August 16, 2021 Posted in Moving Essentials
Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.

What to Keep When Moving – Things You Shouldn’t Relocate Without

When a person is changing a city or a state, deciding what to keep when moving is probably the hardest part. And to be fair, we are all hoarders deep down, and we all have a bunch of things we keep but don’t need. On the other hand, some belongings are essential for our normal functioning. And knowing to distinguish between belongings we need and those we don’t is essential when long-distance moving.

Woman deciding what to keep before cross-country moving Keep stuff you will actually utilize

One of the common relocation mistakes people make is that they bring along a bunch of junk and items they do not need. And not only that your packing will be a nightmare, but unpacking after the move will be too. Not to mention that your relocation cost will be higher with more stuff. But if you organize your move and start going through your belongings on time, you will see that you can live without much stuff and start your new life with belongings that are actually worth keeping.

How to Decide What to Get Rid of and What to Keep When Moving Cross Country

One of the best relocation hacks you can implement is that you start sorting your belongings before you contact a cross-country moving company. If you start early, you will have time to make a household inventory list of belongings you plan to bring with you. This way, movers will be able to give you a more accurate estimation of the long-distance moving services cost. And while you are making this list, you will have to decide what to keep and what to throw away. The golden rule of every decluttering is to keep only items you are using. Everything that hasn’t been used for more than two years must go.

Move With Confidence Get a Free Quote

Estimate the Value of Items

Determining the value of your belongings can be tricky because some belongings are more valuable for you than others. So how do you decide? As we suggested earlier, implement the golden rule of every item. Create a pile of stuff you consider to throw in every room, and later you will go through those piles again. When going through piles, put aside things you think have some value, go on eBay and see the prices other people set. If it is worth anything, take a photo inventory of all stuff you plan to sell and put them online.

Purge Your Home and Get Rid of Things You Don’t Need

While estimating the value of your belongings, you will have many belongings that must be thrown, like old medicine or half-used bottles of shampoo. Also, get rid of all belongings you don’t use and those meaningless or without value to you. You can either donate unwanted items or throw them. Go through your box of electronics and cables to see what is worth keeping. There are probably a bunch of cables and chargers you have no usage of.

Old records Make a good judgment about what to throw

What to Keep When Moving – What Items Are Worth Moving?

So we have an answer to the question, “What should I throw away when I move?” Still, it doesn’t give us an exact answer of what to keep. Some stuff has more value for us, even if someone can consider them junk. Therefore only you can make decisions about what you will bring with you. And in order to do so, you will have to implement another rule –  “Let go of guilt.” If you have old furniture which you inherited from your grandparents, do not cling to it. If there is no way to salvage it, see where you can donate that furniture. Also, if you have a lot of gifts you never used or like (mugs, scarfs, picture frames, and others) but keep them because of the guilty feeling, it is now an excellent opportunity to get rid of them.

Keep Your Precious Memories

When relocating to a new house and purging the old one, people are tempted to throw away everything. They lose patience and just start throwing everything away. That is why it is important to start with decluttering early, so you do not throw away anything important in the spur of the moment.

A pile system is excellent in preventing losing something vital because you will go through the same belongings at least twice. So if some belongings from that pile remind you of some important event in your life, you should keep that item. But of course, do not keep everything. For example, if you have more belongings from one family trip, only keep the ones that remind you the most of that event.

Go Through Your Documents

Relocating to a new state will bring with it a lot of paperwork. You will have to prepare your home for sale, for example, or have papers ready before you start with house hunting. Furthermore, if you plan to use an auto shipping service, your car’s papers must be ready for long-distance movers as well. Organizing important documents and going through a bunch of paper is probably a nightmare for everybody. But if you start with this on time with a good strategy and some tips, you will finish it in a blink of an eye. Take on the box to put inside all the papers you think you will not need anymore, but do not throw away those papers immediately, nor until you go through them again. Something important might end up there by accident. Then divide all your papers in the following order:

  • Personal documents – Put here IDs, social security cards, and passports of all family members and medical and school records and diplomas and certificates.
  • Home papers – Proof of ownership or mortgage, blueprints, permits, and proof of any renovations.
  • Car papers – Car insurance, registration, and loan or proof of paid debt.
  • Bills and coupons – Put all ongoing bills and coupons here. Whether you plan to transfer your utilities or cancel them, you should keep bills for a couple of months.
  • Testaments and fonds – If you have testaments or fond papers you already know, you must keep them safe. These documents are not easily replaced.

