By Maya Savanovich, Guest Blogger

Australians are a mobile bunch. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics over half of those surveyed had moved address in the last five years. But with each move comes an important decision: What to keep and what to toss. To help make the decision easier here are some guidelines you should apply next time you are moving address.

When packing, carefully consider which items you really need to keep and which you should donate.
When packing, carefully consider which items you really need to keep and which you should donate.

Apply the six month rule

One of the first questions you should ask yourself is when was the last time you actually used the item. If the answer is more than six months ago then you are probably safe to dispose of it. If you think that six months is too rigorous, then you can use twelve months instead as your limit. If you haven’t used the item in over year then chances are you won’t be using it in the future either.

Does the item serve a dual purpose?

Another good way to decide whether to keep something or to toss it is look at how many purposes the item has. For example a hammer can be used for a variety of different tasks and so is usually well worth keeping. A router that you used once for a bit of DIY and never again, might be better off put on eBay or given away.

Do you like the item?

This might seem obvious but ask yourself whether you really love the item. If you are on the fence and it is only of marginal use then you are probably better off getting rid of it. This is especially important for items such as clothes and home decor.

Could I make someone else happier by giving it away?

Another consideration is whether you can make someone else happier by giving it away. A dress or jacket that you rarely wear might bring you little pleasure, but they could make someone else very happy indeed. Consider giving your items to the Salvation army or another charitable organization. When you see that giving your items away is going to help others it can make the decision easier.

Is it broken?

Anything that is broken (even if still functional) should probably be tossed. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are going to get around to fixing it later. If you think it is wasteful to throw it away, ask yourself whether you are willing to get it repaired right now. If the answer is no then you aren’t likely to do it in the future either.

Ask someone to help you

A third party is going to look at your pile of junk with far less sentimental eyes than you will. Ask someone else to help you decide which items to keep and which to throw away. A word of warning – Don’t get a hoarder to help.

Use the three pile method

When choosing what to keep and what to toss there will be items that you could never live without and items that are destined for the trash can. The more problematic decisions are those items which you are on the fence about. Create three piles: A must keep pile, a must throw away pile and an undecided. Once you have finished sorting throw away everything except for the must keep pile. Sleep on it if you must, but get rid of those undecided items. You can always rent a storage unit like the one Kennards offers on the Central Coast or in Auckland as one of the solutions for storing that belongings you do not currently need in there.

Can you easily replace it?

Ask yourself whether the item that you are considering tossing could be easily replaced. If the answer is yes then you should probably either trash it, sell it or give it away. This test allows you to keep items which have sentimental value but not hang onto unnecessary items. The vast majority of items can always be replaced later on if you find that you need them again.


Decluttering your home before shifting home can make moving a lot easier. Every item that you get rid of now is one less item you need to transport, unpack and store. Don’t be afraid to be a little ruthless next time you are moving home.