What to Keep and Get Rid of When Moving to a New Home

A house move is a great opportunity to assess whether your current possessions deserve to be brought into your new home. Making choices in advance as to which items should stay or leave will cut down your moving costs and save yourself from additional stress. What’s more, you can even earn extra money by selling items you no longer need.

Moving is a huge leap and as you start afresh, your material possessions also need to be ‘adjusted’ to this new chapter of your life.

What to Keep

Deciding on the things you need to keep is definitely more important than choosing which items you’ll be getting rid of. When making a decision, think about the future value of these possessions. Below are some usual items that most homeowners want to keep with them during their house move:

1. Decorative accessories

You may not have an antique shop but keep a few pieces of your decorative ornaments for future use. Things like artwork, mirrors, and vases may not necessarily be things you need right now but they may become an attractive focal point in your new home later on.

2. Memorabilia

As much as possible, special memories are to be treasured forever. Going through some old photo albums and antique items can be quite a time-consuming and emotional project. It’s much better to pack your memorabilia in a box then focus more on your move.

Later on, when you have time to devote to your memorabilia items, you can make a rational decision to, for example, put your Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card, or a signed photograph of John Denver (circa 1978) up for sale or on auction. Alternatively, you may end up just getting them framed to better preserve and keep them on display.

3. Important documents

Nowadays, more and more people are going paperless, but you may need to keep important documents for a longer time. It may be quite tempting to throw away piles of paperwork during your move but do filter those which you think are essential.

Personal records you have to keep include:

  • Marriage license
  • Financial records
  • Birth certificates
  • Car license and registration
  • Warranty documents
  • Passports

4. Household appliances

You won’t fully know the weather conditions in your new place prior to settling in. For this reason, it’s best to keep your household appliances like humidifiers, space heaters, and fan with you, aside from the basics. This way, you won’t end up having to buy another appliance just because you found out it’s unusually cold or hot in your new home.

For items you wish to keep but will take up too much space in your new home, consider putting them in long-term storage. By doing so, you don’t have to unnecessarily get rid of items that are valuable and still useful to you.

What to Discard

Getting rid of items doesn’t really mean that you have to put them in the trash. You can either donate them or sell them by planning a garage sale. Your goal here is to reduce clutter and offset your moving costs to make settling into your new house much easier.

Below are some suggested items to say goodbye to when moving:

1. Low-quality furniture

Substandard furniture that is usually made of particle boards is very susceptible to getting chipped and ripped during a move. You can donate this furniture to family or friends (who want them) instead so you don’t end up with damaged furniture upon arriving in your new home.

2. Clothes you no longer use

It’s easy to go over the top when packing clothes. Take time to evaluate which clothes you wear regularly and are fond of, and then sell or donate those that you don’t use at all. Make sure to consider the weather or season in the location of your new home to help simplify your cutting back on clothes.

3. Food

Food can take up a lot of space and may end up getting lost or spilled during the move. Days before your move, consume everything that isn’t brand new or shelf stable, as well as specialty items. More importantly, don’t forget to eat all the perishable items in the fridge and freezer a week or two prior to moving.

You may even consider throwing a farewell party before your move so that you don’t have to worry about rushing to consume all the food products at home on your own.

4. Vehicles

If you find it fitting, you may want to think of selling that extra car or truck which has been sitting for quite some time in your garage. Doing so will significantly lower your expenses during the move and earn you some extra bucks.


Moving is a vexing task and, oftentimes, it can feel as if you have an endless amount of boxes to pack. To solve this dilemma, make sure to carefully evaluate which items you need to keep or discard.

Before you unpack your boxes or even prior to moving, don’t forget to do some deep cleaning in your new place to start on a fresh, clean slate.


Craig Jones is the Managing Director at Aussiemove, Australia’s largest independent moving alliance. Craig is a respected member of the removalist network in Australia, having served in senior positions, including the President of the removal industries governing body, the Australian Furniture Removals Association (AFRA). With 23 years of experience at Aussiemove, he has the skills and the highly trained team to move families safely and reliably, in Adelaide, across Australia and around the world.