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Blog December 14, 2021

Decide What to Keep When Moving in 6 Easy Steps

Posted in Moving 101
Steven Rogers

Apart from sharing Captain America's name, our freelance writer Steven is also a big fan of moving, history, and geography.

Wondering what to keep when moving? People have a bad habit of getting attached to things and struggle when they need to get rid of them. Eventually, you’ll probably have to say goodbye to some of them, although it might break your heart. Do not worry, this article will help you make the right choices and decide what’s the best for your fresh start and decluttered future. 

What to Keep With You When Moving? Get Ready for Making Some Important Decisions While Sorting

Give yourself a break. You’re not the first nor the last person in the world wondering how to decide what to get rid of and what to keep when relocating. Although this might seem like the biggest struggle ever, it is still manageable, only if you set up your priorities straight

We get that over the years, you might grow fond of a particular pair of old jeans or a pillow that you kept since you were a little child, but this is the right moment for some changes. Relocating to a different state can be an opportunity of a lifetime, and even if you’re not a feng shui fanatic, it is pretty obvious that you do not want to start another life chapter surrounded by old things. 

What Should I Purge Before Moving to a New House?

Having an opportunity for a fresh start can feel liberating – you can finally start afresh without anything pulling you back. Be it some negative emotions, bad memories, or material stuff as well. What’s the purpose of a broken chair that you keep in the corner of your room but never sit on it? 

Why would you keep a pair of jeans that don’t fit? You should define separate categories of stuff in your home that need to be purged and go through books, documents, dishes, clothes, and many other things. This article will help you declutter in no time and make some liberating decisions. 

Guys carrying rug for cross country moving Think about the way old stuff will fit in your apartment - even if you like them, sometimes they won't fit

#1 Consider the Distance of Your Move and the Size of Your Place

Wondering what to get rid of when moving across the country and what to keep? The longer the distance, the less stuff you want to bring with you. Otherwise, your relocation expenses will be much higher. It is recommended to leave some large and heavy objects that you rarely use behind and keep practical stuff with a good purpose or objects with sentimental value. 

Ensure You Keep Frequently Used Appliances

For example, you should bring essential appliances and smaller furniture pieces that are easy to transport. You’ll probably want to have a coffee maker, microwave, or hairdryer from day one. You do not have to throw away any of these and then buy similar pieces once you arrive at your home. 

Important Questions to Ask Yourself When Making Such Decisions

Still, have trouble making decisions? These are some questions you should ask yourself if you want to clear your mind and set your priorities straight:

  • How often do I use it?
  • Is this really necessary to have?
  • Is this making my life better/easier/more comfortable?
  • Is this an expensive and good quality item?
  • Can I still use it at my new home, and how will it fit in?
Girl packing boxes for cross country moving You'll have to ask yourself are some stuff really necessary, or you just keep them out of habit

#2 Declutter the Old Stuff and Keep Only Those Pieces That Are Still in Good Condition or Have Emotional Value

Before making a packing list of things you want to keep, you want to begin the preparation process with decluttering. You probably keep a lot of unnecessary stuff, but you do not have to relocate everything. This applies to pretty much everything, no matter if you are packing dishes or planning to go through your closet and pack clothes – some pieces are probably too worn out, or some dishes might be damaged

For example, if you’re deciding which set of glasses to bring with you, it is always better to bring the one with all six glasses in the set than the other one where two or three of them are broken. The same logic may apply to a set of plates or cups. If you are packing furniture, you should consider how it would fit into your new home across the state.

You Should Keep Jewelry and Other Valuables

You should keep valuables such as jewels or some antique pieces that have big emotional value. If you have some family heritage, expensive artwork, or other valuables, you should definitely keep them and find the safest way to move them with you without risking damage to them. Getting relocation insurance from your relocation company is highly recommended for these kinds of objects.

Old jewelry You should definitely keep valuables such as jewelry, especially if we're talking about family heritage

#3 Go Through Your Papers and Keep All the Important Documents

You should also consider organizing important documents. This is convenient because you probably have a lot of garbage among your paperwork. For example, people sometimes keep old contracts and recipes from stuff they bought or old bills. Most of these papers you don’t need anymore. 

Just ensure you go through everything carefully and sort out important documents such as marriage or birth certificates, contracts and mortgage documents, passports, and significant medical records. These are the items you want to keep next to you when relocating because professional cross-country movers won’t take responsibility for them, and you’ll definitely need them sometimes in the future or even as soon as you get to your new house.

