What to Get Rid of When You’re Moving Cross Country

What to Get Rid of When You’re Moving Cross Country

Moving is a time for new beginnings. It is also a time for endings—for getting rid of stuff that you no longer need. The decision to get rid of household goods is not always an easy one. There may be that nagging sense that you will need the things you decide to trash. Sentimental attachment is also an obstacle to throwing objects away. Though you might be hesitant to part with some of your belongings, doing so lightens your load – both saving you money on the long distance move and making it easier to unpack once you reach your destination. As you plan your cross country move, here are some things to consider tossing out or donating before you start packing:


If you’re like many people, you probably have a stockpile of perishables in your fridge and freezer. These don’t transport well, especially if you’re moving out of state. At least two weeks before the move, start de-frosting those frozen foods and eating what you can from the fridge. The goal is to eat as much as you can before you move so that you don’t have to throw it away.

Worn-Out Furniture

If you have furniture that you’re considering replacing when you get to your new home, now is the time to dispose of it. Donate or sell your old tables, desks, couches, lamps, and other furniture now to make your move easier. Unless they are antiques, these items have probably served their usefulness. Rather than take up space with furniture that you will likely get rid of when you get to your new place do the deed now—before you go.


You will need some hygiene and grooming products to get you through the transition period, but you need not carry along all the old bottles of mascara, nail polish, and hairspray that currently clutter your cabinets.

Old Sheets and Linens

Over the years, you may have accumulated several sets of bedsheets and towels. If some of these are looking tired or have started getting holes, it’s time to discard them. If your sheets are in decent condition, you can donate them to Goodwill or another thrift store. Alternatively, consider cutting up old linens to use as cleaning rags as you prepare your home or apartment for moving out.

Unused Toys

If you have kids, they probably have lots of books and toys that they’ve outgrown. Before the move, have them help you go through their toy bins and decide what to keep and what to donate. They can go with you to donate these items to a local charity.

Holiday Decorations

Do you keep putting away Christmas lights every year only to remember they have a short when you go to decorate again? Take time before your move to sort through your holiday decorations, getting rid of broken ornaments, malfunctioning lights, and other items that won’t be useful in your new home.


Unless you’re moving an entire wine collection, it may not be worth the hassle of bringing any alcohol with you. Different states have varying regulations regarding the transport of liquor, plus alcoholic beverages must be transported in a climate-controlled vehicle. Before you move, share a last drink with friends and neighbors or bring your beverages to your going-away party to polish them off.


Like alcohol, candles don’t handle temperature fluctuations well and will likely melt if transported via a moving truck. Instead of packing them, give unburned candles to friends or family.

Ill-fitting or Outdated Clothing

If you still have t-shirts from high school or pants that haven’t fit you since freshman year of college, it’s time to do some closet purging. While you might be hanging onto some things in the hopes that they’ll one day fit you again or they’ll come back into style, they aren’t worth toting across the country. Donate your unused clothing to someone who can get some additional wear out of it.

DVDs and Books

In the current days of Netflix streaming and Kindle books, you probably don’t need to take all those stacks of DVDs and shelves full of books with you. Sort through your collection and pare it down to those essential movies and reads you must keep. Donate the rest.

Kitchen Gadgets and Appliances

We all have kitchen accessories and small appliances that get moved to the back of the drawer or cabinet and never see the light of day. From quesadilla makers to avocado slicers, get rid of all those unnecessary kitchen gadgets you’ve been accumulating.