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Posted in Moving Preparation, Moving Tips&Tricks on April 10, 2021
Jane Davis

Apart from being a freelance writer and moving expert, Jane is also an art and museum lover.

What to Keep When Moving – Items That Are Never Clutter

Downsizing your home is never an easy job. When relocating, decluttering is a natural process, but sometimes people get rid of the stuff they didn’t intend to. Unless you want to lose valuable belongings just because you’re in a hurry, it is crucial to figure out what to keep when moving.

Long-distance moving can be challenging and time-consuming. If you wish to have a stress-free move, decluttering your home is the way to go. Even though this sounds like a given, the question remains: how to decide what to get rid of and what to keep? Some of your things have sentimental value, and some are just there collecting dust. Keep reading and see how to choose what to keep and what to throw away when moving.

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Take Some Time and Go Through Your Belongings

It doesn’t matter what your reasons for the move are, you should make a move to another state checklist. In this way, you will be more organized and prepared, even if you’re experiencing a  last-minute move. If you are relocating to a smaller place, you should make an inventory list of all the thighs you bring with you. And that is the moment when decluttering is taking place. So, take your time, go through your stuff, and see what you are keeping and what you plan to sell before moving. The golden rule is – if you haven’t used something for over two years, you are probably not going to use it at all.

Woman and child packing
Do your decluttering room by room

Make Categories of Your Stuff

After you went through your belongings, it is time to do some categorization. Make a pile of all the stuff you think you should keep and a “get rid of” pile. Firstly, separate the things you don’t want to lose, like your documents, jewelry, and other essential and valuable stuff you may have. Then start packing. For starters, clean up some storage room that you have, like the basement or garage, to make space to pack there. After that, you should be able to go through all your belongings quickly. Another golden rule is not to throw away anything until you double-check it.

Woman folding clothes
Double check everything you decided to get rid of

Go One Room at a Time

Start your decluttering with a room that you barely use, like the basement or garage. In all of those usually sits a lot of unneeded stuff. Then go through each room and make a pile of things you do not want to take and stuff that needs to be packed.

Decide What to Keep in Your Bedroom and Closets

Go through your closet and throw away, for instance, everything you haven’t worn in two or more years. But, maybe you have winter gear and clothes that you paid a lot for but haven’t got a chance to go skiing. In that case, keep this. Do not throw away things if you have a plan to use them. Keep at least four sets of bedding. The same goes for blankets and pillows. Keep your bed frame and mattress if they can fit your new bedroom as well.

Pack Things From Bathroom Last

Packing bathroom items is always tricky. Bathrooms are always full of accessories and bottles of this and that. And you’ll probably want to get rid of all of it because you think you do not need them anymore. Still, don’t throw away cosmetics or other expensive accessories. Also, go through your medicine cabinet and get rid of all expired medication or those you’re not taking anymore. All other bottles that are half empty or used you should keep using until a moving day comes.

Downsize Your Kitchen

If you are relocating to a smaller house, your kitchen will probably be smaller too. You will have to get rid of all double pans or pots you have, keeping the newer and better ones. Go through your dishes before and start packing plates while checking if they are damaged. If you have more than two sets of plates that you are using, keep the one that is in better condition. When you open the kitchen cabinet with your cups and mugs, you will probably see many different cups from every single place that you have been to. Now it is time to shed some of them, but keep the ones in pairs and the ones you often use. Also, long-distance moving is an excellent opportunity to go through your food containers. If you have (and we believe you do) a lot of tupperware without matching lids, donate them. Keep only new ones and glass containers.

Use Garage for Packing

Your garage is probably full of items you will have to declutter. If you are downsizing to an apartment, you will not have any more space for garage stuff. If you have a lot of tools, sell them or give them to a friend or family member. Keep with you only essential tools like an electric drill, hammer, screwdriver… Basically, all the tools that can fit in one tool bag.

Free Your Living Room

Go through this room with your family or roommate, depending on who you live with. If you have books and do not have a place for them in the new apartment, donate them to the nearest library. On the other hand, if you have specialized editions or some rare and expensive ones, you will keep them. Keep books you enjoy reading and those with sentimental value. Others you can even sell and earn a few bucks. That way you will save money by making relocation much cheaper. After all, going light is one of the best packing tips. And once you are settled in a new home, you can easily buy most of the titles again, at a reasonable price.