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#4 Ensure You Keep Your Childrens’ and Pets’ Favorite Toys

In case that you are relocating with kids and start packing their toys, you can include them in the process as well. Tell them to choose some of their favorites and give away everything else, especially if they are getting older, and playing with some of their old toys doesn’t make them happy anymore

You should bring the favorites and keep them close to kids during the process to provide them comfort. The same thing applies to your pets’ toys. Always ensure to keep their favorite blanket or toy because it provides them a feeling of safety and comfort and keep it close to them during the whole relocation process to keep them calm. These objects should be among your relocation essentials.

#5 Sorting Your Clothes Is Next – Ask Yourself What You Really Wear and Need

Deciding what to keep and what to toss when it comes to clothing is also very important. People usually have loads of necessary clothing in their closets. Do not worry – you are not the only person hoping you’ll maybe need some of this stuff in the future, but you have to be realistic. If things are worn out, or you never wore them, you should not relocate these things. 

They will only require buying more packing materials and wasting your time while packing them. There are much better solutions for this – you can always donate some pieces that are still in good shape, or you can organize a garage sale. If you do not have a last-minute move, you can also try selling some of the stuff online and earn some extra money you can later use for additional assistance – maybe professional packing services or other convenient options that will make relocating to another city much easier.

Girls sorting clothes for cross country movers Sorting your clothing might take you most of your time, so ensure you follow our tips

#6 Think About the Items Movers Won’t Move – Some Objects You Should Relocate on Your Own or Dispose of

Did you know that movers won’t relocate certain household objects? This usually applies to some potentially dangerous possessions such as weapons and ammunition, fireworks, and flammable chemicals, but to some valuables as well. Obviously, you do not want to get rid of your grandma’s jewelry, and that’s something you want to keep, but other things are simply not worth relocating.

Just ensure you get rid of everything properly, and you do not have to worry. Everything else can be repurchased once you move to your new home. Another thing you will need to take care of is perishable food because cross country movers won’t transport it. For everything else, just contact your chosen company if you have any additional questions.

Potentially Flammable Items Are Strictly Forbidden Things So You Shouldn’t Try to Move Them

What can you leave behind when you move house? You should definitely leave some flammable chemicals and other potentially dangerous objects. They are among the items movers won’t move for a good reason – if they stay in a relocation truck for too long and the temperature is high, a lot of things can go wrong.

Even if you aren’t getting professional relocation services, you do not want to have this in your personal vehicle either. Just ensure you get rid of them properly at some designated area in your neighborhood – don’t just throw them away into the trash with other stuff. This video might give you some ideas on other stuff you should declutter.

YouTube video

Decide What to Do With Items You Aren’t Going to Keep

When you decide what items you’re going to keep, you should also think about how to get rid of other stuff. You can, for example, sell some of them or donate. Recycling is also important to consider, if possible, of course.

You Can Sell Some of the Items

One of the many benefits of relocation is that you can actually earn money during this process. You could sell some of the stuff you do not use. Now, this applies to objects that are still usable and in good shape – they simply do not fit your needs or the interior design of your new home. This will make the tough decisions much easier. 

You know you can’t keep them, but you can earn something by selling them and use that money to buy new, better stuff. Organizing a garage sale, using your social networks, or even some convenient apps for this purpose can be a good option.

Another Convenient Option Is Donation

Obviously, if you are relocating in a hurry, you won’t have time to upload pictures of clothes and wait for days for someone to notice and buy them. The best option for the clothes that are not for selling but still wearable is a donation. The whole process won’t take you long. Just go through your closet, decide what you don’t wear, and pack it in a box or a bag you can later drop off at the closest donation center. 

You Should Consider Recycling Too

Recycling is a good option for some older furniture pieces that can’t be simply thrown away. If you have a lot of old paperwork and plan to move an office, recycling papers is always an eco-friendly option.

Person counting money saved for cross country moving

Now That You Know What to Keep When Moving, You Are Ready for New Beginnings

Now that you know what to keep and what to throw away, it’s time to learn some other relocation tips and write your relocation to-do list. Once you are done with decluttering, you can focus on the most important part – packing all those things you decided to take with you. You’ll also be able to save on relocation costs and use that money for decorating your new home, so it is a win-win situation.

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