Long-Distance Moves: What to Leave Behind

Making a long-distance move adds logistical challenges you don’t have when moving across town. One of the easiest ways to reduce your packing stress and keep costs down is to scale down your belongings. Why pay to pack, store, and move possessions you don’t really need – or even want? Deciding what to leave behind can be tricky, though. Here are some ways you can downsize without leaving behind the things you love.


Start with the oversized items that are bulky and more expensive to move. Do you have furniture stored away in the attic, garage, or basement your household doesn’t need? Or furniture you have no attachment to? If so, sell, donate, or give these pieces away. Unless items are family heirlooms you want to pass on, you don’t need to bring excess furniture. Instead, treat yourself to new furniture as you settle in your new home.


Before you start putting items into boxes, go through your closets and your dresser drawers. Make three piles of things you:

  • Wear regularly (including special occasion items you wear even if not all the time)
  • Don’t ever wear– because they don’t fit, or you don’t like them
  • Are on the fence about

Pack up the clothes you actively wear, donate or sell the clothing you don’t wear. Carefully go through the third pile and decide item by item if it’s worth packing – you might be surprised at what clothing you’ll decide you don’t want to bring.

Books, DVDs, and CDs

Years ago, people actively used books, DVDs, and CDs, but today’s digital and streaming options make them less of a commodity. These items take up a lot of space, so eliminate those you genuinely don’t use and only bring those collectible, first edition, or hard to access things.

Mattresses and Pillows

Moving is a great excuse to start with new mattresses and pillows. Unless these items are new (or new-ish), consider leaving them behind. Mattresses only last about ten years these days anyway, so it might be worth investing in new bedroom sets instead of paying to move these large items. You’ll also leave any potential dust mites behind.

Blinds and Curtains

Chances are your new home’s windows won’t be identical to your current ones, and your blinds and curtains won’t fit. You don’t even have to donate or sell these – you can simply leave them behind for the new occupants to use should they want.

Kitchen and Bathroom Items

Moving is an excellent opportunity to declutter. You probably have a ton of excess in your kitchen and bathroom that doesn’t need to be moved long-distance. In the kitchen, first, go through your pantry. You probably won’t need to bring most of these items. Get rid of expired foods and donate nonperishable foods to a local food pantry. Next, weed out chipped dishware, mismatched pieces you don’t use, duplicates, take-out condiments and menus, and any unused small appliances. 

Next, move into the bathroom, get rid of almost-empty shampoos, conditioners, and soaps. Discard used toothbrushes, loofahs, razors, and old makeup. Plan to buy new toiletries and shaving products when you get to your new place.

Pro Movers Can Help

Eliminating the items that you don’t need makes a move less expensive, easier to pack, and ensures no clutter in your new home.

Are you getting ready to move? Call us for a free estimate today!

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