Steve Harper

Standing in your apartment, you might assume that you’ll need to pack up everything in a truck when moving. You’d be wrong! There are many things items that you should keep with you, or not move, such as some hazardous chemicals. Here are some guidelines on what not to move.


Purging before you move

If there was ever a good time to clean out your closets, moving is it. You’re going through everything you own anyway, you might as well take the time to pare down your belongings. Here are some items you should consider giving up before taking the time to take them with you:

  • Clothes that don’t fit, or clothes you no longer want or need.
  • Anything that’s broken and can’t be repaired.
  • Furniture that won’t fit in your new apartment.
  • Anything cluttering up your apartment that you don’t use and doesn’t have sentimental value.
  • Books you won’t read again and don’t really want around. The same goes for knick-knacks and other dust collectors.

Consider doing a good deed while cleaning out your stuff. Whatever you don’t want can most likely be donated to a charity organization such as Goodwill.


Items to toss

It’s very possible that you have hazardous chemicals in your apartment that you really should get rid of rather than try to move. If you’re renting a moving van or hiring movers, they’re probably prohibited anyway.
Examples include gasoline, poisons, paint, oil and other liquids that you certainly wouldn't want spilling during transport and coating your belongings in something stinky and dangerous. You can be surprised at what you shouldn't move: even liquid bleach is likely a no-no, so ask the movers what’s banned in the van.

Even if these items are not forbidden by your moving company, packing hazardous chemicals safely in a box can provide a big challenge. Rather than try to put them on the moving van, look up your local regulations on disposing of such materials or give them to a family member or friend who’s staying behind.

Other items you’ll have to give up if you’re moving a long way: perishable food items. If you’re moving somewhere more than a couple of hours away (and that’s pushing it), then when you know you’re going to move, start eating the food in your fridge and freezer, because you can’t take it with you. Give away whatever’s left, either to family and friends or to a local food bank.

Save important items for last

When packing up, you’ll come across many things that you shouldn’t toss, but that you definitely shouldn’t pack away with the rest of your stuff. These are the things you should keep with you — pack them last, load them last and unpack them first.

We have several tips on packing boxes, including packing a priority box, but a good rule of thumb is this: set aside stuff you’ll need immediately, and stuff that’s too valuable to be lost. This can include medicine, important papers, your cell phone charger, even jewelry or other fragile items you especially want to protect. You should keep those items with you — they don’t go in the moving van, but stay with you in the car.

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Africa Studio



About The Author

Steve Harper enjoys seeking out and writing about topics that matter to renters for the Apartment Guide Blog. He hails from Atlanta, Georgia. Find Steve on Google.