It can be anything—an old exercise machine you promised you would use one day, a vintage lamp you held on to because it was a gift, or a clunky sweater you’re saving for a winter trip to Alaska. If you’re not sure whether to keep an item with you, add it to storage, or toss it away, think about these factors before you make any big decisions.
Do you use it? This is obviously the first question you should ask yourself when debating on whether or not to keep an item. If it’s not vital to your everyday life, it’s time to consider the item’s value in terms of the space it takes up and the money/practicality it’s worth.
We know of a great little self-test you can do to see if the item in question is worth saving. Stow it away for a period of time—we’ve heard six, but you can do it for just a couple if that’s what your moving schedule allows for. By the end of that window, ask yourself: did you ever have to run into the garage, basement etc. to fetch that item? Is it so sentimental that you would keep it regardless of whether or not it was actually necessary?
Might you use it? Of course this is a completely valid question to ask yourself next. Maybe you wouldn’t use a thick sweater in the heat of summer, anyway, but you know it’s still perfectly good to have! There’s a reason why we keep around winter coats, boots and (if you live in an overall cold climate) bathing suits… we’re waiting for our clothes to be in season! If you might use the item in question within a reasonable period of time, you might want to hold on to it.
If so, when? Like we said before, holding onto an item because it will have practical use in the near future is a smart move… holding onto an item because maybe, someday you can see yourself using it is not. If it failed the six-month test and the question of concrete future practicality, it may be time to part ways with the item. Make room for what you really do want in your new home, don’t just tote along what you might have felt stuck with in your old one!
Is it useful? Whether it’s a scrap of fabric you’ve been saving for someone who sews, or maybe a vintage gaming console you found lying in your garage, you’ll have to answer this question as honestly as you possibly can. Do you have a real use in mind for an item—and if you do, will that use happen in the next several months? In many cases, if the answer is no, you’d be better off to save the storage space for new items that you have a clear and designated purpose for.
When you move into your new home, you shouldn’t be forced to carry along all the baggage from your old one. Celebrate your new space!