Check out this video for more tips on how to sort your documents.

Only Keep Clothes You Are Actually Wearing

When you start to pack your clothes, keep only the dresses and shirts you are wearing. If you still have jeans from your high school that you hope will fit again, now it is the moment to move on. If anything, if you lose weight, you can always buy a new one. The same goes for stucking shoes. Keep the comfortable ones, and throw or give someone the rest. On the other hand, if you have some expensive high heels, and know you will not wear them ever again, keep those for your daughter or niece.

What Is Worth Saving From the Kitchen

Keep aside expensive appliances or kitchenware like a crockpot, microwave oven, mixer, blender, and slow cooker – basically, every kitchen item that you will use. But if you have a bread baker or pasta maker you never used, now is an excellent opportunity to sell those belongings. When you start to pack pots and pans, keep the ones that are in good condition (have all the handles and lids). The same is when you start to pack plates. You should get rid of all the chipped plates you have. Also, go through your pantry and throw all expired spices and food.

Woman mixing a cream Kitchen devices should go with you

Some Old Stuff Can Be Good in New Place

If you are good with crafting stuff out of wood, you can always try and refurbish your old chair, sofa, or even china cabinet and thus get new, unique furniture for your new place. So when thinking about what to get rid of when moving across the country, consider this option, too. On the other hand, if you are not good with crafting, ask around and see how much it will cost to pay someone to do it. Some antique furniture is worth saving, and the restoration price may be more economical than buying one.

Consider Renting a Storage

If you are relocating at the last minute and maybe going to a smaller home, you probably will not have enough time to sort all your belongings. If this is the case, consider renting a storage unit from your long-distance moving company. Reputable cross-country movers usually have this service included in cross-country moving services, free of charge for a whole month. With this service, you will have enough time to settle in and go through your belongings at your pace.

Storage unit of the long-distance moving company Put your belongings in storage and sort them later

Start Packing Yours “to Keep” Pile on Time and Don’t Forget About the Essentials

Every professional mover will tell you that the best relocation day tip is to have your box or bag of essentials packed. When deciding what to keep and what to sell when moving, put aside your necessities along the way. Pack all the belongings you will need for a couple of days, like you are going on a short vacation, from bathroom items and hygiene products to medicine and first aid supplies. Of course, your clothing should be there too, as well as bedding for you and your family.

Furthermore, if you are relocating with kids, the best way to keep them happy is to bring their favorite toys. Do not forget cleaning supplies so you can clean everything before you start unpacking. Bring some food, snacks, water, and coffee too.

Is It Worth Paying for Packing When Moving?

Once you are done with decluttering, you may feel tired to pack everything, and you probably wonder should you hire movers for packing service. This may feel like overindulging yourself, but in the end, it will pay off. With this service, you will not have to buy any protective materials (for starters,) and not to mention that your insurance will be much higher. And last but not least – with professional tips and tricks, your unpacking will be even faster. Bear in mind that this service will not cost you that much if you get rid of all unwanted belongings.

Cross-country movers packing up the boxes If you declutter enough, all relocation services will be much cheaper

What Items Will Movers Not Move?

Well, we talked about what belongings you should keep but what about belongings you must not bring with you? There are stuff movers won’t move, and believe it or not, relocating a piano is not one of those things. They will not take food, plants and flammable and otherwise hazardous materials. So bring those belongings with you or throw them before your truck arrives. Create a plan and start spending all food from your pantry and refrigerator on time. When it comes to relocating your plants long-distance, this is not impossible, only a bit difficult, and it depends on the rules and regulations of the state you are living in and relocating to. So when you contact your movers, ask them about this and what your options are.


    Get a Free Estimate 877-888-0708