Deciding What to Keep (or Toss) Before You Move

What to Keep or Toss Before Move

There are a lot of benefits of moving: moving to a great new neighborhood, getting a fresh start in a better home for your family, and having the perfect excuse to unload a lot of unwanted things filling your current home. If the last benefit made you scratch your head, hear us out! Sometimes we need an outside force to get us to go through our home and really declutter, and moving to a new home is a perfect opportunity to do so. If you’ve moved before and still have that random box in the garage you haven’t unpacked…you know exactly what we mean. Instead of schlepping that box to yet another home, ask yourself these questions to decide what to keep or toss before you move:

How far are you moving?

If you’re moving locally, you’ll have a bit more latitude in what you’re able to bring. Usual items that are typically advised to toss or give away, like pantry items, candles, or bottles of alcohol, can easily be moved over (just make sure to toss any expired pantry items!). Just remember: if you move with a lot of stuff, it’ll take longer to pack and move into your new home, meaning you’ll have higher your moving costs.

However, if you’re moving cross-country or abroad, you’ll have to be a lot more judicious about what to keep and take.

Do you use (or wear) this regularly?

While the majority of your household items will squarely fall under this category, its worth going through your belongings to determine if its time to say goodbye to some belongings. Set a timeframe (like 6-months to a year) and if you haven’t used or worn a specific item during that time, it’s probably time to give it up.

Use this as your opportunity to get rid of any old mugs, mismatched dishes, or small appliances or kitchen gadgets you rarely use, experimental makeup, old shoes or clothing items, or anything you forgot you even had.

What’s it worth to you?

This deals mostly with your sentimental items. It’s hard to place a monetary value on family heirlooms or your favorite keepsakes. They may also be things you don’t use regularly. Keep whatever still makes you happy and that you have space for in your new home.

Where will this fit in your new home?

Maybe you’re upsizing from an apartment to your first home. Or the living room in your new home is just a tad smaller than your current home. If it won’t fit, you may want to consider getting something new that will fit in your home. Also, if you don’t have a place for smaller items or collectables, you’ll need to decide if its worth making room in your new home for.

Place any items you’ve decided to toss before you move into a box to either donate or sell if they’re still in good condition or throw away if they’re past their prime. In short, it’s a good idea to get rid of excess items you no longer need, love, or can upgrade when you get into your new home. This will allow you to fill your new home with your most loved items.

If you’re looking for a new home in the Bay Area, visit us at to explore our great new home communities and discover your new home.