ay goodbye to temporary living within boring walls you can’t paint– you’re finally moving into a house! This is an exciting transition that allows you the freedom to customize a living space you love, but it also comes with many new decisions you have to make.

Some decisions you’ll be faced with in the process of buying and moving into a house will be like whether you should take that old, worn-down chair along with you.

What to keep and what to part ways with when moving out can be a tricky endeavor to cross. For some, the idea of tossing everything out and starting afresh is tempting. Others desperately want to hold on to worn-down items when their replacement is long overdue. It is important to resist the urge to completely purge your belongings but to also avoid rehoming unnecessary clutter with you.

Moving tip: before you drop off any beloved belongings to the GoodWill down the road, do consider how much space you have in your new house, what the interior of it is like, and how far it is from your current location. Here are questions to keep in mind as you go through what items to keep or toss:

  • Is it worth the hassle and expense to transport?
  • Do I have space for it in my new home?
  • Does it fit my décor and taste?
  • Do I love it?
  • Have I used it in the past year?
  • Is it broken or expired?

Some items may be too difficult to transport from one place to the next depending on how far your move is, while others may simply not fit in your new space and décor. Use your judgment to assess which belongings are worth keeping and transporting.

Making the big move from apartment to house can be stressful, but our home buying tips will guide you through this new and exciting transition.

Items to Toss Out When You Move 

Clothes That No Longer Fit You or Your Style

Woman in yellow heels throws clothing item out of her closet to declutter from her move out of an apartment.
Decluttering your closet space before a move is a great way to avoid taking unnecessary items with you. Image courtesy of Joselito Briones.

Moving from an apartment to a house is a great excuse to finally clean out your growing closet. Even if your new home has more closet space, you still don't want to fill it with items you haven’t worn in years. Moving is the best time to go through your closet and reassess whether you need that worn-out fuzzy sweater from the 12th grade or that purse that hasn’t seen the light since you first bought it on impulse.

Go through everything from your clothes to your shoes, to your purses and accessories. A great rule of thumb to follow is if you haven't worn it in a year, or years, toss it out. Chances are you won’t even notice it's gone. Get rid of items you don't wear, that no longer fit you, or you honestly just don't like anymore.

Although some find it difficult to part ways with belongings, we can all benefit from a bit of minimalism. The decluttering process may create a fresh sense of control during a moving time when all else is hectic. There is no sense in hauling a closet of clothes to your new home that no longer serves you.

Décor and Other Items that Don’t Bring You Joy

Woman in gray hangs up a black and white picture frame of an owl’s eye in her new home after moving.
Do you have a picture frame you can’t even remember buying or putting up? Moving is the perfect time to reconsider what you have on your walls. Image courtesy of Picture Hanging System

What we decorate our homes with says a lot about the things we care about. If you still have posters and art up from years ago, this is the time to consider if you still like it. You may not feel as passionate about the things you hung up posters for in high school or college, or maybe your taste in décor changed.

Whether it’s a painting, an old vase, or an ugly flower pot that’s been vacant since your last plant died, you don’t need to keep any décor you simply don’t love anymore. You may also want to switch up the interior design of your new space, and that’s okay too.

This goes for other items you have around your apartment also. Don’t allow anything you have to see in your home that no longer brings you joy to take up your space. This could be an old gift from an ex that still gives you negative energy or a vase you honestly don't love from a close friend. No matter how great of a condition something may be in, you don’t need a better reason to toss out an item beyond that it no longer brings you joy.

Your space is yours, fill it with items that represent you and make you happy. If there’s any piece you currently have that you’re not excited to hang up or display in your new space, moving is your time to toss it out.

Documents and Books You No longer Need

A stack of books and files behind other large stacks of books.
The idea of letting go of some of your books may be difficult but can open up the possibility of new books you’ll be excited to read. Photo courtesy of Pacific Standard.

For some of us, much of our clutter comes in the form of stacks of books, paper, and mail you never glance at beyond adding more to the pile. A great moving tip is to go through your files and bookshelves and let go of any items you no longer need or use.

If you bought a book years ago that you’ve never read that is on a topic you are no longer interested in, toss it. Book collections are heavy and often difficult to transport. Although they can be a person’s most prized possession, don’t fill the bookshelves of your new home with pages you’ve never read and have no interest in eventually reading. Donating these books can give them a chance to be read and can give you more space for new book adventures.

Other items to consider getting rid of are junk mail, old papers, and expired coupons. These items may be filling up a junk drawer or folder in your apartment somewhere that you may not want to transfer to your new space. Moving is the time to dispose of that binder you kept from a calculus class you dropped in college and other unnecessary documents that should have gone in the trash years ago.

Clutter can be a major stressor for most people, and although you want to bring your beloved belongings into your home, make sure you don't bring unnecessary clutter along with it.

Items to Hold On To When Moving

Sentimental Pieces

A small box of sentimental items like a clock, rings, and a dried rose to take with you when you move.
Many of us collect memories from our travels, relationships, and lives that you may regret tossing out during a move. Image courtesy of Filling the Jar.

While decluttering your belongings for your new move, you may be tempted to dig into those old letters from friends you don't stay in touch with as often. Although some of these items may be okay to get rid of, it’s valuable to keep letters and gifts that mean something to you. This applies to any item, whether it is a piece of clothing that brings back happy memories, or an old furniture piece you love.

The little souvenirs and memories you’ve collected during your time in your apartment and beyond are often worth holding on to. Keep what makes your home feel like home.

Items You Can Make Use of During the Move

Two people are boxing up sweaters and other belongings during a move from an apartment to a house.
Consider keeping items you need to replace but that can benefit you during the home buying and moving process. You can always toss out these items later when you've upgraded them. Image courtesy of Better by Today.

Buying a new home makes you think of all the things you have that need to be replaced or upgraded. Although this is a great time to make those changes, in the hectic process of moving, you probably won’t be able to replace everything you’d like just yet. The process of home buying and moving is a very financially costly one, so it’ll usually take some time until you have everything you want.

The idea of taking your worn-out mattress to your new house doesn’t sound exciting, but you’ll be grateful to have it if you didn't have time to replace it just yet. This goes for other items such as a not-so-effective vacuum cleaner and other machines you may be eager to change now that you’ll have your own home. A valuable moving tip is to keep the things you want to upgrade a little longer during the transitional moving period, even if these items do get donated down the line.

Buying a home is a very exciting but hectic process. You will most likely have more space in your house but a very different kind of environment than you did in your apartment. Deciding what belongings to take with you isn’t always easy, but using our moving tips can lessen the hassle and help you enjoy this new adventure of homeownership.

Feb 11, 2022