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Moving, whether within a state or across the country, can be stressful, especially when it comes to packing. Some items are necessary and should be packed, while other items are either good as trash or can be donated or given away. However, there are some items that are in the gray area and you’re not so sure what to do with them.

It helps if you list in advance what items you want to keep or move with you. In this way, it’s easier to determine which items you should let go. Not only will this give you peace of mind on moving day but also help you save money and time as well as provide you with more space in your new home and more energy to decorate it.

How to Decide Which Items Not to Move

Letting go of any item, especially those that have been with you for long or holds some sentimental value, can be hard. But keeping a few factors or considerations in mind can ease the process. Ask yourself these questions before holding on to any item: 

  • Is the item in good condition?
  • Do you have more than one??
  • How often do you use the item?
  • Do you need the item?
  • Do you have space for this in your new home?
  • Is it worth taking the space in your new home?
  • How easy is it to replace the item?
  • Is it important to you, irreplaceable, or does it hold sentimental value?
  • How much energy, time, and money will it cost to move this?
  • How much is it worth to other people?

These Are the Items Not Worth Moving

With the above criteria in mind, here are the items you should not include in your move. Note that this list is not exhaustive, but it should give you an idea or guide you on what things you should keep and what you should leave. 

Used, worn out, or old items or items in disrepair.

  • Worn kitchen linens and bath towels
  • Old sporting equipment
  • Old tools
  • Old paint
  • Old holiday decor
  • Ill-fitting, old or worn, or duplicate clothing
  • Stained or damaged clothing items
  • Beat-up footwear
  • Scarves, handbags, and other accessories you don’t wear anymore
  • Socks and underwear with holes
  • Outdated or obsolete electronic devices such as cassettes, VHS players and old phones
  • Shower curtains
  • Old bills and receipts
  • Tax returns (keep an electronic copy)
  • Outgrown, broken, or cheap kids toys and games
  • Baby gear
  • Old greeting cards
  • Old blankets and bedsheets
  • Old or uncomfortable furniture
  • Old computer equipment
  • Old picture frames
  • Lamps that don’t work
  • Old or outdated wall art
  • Old mattresses

Unused, extra or duplicate items

  • Extra or old bedframe and other furniture and appliances
  • Extra camping gear, such as a second cooler or an extra tent or camping bag
  • Extra gardening supplies, including plastic plant containers, garden shovel, hose, etc.
  • Extra parts to appliances you don’t have or don’t use
  • Extra, old, worn out, or unused yard decor, including garden gnomes, flamingo sculpture, etc. 
  • Unused blankets, bed sheets, and comforters
  • Extra suitcases, roller bags, and traveling bags
  • Clothes you never use
  • Extra visors and hats
  • Outdated coats
  • Hardly worn shoes
  • Extra jewelry
  • Extra hangers
  • Unused fabric or other material
  • Extra lampshades
  • Empty picture frames

Heavy, big, or bulky items

  • Old, broken, or outdated furniture and appliances
  • Large electronic devices, such as old or unused laptops and desktop computers
  • Washer and dryer that came with the house when you bought or rented it
  • TVs
  • Refrigerator
  • Dining room furniture
  • Pianos
  • Couches and sectionals
  • Dressers 
  • Old or extra vehicles

Household items

  • Rugs you haven’t unfurled in years
  • Old sewing supplies
  • Hobby supplies
  • Old or mismatched cups and mugs
  • Plastic containers
  • Extra or mismatched knives and serving ware
  • Overused cutting boards
  • Seldom used or unnecessary kitchen tools and utensils
  • Old cookbooks
  • Surplus dishes, glasses, cups, water bottles
  • Untouched sauces, teas, etc.
  • Damaged or scratched up pots and pans
  • Rags and old pot holders 
  • Batteries 
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover
  • Bathroom items
    • Shampoo and conditioner
    • Soap
    • Old beauty tools like curlers and hair dryers
    • Expired medicines and vitamins
    • Expired cosmetics and other beauty products
    • Toilet plunger
    • Drain stopper
    • Bathmats 
  • Cleaning supplies
    • Laundry detergent 
    • Bleach
    • Old brooms, mops, and brushes
    • Old gloves and sponges

Perishable, near-expiry, or expired items

  • Leftover or expired food
  • Pantry items
  • Canned or frozen food
  • Open or half-used food items
  • Refrigerated foods
  • Produce 
  • Old or untouched spices
  • Potted plants
  • Liquor 

Unimportant paper, etc.

  • Non-essential documents and other paperwork
  • Filed paperwork
  • Your kids’ old artwork and school-related papers
  • Old school textbooks and reports
  • Surplus wrapping paper and other gift materials
  • Office supplies you don’t plan on using in the next two years
  • Unread books and old magazines
  • File cabinets
  • Worn-down pens and pencils
  • Old unfilled or half-filled notebooks
  • Outdated calendars
  • Old planners
  • Paper clips

Junk and miscellaneous items

(You can find these in your garage, basement, attic, or other storage container or areas)

  • Heirlooms and antiques that you’ve grown out of, don’t love, or don’t use
  • All items in your junk drawer
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Fireworks 
  • Untouched or unopened arts and crafts supplies
  • Gifts you don’t love or use
  • Old medals, certificates, and participation tokens
  • Outdoor equipment
    • Lawn mower
    • Generator 
    • Firewood or wood pellets
    • Charcoal 
    • Outdoor patio furniture
    • Grill or smoker 
    • Propane tanks
    • Motor oil
    • Matches 
    • Car batteries
    • Pool chemicals
  • Random or miscellaneous items, such as
    • Insect killer, fertilizer, and other potentially dangerous substances and chemicals
    • Scrap wood
    • Miscellaneous construction materials, including plywood, sheetrock, insulation, doors, and windows
    • Treadmill, elliptical machine, and other gym equipment
    • Knickknacks in storage
    • Mouse traps
    • Tools you don’t know how to use, don’t use regularly, or haven’t used in the past year
    • Unattractive artwork, such as decades-old oversized posters or framed landscape
    • Stray cords
    • Instruction manuals
    • Stained or mismatched containers
What You Can Do With These Items

Since you won’t be moving with the items listed above – again, the list is not exhaustive but consists of examples only – it’s good to have a plan on how to get rid of them. There are just three things you can do with your “don’t keep” pile. You can sell them, you can donate them, or you can toss them. 

What Items are Not Worth Moving?

Unused items or items that are still in good shape can be sold in places such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and Craigslist. For items that can’t be sold but are also not trash, find organizations, such as Goodwill, The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, or your local thrift store, where you can donate them. Unusable items, such as broken toys, can be sent directly to the bin. If you have big pieces, such as furniture, to dispose of but can’t just leave them at the curb, try renting a dumpster.

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