WHAT TO TOSS AND WHAT TO KEEP.
Updated: Apr 4, 2019
When Your Scaling Down to Tiny House Living.
WHAT TO TOSS AND WHAT TO KEEP.
Moving is a huge hassle. I would know, In the last ten years I've had ten addresses in two states. With all those moves under my belt, I've long since learned to scale back on my possessions. However, most recently I've lived in my current residence for two years, a long stretch for me. So I've accumulated a few things. Moving across the street is tiresome, moving across the country exhausting. Moving cross country to a home that's a fraction the size of our current house. I don't even have words for it. Add in the time frame of a two week turn around and I'm all wiped out before I've even started the thirteen hour drive from Eastvale CA, to Durango CO.
Hopefully however, if your in a similar situation this list can help keep you from some of the pitfalls of moving. If you're scaling down, it's time to purge! Here are ninety things to cut out of your life when moving.
Why you need to get rid of stuff...
Even if your not switching from conventional living to tiny living a move is a good reason to cut down on some of that clutter. Need another reason, here's a few:
A Sense of Freedom. The less time you spend managing all your stuff and your household, the more time you
have for managing free time and fun time. Focus on what's important: spending time with people!
Energy. Holding onto things takes up energy. Emotional energy (that’s why it's called baggage – it’s heavy!)
Getting rid of things makes space in your life for more living. If you don’t believe me? Take a carload of
stuff to Goodwill and tell me you don’t feel better afterwards.
Give New Life to Old Things. If it’s got a layer of dust on it, you haven’t used it recently. If you haven't used it in
the last year, get rid of it. If it's still got life in it, someone else will get lots of use out of it. It’s truly sad
that some of the most wonderful things never see the light of day. Let them free!
The Clean Factor. The less stuff you have, the easier it is to clean your house. No excess nick-nacks to dust off
or clutter to move before you can clean. A minimal home can be cleaned tidy as can be in just a few
The Simple Life. The less stuff you have, the less you’ll want and the less you’ll spend. More money for enjoying
experiences, not things. At the end of the day, or the end of your life, the thing you get to keep are the
memories, not the things. get out there and make more of them!
Clearing out the kitchen
1. Anything that is broken or chipped. ANYTHING
2. Old Cookbooks, if you're like me Pinterest is your recipe go to. I can't remember the last time I used a
3. Old and or Unused spices, sauces and teas. Spices do go bad people, if you haven't used them, get rid of
4. Mismatched storage containers or containers missing lids. I have two cabinets of Gladware bowls with no lids.
5. Any Small appliances you haven’t used in a year or more. Let's be honest, do you really plan to use that food
6. Extra knife sets or mismatched knives. If you don't use them get rid of them.
7. Mismatched dishes and serving ware. Keep items in sets, let the rest go.
8. Any non stick pots or bake ware that are scratched or damaged.
9. Rarely used kitchen tools and utensils. I'm looking at you candy thermometer.
10. Excess water bottles
11. Excess travel coffee cups. These things really do pile up.
12. Anything that is missing it's lid. ANYTHING
Culling the garage, shed or basement
13. Anything that is broken, chipped, or missing pieces
14. Scrap wood
15. Old tools that haven't been used in two or more years. Like that giant bolt cutter you bought for that one
16. Touch up paint from your old house. You could also leave that for the new owners!
17. Surplus camping gear. Two tents should be enough for most situations.
18. Misc construction materials, like sheet rock, insulation, windows, plywood, etc.
19. Excess gardening supplies, like the twenty plastic pots you have in the corner.
20. Extra garden hoses. Do you really need more than one?
21. Extra parts to appliances that you never use.
22. Any furniture you've stored but not used in two or more years, unless its use is now imminent.
23. Yard decorations like tiki torches, garden gnomes and other items gathering dust. If they haven't seen the
yard in more than a year send them to a knew home where they can be happy.
24. Anything that has been broken for more than six months. We both know it's never getting fixed. Logically
speaking, you don't have time right now with the move. You won't have time next month with the settling in.
By the month after that you will have forget all about it again. Let it go. Just a little cup of #thruth for you.
Clearing out the bathroom
26. Beauty Product Samples you haven't used. You know that lipstick isn't your shade or you would of used it by
27. Any products that you’ve used but didn't like. You know, like that dollar store lipstick that smells like motor
oil and sadness.
28. Dingy shower curtains that won't come clean. It's gross, get rid of it.
29. Medications that have expired or that you no longer use. Please keep the ones that keep you sane.
30. Excess beauty tools that you don’t use, I'm looking at you hot rollers.
31. Decor or wall art that is dated. That mermaid painting stopped being cool when you where twelve. yes, yes it
32. Towels with excessive stains or tears. Most local animal shelters will take these. Give them to the fur babies!
33. Anything that is broken or chipped. Anything. ANYTHING
34. Excess combs and brushes. You have one head of hair more than three combs/brushes is excessive.
35. Creams and cosmetics that have expired. Honestly why would you keep these?
Linen Closet Cleanse
36. Stained/torn/old sheets. See above and give these to the shelter pups.
37. Old or outdated decorative towels. Yes the Santa hand towels are cute, but did you use them at any point
during the last five holidays?
