’t wait for your monthly issue of Reader’s Digest to appear in your mailbox or you spent hours poring through the fiction section of your local bookstore looking for the next best seller? Well, times have changed and now all our print news and entertainment has gone digital. But what can you do with all your old paperbacks and piles of newspapers? Recycle, donate or sell them but definitely don’t move them.

DVDs and CDs

You’ve probably got a collection of DVDs and CDs (any maybe a VHS tape or two) that has been collecting dust for years. It really is time to go through these old-time favourites and eliminate the ones you can stream online instead. You might even be able to make a few loonies by selling them to an online reseller like eBay, Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace or at a garage sale.

Old Paint and Stain Cans

You’ll be surprised just how many half-used cans of paint you have stored in your basement or shed. You’ve probably kept them for future touch-ups or as a reminder of the custom mix you used on your deck, but it’s time to clean house. Your mover won’t move them and you won’t have any need for them at your new place. As these are considered hazardous, you’ll need to safely dispose of paint and stain cans at an appropriate drop-off site.

Related Article

7 Top Tips for Hiring a Quality Mover

Unused Toys and Games

If you’re like most Canadian families with children, your house is probably overflowing with toys and games. It may seem as if every holiday and birthday brings an abundance of new playthings, leaving the old ones to clutter your home. If this sounds like your home and you’ve got unwanted children’s toys, you’ll want to tackle this project soon. There are plenty of families in need, so consider donating your excess toys to a local charity or church group.

Expired Spices and Canned Goods

When was the last time you checked the expiration dates on your spices or canned goods? Old spices lose their potency and flavour after just a few months, and while canned goods have a much longer shelf life, using them after their expiration date can cause serious illness. You’ll save a lot of packing space by tossing the outdated products now, and you’ll be able to make room at your new place for fresh, flavourful ingredients for your first home-cooked meal.

Worn or Unused Furniture

While you may have finally “broken in” your favourite chair or sofa, you’re going to want to start fresh with some new pieces once you get to your new home or apartment. Save on moving these worn-out furnishings by selling or giving them away. Check with your local Habitat for Humanity or other non-profit organization or hold a garage sale to sell off those items that are still in reasonable condition.

Old Toiletry Products

Have you checked your vanity drawers and linen closet lately? Do you have an unusually large collection of miniature bottles of shampoo, lotion and soap from previous hotel stays? We all do it—those “free” samples are just too good to leave behind, so after years of vacations, we find ourselves with an overflowing supply. It’s time to part ways with most of these “freebies” by throwing them out.

Unimportant Documents and Receipts

Is your filing cabinet overflowing with manuals for items you no longer own or receipts for things you can no longer return? How about all those saved birthday cards and thank you notes? Now is an excellent time to purge these documents. To save some time, resist the urge to reminisce over that receipt for the artificial Christmas tree you bought 20 years ago. Properly dispose of documents you no longer need (shredding those items with personal information on them) and scanning copies of paperwork you still need. Always make sure to keep important legal documents and tax returns in a safe place for transporting yourself to your new home.

Extra Coffee Mugs

Have you ever noticed how you tend to use the same one or two coffee mugs each morning and yet you have a huge collection of mismatched souvenir mugs from every vacation you ever took? It’s time for a fresh start by throwing out the old, chipped mugs or donating the “good ones” to a local charity. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get new ones on your next vacation.


Once you’ve disposed of all your unused, outdated and unnecessary household items, you’ll want to start planning your move. Contact MyMovers Toronto today to schedule your on-site consultation and estimate. Happy Moving!