Move It or Lose It!

Tips for helping you pick what stays and what goes when you’re moving.

There’s really nothing quite like the process of moving that gives you a true breakdown of how much stuff one household has. No matter how minimal you think you may be living, there are always superfluous things you probably can learn to let go of. The real challenge is deciding how to make the call with what goes and what stays. Although it is you, and only you, who can make those tough decisions, here are some tips to help minimize your home to maximize your next move.

1. Closet Clutter

When preparing to move, one of the most underestimated packing jobs is your wardrobe. Although this may be an excellent time to uncover last year’s favourite sweater, packing and moving clothing can be challenging and cumbersome. For many, clothes serve not only the obvious fashionable purpose, but they can often provide sentimental reminders of past memories both positive and negative (we all have that one “I CAN’T BELIEVE I USED TO WEAR THIS!?” item). So how do you make the call to ditch the digs? It’s simple!

About a month or so before your move start keeping tabs on the rotation of clothes in your closets. To do so, start by making sure all of your hangers are hung in the same direction on the closet bar, so either the hook faces towards your or away. It won’t matter which direction, so long as they are uniform. Then, throughout the month, after you’ve worn a garment, replace it back in the closet with the hook turned in the opposite direction to the rest of the clothing. Voila! By the end of the month you will have a visual representation of the clothes you wear frequently and it will be obvious the clothing you don’t. By the end of this process you can decide what is coming with you to your new home and what can be donated for someone else to enjoy.

2. Bathroom Blues

Another overlooked spot during moving is the bathroom. Although you won’t be moving your tub or toilet (usually, but sometimes you do!), the bathroom can seem like a really easy area to pack. But, looks can be deceiving. In those cupboards and drawers lives an entire civilization of toiletries! The best place to start here is with the basics: Expiry.

If anything is expired, it goes. If anything looks like it COULD be expired, it goes. Expired items in the bathroom are not only taking up precious space, they also pose potentially serious health risks.

In addition to those expired items, often there will be products used once, or maybe twice, and then hidden in the back of cupboards and shelves without any intention of returning to your daily bathroom routines. This is an excellent opportunity round up all of these forgotten items and create a “blessing bag,” or two for someone in need in your community. By taking a few of those items (provided they are in good condition), and offering them to one of our local aid organizations helps to improve the lives of those struggling, while reducing the amount of boxes involved in your move!

3. Kitchen Nightmares

Although Gordon Ramsay is referencing frightful foods, those who have packed a kitchen could easily see him making an entire season about downsizing and boxing up the cook’s room. Kitchens are where you will find drawers so full you can’t open them, pantries stocked so heavily you can’t see the back and rediscovering every single inconvenient kitchen gadget you have ever received as gifts. Where do you even start? Our suggestion: get social about it!

Pick an evening, close to your move date, and invite your friends and family to a “free night, moving party!” Lay out all of your unwanted kitchen items, food stuffs and gizmos and encourage your guests to take whatever they want and as much as they’d like. You’ll be surprised at how quickly things will get taken and it makes for great conversation throughout the evening. You’ll build and strengthen relationships with those in your inner circle and unbeknownst to your pals, they will be providing you with the great service of easy and convenient downsizing! If, at the end of the night, there are still items leftover, this is a great opportunity to donate them to one of your local charitable organizations to encourage reuse over refuse.

Utilizing these tips will make your move not only successful, but enjoyable! You Move Me Vancouver Island strongly encourages you to donate those things you’ve learn to let go of to one of your local aid organizations. For example, one of our community partners The Mustard Seed is always seeking food donations throughout the year! For more information on how to contribute please visit their site at

If you’ve had success with these tips, or have some of your own, visit our facebook page to share your story:!

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