The secret to successfully purging your belongings


You never notice how much stuff you have until it’s time to move it. One of the best times to purge is when preparing for a move. Save yourself the trouble of packing and unpacking more than you need to and get rid of unnecessary items before you pack. Follow these guidelines for an easier move and purge of your home.

Setting up the purge

As you go to pack up each room, give yourself four piles: keep, donate, sell, and trash. Notice there is no “maybe” pile. The maybe pile tends to be clothes you can’t fit in, things you won’t fix, and stuff you won’t use or need to have. “Maybes” belong in the donate, sell, or trash pile.

Before you put anything into a box ask yourself, “When was the last time I used this?” If you haven’t used it in the last three months, ask yourself, “Is this a seasonal item?” If it’s not a seasonal item – think your favorite sweater you haven’t worn in three months because it’s 90 degrees outside or your artificial Christmas tree -then you probably don’t need it.


The bathroom is one room of the house where it is easy to build clutter without recognizing it. Those mini bottles of hotel shampoo, bottles of aspirin with one pill left, and nail polish that has hardened in the bottle can add up to a lot of clutter.
Most of the items in your medicine cabinet will belong in the keep or trash pile. First, throw out anything expired. Next, look at things that are nearly empty and merge them into one bottle to save space -think putting two bottles of lotion together or putting all those loose bobby pins into one bag.
As far as towels go, your need will depend on the amount of people in your home. recommends this formula for deciding how many towels to keep: (House residents + guest bedrooms) x 2 = Sets of bath towels and washcloths.


Tupperware containers you never returned to their owner, a drawer full of pens that don’t write, or the pile full of your kids’ old school papers … no matter which category you fall under, the kitchen is also a big junk magnet. The real problem with kitchen junk is a majority of the clutter tend to be items you need and use, but you just have too many!

While the standard kitchen items such as cutting boards, oven mitts, or plates do seem necessary, multiples of them probably aren’t. This includes crockpots, vegetable peelers, corkscrews, can openers, coffee makers, cast iron skillets, and cheese graters.

Meanwhile, a majority of junk-drawer trash is in the form of takeout menus and condiment packages. Most restaurants have their menus available online, so go ahead and put all those takeout menus in the recycling, throw away those packages of red peppers from your favorite pizza place, and the pens that don’t work – pitch them. Remember, you don’t want to move junk – if you refer to it as the “junk drawer” it’s probably best to put its contents in the trash.

Living room

Packing up areas like the living room or dining room tend to be easier because they normally have less storage space than other rooms. When packing up your living room most of the choices you’ll have to make will be based on entertainment items like books, magazines, DVDs, and CDs.

Put any magazines into recycling (you will get more). Look over your collection of movies, CDs, and books for things you can do without. You can decide which you might be able to sell and which of these you can donate. If it’s not entertaining you anymore, get rid of it and let it entertain someone else. Also look for any knick-knacks or decorations you don’t really love anymore. Let your new place have a fresh start.


Your bedroom is where you go to unwind and to find sanctuary. Nothing can ruin your relaxation time like a cluttered bedroom. When it comes to bedding you shouldn’t need more than two sets of bedding per bed. Apartment Therapy points out that you may need more than this if you have young children.

Many people find they like to read a good book to unwind from the day, but those books tend to pile up. When packing up your bedroom consider donating books you don’t intend on reading again. Be aware of the hidden things you should purge. A lot of the things stored under your bed are there because you’ve convinced yourself you need to have it, but it’s not something you actually use. If there are things you haven’t used or don’t need, save yourself the box space and donate, sell, or trash!


This space is the hardest to purge for many people and is the only room you are allowed to make a “maybe” pile in order to avoid putting things you should get rid of directly into the “keep” pile. For non-seasonal items ask yourself, “When was the last time I wore this?” “Does it still fit?” “When will I wear this again?” Don’t ask yourself, “Will I wear it again,” because it’s easy to tell yourself you will and then keep it, only to have it stay on the hanger and never see the light of day again.

You can do it!

While purging your belongings can be scary, it will make you feel better afterward and make your move a little lighter. Remember, for seasonal or larger items, storage is always an option. Don’t feel obligated to purge everything but use discretion.

Content developed in association with The Parham Group and Noah’s Ark Self Storage.

Rock the block with your next garage sale

Written by Jessy Howe

Garage sale shopper

Garage sale season is upon us! In an effort to de-clutter your home of items you no longer need while making some extra spending money, we’ve gathered our top tips to throwing a rocking sale!

Choose the date

Many communities have “neighborhood sales.” If your area does this, take advantage! Traffic will be busier than normal and those who are out are ready to find your treasures. Have your sale over the course of two days, Friday and Saturday typically have the best results, and be ready for customers early. 8 a.m. is usually a great time to start.


