Items You Should Leave Behind When Moving

Leaving the old house for a new one is the perfect time to revise your household. In most homes, unnecessary items pile up over the years and take away a lot of space. Decluttering should be part of your regular cleaning / clearing-up routine, but you can miss some of the items even then. In this article, you’ll find out more about decluttering and learn exactly what items you should leave behind when moving.

Why leave some items behind when moving?

Many people underestimate the power of decluttering before the move. The reason is that sometimes it’s easier to simply put items into boxes and deal with them later. However, decluttering should be on your checklist if you want a well-planned and organized move. Letting go of the items you no longer use will have multiple benefits. You will free up the space in your new home, create a more comfortable, healthier environment, and have fewer pieces to pack. This means you will pay less for the moving services – one more advantage of removing the clutter. But it’s often difficult to decide what are items we should get rid of before the packing starts. Let us help you with that.

Bonus tip: to make this process a lot more organized, you should sort all of the items in your home into categories. This should include the items you will bring to your new home, things you want to get rid of (donate, recycle or sell), and pieces you want to put in storage.

What are the items you shouldn’t bring to the new house?

Some of the items on this list may surprise you, yet you shouldn’t discard the idea right away. There’s a good reason why all of these items are here, so let’s begin.

Bulky furniture that doesn’t fit

One of the main things you should do when moving is compare floor plans and take measurements. There’s a good chance some of your furniture pieces won’t fit in the new house, especially if you are downsizing. You’ll have to replace them with smaller or slimmer versions. Measure everything early in your moving process. This will give you enough time to sell or donate the old pieces and go furniture shopping for the new house.

A couple carrying a sofa
Not all furniture will fit into your new home, so be sure to get rid of it on time.


The modern age has given us a fantastic opportunity to renew our wardrobe quite affordably. Some people do it every season or once a year, yet most forget to get rid of their old clothes. They pile up easily, cluttering your wardrobe. Make sure you get rid of the items you haven’t worn in a year or two, pieces that are worn out or damaged, or the clothes your kids have overgrown. There are several ways you can do this:

  • Offer hand-me-downs to your friends/family.
  • Donate clothes to a local charity.
  • Recycle clothes at a store that offers a discount coupon for them.

However, you may still be left with many pieces, and seasonal clothes could be the biggest issue when packing and storing. It’s essential to handle bulky clothes such as winter coats, jackets, ski suits, etc., with care, as they tend to get damaged easily during relocations. Storing them safely in a storage unit is an excellent idea if you’re moving during summer and you won’t’ need these items for a while.

A woman packing baby clothes
Old baby clothes may be perfect hand-me-downs.

Documents and old papers

It’s easy to forget paper items when decluttering your home. However, these are certainly some of the items you should leave behind when moving. Go through the old papers, documents, magazines, old warranties, manuals, and even books and see if you really need them in the new house. Recycle everything unnecessary and digitalize all the others. Scanning important documents, old photos, and memories is a great way to save space.

A person browsing documents as items you should leave behind when moving
Keep your archives decluttered – old documents are items you should leave behind when moving.


Unless your new home is just a short drive away, consider leaving your plants behind. Plants are pretty difficult to move, and even if you do everything to protect them, they might not survive the transportConsider giving them away to your friends or family – you’ll make them happy and create more space in your new home.

Leftover paint and other supplies

If you renovated the old house, you probably have some leftover paint or other supplies in your garage. As these were used to suit the style and color of that house, you don’t need them in your new home. Leave them behind for the new owners in case they need to do some corrections after they move in.

Items You Should Leave Behind When Moving 5
Leave the old paint and similar items from your garage to the new owners – they might find it useful.

Outdoor fixtures and in-ground items

Any items that are not easy to remove from walls or the ground should stay in place. Birdhouses, mailboxes, outdoor plants, light fixtures, etc., are pieces that belong to the old home. For that reason, such pieces need to be included in the exclusion list before you sign the sale contract – in case you want to take them with you. If you miss doing that, these items won’t belong to you anymore.

Leaving the old house is a process, both physical and mental. Sometimes, it’s not about the items you should leave behind when moving; it’s about leaving the old household and memories you’ve made there. Still, try to remember you have a new life chapter coming in your brand-new home. Stay positive and go for it!

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