You aren’t going to take all that stuff with you . . .
Are you? You know, the equipment from the paint gun obsession from last year. Oh, and the videotape collection you inherited from your dad. Face it, the next abode you go to may not be the sprawling pad (Read: Purchasing a Home During Your Transition) you live in right now. And even if it is, why bother carting a bunch of stuff you don’t even use or like when you are ready for a fresh start as a civilian?
Here are some tips to get you downsizing for your last military move:
Do you have a pile of old bills, receipts and junk mail just cluttering your counters or cabinets? And that five pounds of military paperwork you have lying around, you can go through that too. By the way, you do not need to keep your leave request from two years ago. As a basic guideline, keep anything that has to do with medical, dental, promotions, evaluations or awards.
Get Rid of It Tips: Reuse or recycle! Yeah, it’s paper, but it’s also great starter fuel for bonfires and grills. Cut it up and turn it into scratch paper on your desk. Or just stick it in the recycle stack and say farewell.
2. Military Items
It may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure you return all military issued items that are out on loan. Otherwise, you’ve probably managed to accumulate a healthy collection of uniforms, ribbons and canteens. Don’t trash it all; trust me, you’ll want to have a couple of souvenirs to jabber about when you’re old and toothless. I suggest keeping one set of each type of uniform.
Get Rid of It Tips: Donate! Maybe you have a family member who quilts and wouldn’t mind turning your unwanted uniforms into a beautiful blanket that you can donate to hospitals or nursing homes.
Oh, I know you have a pile of old wires, computer parts and game consoles lying around somewhere – just in case. Unless you are a collector of vintage games, get rid of them!
Get Rid of It Tips: Pitch it! Be sure to wipe any electronics of personal information before setting it on the curb.
4. The “I Used To . . .” Hobby
You used to surf, huh? And you bought every cool surfer dude or dudette trinket to complete the experience. That’s awesome, but you’re moving to Idaho. I’m not saying you need to get rid of your prized board, but let’s be sensible here: You can’t use all that stuff in Idaho.
Get Rid of It Tips: Repurpose, donate, sell it, give it away! Donations to local thrift stores or even your local MWR may be a fantastic way to give someone else a chance to enjoy your old hobby.
5. Luxury Items
The dinner set you keep for “nice occasions,” with the matching forks that only get used twice a year. Do you really need them? You may be faced with a horrid truth. The new kitchen at your civilian destination might not have enough storage space, forcing you to choose between luxury and utility.
Get Rid of It Tips: Repurpose, donate, give it away! Maybe you love them, so switch them out with your everyday use sets and get rid of those instead. Better yet, find a new couple just setting up house that could use some of your surplus wares.