We recommend pricing everything you intend to sell. With people making a mess of your tables all day, you’ll be thankful each item is tagged. Pick up sticker price tags from your local dollar store, they usually have a selection of blank or pre-printed price stickers to choose from. Masking tape is a great price tag alternative. Go with “easy-to-pay-for” prices. What I mean by this is tag your items at .50 cents, $1, $5, and so on. Not .30 cents or $1.70. Lastly, price to sell! This is something my mom has always said when it comes to yard sales. You will not get $15 for your worn jeans, even if they are in good condition.

Make it a family affair

Ask your family and friends if they’d like to get in on the fun! Chances are they’ve accumulated some junk as well. Because multi-family sales are larger, they are more appealing to those driving by and provide incentive to stop. Keep items separated when selling by putting that family member’s initial on the price tag. Keep a notepad at your cash table with columns for each seller to jot down who has made what.

Prepare for the weather

Unless you are in a garage or barn, set up a tent or canopy if possible. You’ll have a shady area to cool down on a hot day and a place to move your items if it rains. Cover your tables with tarps overnight to avoid the trouble of taking your set up down just to put it back together the next morning.

Set-up matters

Trust me when I say that appearance does matter. People are more willing to stop when they see you have items nicely set out. Put your children’s toys in one area, books and movies in another, fold men’s clothes on one table and women’s clothes on another, you get the idea. An organized sale makes it easier to look through, and buy!

Garage sale set-up

Let people know!

Post to Facebook on community garage sale pages in your area, or perhaps your town’s Facebook page shares these type of updates. Purchase an ad in your local paper- normally no more than $10- and include when, where, and a brief list of items your selling. Descriptions can be as simple as “women’s clothes, baby clothes and toys, antiques, furniture, tools.” If you choose to have a multi-family sale, be sure to mention this. Most importantly, put signs out near busy intersections and at the end of your street to help direct people. Use large letters and stick with simple wording such as “Garage Sale” followed by your address and directional arrow.

Include your kids

If you have children they can easily be part of the weekend. Bake cookies the night before and set out a cooler of bottled water for them to sell, or set up a lemonade stand. They’ll love having their own job and will be occupied throughout the sale.

Donate what’s left

Pack up the items you are left with at the end of the weekend and donate them to a shelter or organization in your community. If you are in need of cardboard boxes for your donation items, visit your local TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® to choose from a variety of sizes.

Do you have any garage sale tips to live by? We’d love to hear them! Like us on Facebook for more helpful tips and updates. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward!

Reject These Common Reasons for Keeping Clutter

Janine Adams
Janine Adams is the founder of Peace of Mind Organizing®

Written by guest blogger Janine Adams

As a professional organizer, I often help guide clients’ decisions about whether or not to keep or part with items. For some people, letting go is really tough. When they have more stuff than they can store, it can lead to some interesting conversations about why they want to hang on to things.

There are three common reasons I hear for wanting to keep items that are no longer used or loved. these reasons don’t hold water with me. If you hear yourself saying any of these things about items you don’t use or love, I encourage you to think twice about keeping them.

 1. I paid a lot for that! You know what? You may have paid a lot, but the money’s gone. And the only way you might get any of it back is to sell the item or donate it and take a tax deduction. What’s more, there are hidden costs to keeping it: you probably beat yourself up when you see it, so there’s an emotional cost. If you trip over it, you could hurt yourself and pay a physical and monetary price. And if you pay to store it just because you paid a lot for it, things are starting to get ridiculous.

2.  I might need it some day. You’re right, you might. But then again you might not. And if you can’t find it when you need it, then keeping it doesn’t do you much good. I think we all live in fear of discarding something and then discovering that we need it. It makes us feel stupid. But realistically, what’s the worse-case scenario? You get another one. In my opinion, if you have more stuff than you can store, the actual benefit of parting with an item you don’t need now (i.e. creating space) outweighs the potential benefit of having it on hand should you ever need it.

3. It was a gift. Gifts are tough. You hate to disappoint the gift giver by getting rid of something given in love. But, again, if you have more stuff than you can store, wouldn’t the gift giver prefer that you let it go? Regift it. Donate it. Just get it into the hands of someone who will actually use or love it. It gets even more tricky when the gift giver has passed away. But that unloved and unused gift won’t bring them back. Perhaps you have a mutual friend or family member who would treasure that item. If so, pass it along. It boils down to this: Just because someone gave you something doesn’t mean you have to hold on to it forever.

When you’re trying to conquer clutter, try not to fall into the trap of these excuses for keeping stuff you really don’t need. Once you let the excess go, I bet you’ll feel liberated.

Janine Adams is a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, Missouri, and the founder of Peace of Mind Organizing®. She helps clients create order, harmony and, yes, peace of mind, by helping them declutter and create new systems and routines. The co-creator of Declutter Happy Hour, she is a blogger for Rubbermaid and has appeared on both A&E’s Hoarders and TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive documentary TV series.