38. Extra blankets, comforters, covers, quilts or sheets (these really do come in handy at shelters!)
39. Old sewing supplies you don’t use. I know, i know, you're going to sew up that... no, you're not. clear it out.
40. Any item not used within the last two years.
Home Office Purge
41. Wall art or decor that is dated.
42. Anything broken or damaged.
43. Filed paperwork that has a digital copy. Scale down and lighten your load!
44. Surplus wrapping and gifting materials. This is my week spot. I love gift wrap! I buy it constantly and then I
remember I'm too broke to give out gifts.
45. Mismatched cards and envelopes.
46. Office supplies you're not planning to use in the next two years. Like the three extra printers that are out of
ink. yeah, let them go.
47. Books you’ve been meaning to read for the past three years but haven't. Unless they have some other value,
get a digital copy and free yourself of all the clutter. Plus, books are heavy. Translation, expensive to move.
48. Old media, like LPs, cassettes, and DVDs that can be turned into a digital copy. Those eight tracks over in the
corner, that's never coming back. let it go.
49. Office furniture that you don’t use or that's uncomfortable.
50. Any piece of clothing in ill repair (see #39 above)
51. Old jewelry that you don’t wear anymore. If it was a trend not a classic, let it go.
52. Most of what is under your bed. Honestly, when was the last time you cleaned under there?!
52. Excess dress shirts, jackets, or blazers. Give them to a shelter or half way house to help others get back up
on their feet.
54. Old/outdated accessories you don’t wear anymore. (See #51) That totes ma goats tote has really got to go.
55. Any accessories, Shoes or jewelry that is broken or damaged.
56. All Socks and underwear with holes. If all you have left is elastic, please for the love of gawwwd don't pack it!
57. Any clothing that no longer fits If it's in good condition, try Buffalo Exchange or similar and get some cash for
58. Shoes you never wear (They could make someone else SO happy!)
59. Out dated decor
60. Deflated or uncomfortable pillows . An uncomfortable pillow is never a useful thing to have on hand. Your guests don't want to sleep on them either.
61. Excess throw pillows
Living room/den de-clutter
62. Outdated decor, I'm looking at you bean bag in the corner.
63. Excess throw blankets.
64. Anything broken, damaged or stained. ANYTHING
65. Old media that you don't watch/listen too anymore
66. Old picture frames that have fallen out style.
67. Books you’re not going to read again (do you really need to have it to prove you read it?)
68. Lamps that don’t work.
69. Extra lampshades. No, you can't call them hats.
70. Board games you don’t play anymore or that your kids have outgrown. Shoots and Ladders, it's time to go.
Entry way/mud room clear out
71. Old boots that haven't been worn in more than a year.
72. Anything ripped or torn. ANYTHING
73. Excess hats, visors and caps. Again, you have one head, it can only handle so many hats.
74. Outer wear you use. Like that scarf aunt Jan bought you that doesn't match anything..
75. Coats and sweaters that no longer fit or are out of style.
76. Anything with a broken zipper or missing buttons.
77. Surplus backpacks, purses and handbags
78. Broken umbrellas
79. Old Rugs that have been rolled up for more than three years.
80. Anything that's been waiting to be fixed for more than six months (see #24 above)
81. Anything broken chipped or damaged.
82. Excess travel bags, roller bags, and suitcases. you only need one set of luggage per person, really.
82. Furniture that is broken or in questionable condition.
84. Your kid’s old artwork and school items. Come on, it's not going back up on that fridge. Snap a pic of it and
let it live digitally
85. Excess sleeping bags or camping gear.
86. Sentimental stuff that you don’t need.
87. College textbooks and reports. Are you in college? If the answer is no, you don't need to keep these things.
88. Old mattresses.
89. Any clothes hanging in the attic. If they made it up here I'm guessing it's been more than a years since you
90. Extra kitchen gear or appliances. Donate or sell it!
Having trouble letting go?
If you're having a hard time scaling down, ask yourself the following questions. If the answer is no, it's time to let go.
Have I used this item in the last year? This one’s easy. Try to remember a time when you used the thing you’re
weighing on. If it hasn’t been worn, used, or appreciated since last fall, let it go.
Will I use it in the coming year? Try to resist any thoughts or day dreams about how you “might” use it. Yes, you
might wear it if you were on a date with Ryan Gosling, but we're looking for a more concrete : Will you use it?
If you don’t have a real need or plan to do something with it, the answer is “no.”
If I was shopping right now, would I buy this again? On you weekly Target run, would this item end up in the
shopping cart again? If you wouldn't buy it now, it's time to set it free.
Do you have another thing that does the same job? Do you have a french press, a coffee pot and an espresso
machine but you only use the Kurreg because it's so convenient? Keep the item that does the job best for you
and let the others go.
Do you even like it anymore? Try to be present and mindful about your current tastes, habits, and priorities. If it
doesn't fit with who you are today send it packing.
If it's broken, is it worth fixing? Consider whether you would use the item if it were in good working order.
Weigh the cost of fixing it against the cost of replacing it. Ask yourself honestly, And will you actually get it
Hope this list is helpful! Tell us your de-cluttering stories in the comments below!