The living room is also full of electronics and cables and other smartphone and computer accessories. Be careful when you are going through this stuff, so you don’t throw away something you can’t replace easily. But there are many chances for missteps along the way, so check out this video for more tips on mistakes you need to avoid when decluttering.

YouTube video

Inspect Your Furniture

Do a good assessment and measurement of your furniture. If your new place doesn’t have a space for an oversized couch and sofa, you will have to downsize slightly. Keep small furniture and chairs that are maneuverable and can fit any space. Make a picture of your new living room and imagine how that piece of furniture goes with an interior. If you have an old wooden sofa and chairs of sentimental value, keep only the chairs. Don’t bring with you any furniture that is too old or already broken since your cross-country movers will have difficulties disassembling it. Also, your long-distance moving services price will go up or down depending on the amount of stuff you are relocating, so don’t bring anything you will throw away later on.

Large sofa
If your sofa is too big for your new home, try to break it into pieces and just bring one part

Go Through Your Old and Vintage Stuff

You probably have boxes full of old stuff in every closet and storage space in your home, which no one has looked at in years. Well, now it’s time to go down memory lane through all the trifles you have been keeping forever, like VHS tapes, CDs, gifts from ex-partners, travel souvenirs, old hobbies, collections, and others. When we talk about CDs or VHSs, they take up a lot of space, but you can’t just throw them away. There is a solution for this – digitize them. Some services can transfer all the content from these CDs and VHS to a hard drive or a cloud. And when it comes to old hobbies and collections, carefully decide what to bring with you. For instance, if you have a box full of old comic books you have lost interest in, you will know what to keep and what to sell when moving. A lot of money can come from this sale, and it will be a significant contribution to your relocating budget. If you are moving for love and downsizing, collections are usually on the frontline for compromise, so be prepared and sell them on time. Of course, if you don’t have time to find a proper new owner for your once prized possessions, put them in storage. One of the benefits of hiring long-distance movers is that they usually offer a storage facility to their clients for the whole month.

Old VHS tapes
Digitize whatever you can, and only keep your favorite stuff

Double-Check Trash Pile

This step is significant because people in a hurry usually lose their concentration and make mistakes. So, double-check your trash pile to see if you throw something important away, like money, documents, memories, receipts, and other things that ended up there by accident. The same rule applies to keeping piles. When you finish creating them, leave them for a while and start the whole process again. In a second round, a lot of unwanted items will end up in a trash pile. This happens because after you are done with all the rooms, and you have done your items separation and categorization, you will realize that you still have a lot of thighs to pack and bring with you. Don’t worry if this whole process is exhausting. It will all prove worthwhile after a yard sale, earning some money, and hiring cross-country movers and their packing services. With this service, you will not have to touch anything until you decide to use that item after you move.

Pile of old stuff
When doing a big decluttering, always check your trash to see if you threw away something valuable

Separate Things for a Yard Sale and Donation

If you ever wonder what to get rid of when moving across the country, you can go on any yard sale, after which you will get an idea. A lot of stuff can be found on these sales. But if you wish to earn some money, you will have to make a good yard sale, not just throw all of your junk on one pile and sell everything for a dollar. Here are some things that you should put on a yard sale and ones you should donate or throw away.

Stuff that never goes on a yard sale but can be donated:

  • Used sheets and bedding,
  • Socks and underwear,
  • Used mattress,
  • Canned food,
  • Used rags and towels,
  • Plastic food containers.

Stuff to put on your yard sale if you have them:

  • Old bicycle,
  • Old records, comic books, and other collections,
  • Books,
  • Children toys,
  • Electric devices,
  • Treadmill and other training equipment,
  • Couch, sofa, chairs, and other types of furniture,
  • Dishes, plates, pots, and pans.
Man looking at old records on a yard sale
A good amount of money can be earned on yard sales

Now That You Know What to Keep When Moving You Can Call Professionals

If you wonder how to pack dishes or how to pack glasses that you decided to keep and don’t wanna damage them, find a long-distance moving company to do the packing for you. Your belongings will be safely transported and, most importantly, they will be protected with moving insurance as well. This way you will have more time to get a job in a new city or a place to live if you have none. Even though long-distance relocating is stressful, it is a new adventure with a lot of new opportunities that are awaiting you. So pack comfortable shoes and you’re ready for take-off.

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