Items you don’t have to pack

The biggest part of every move is packing. It’s both, exhausting and time-consuming. That’s why it’s very important to do it rationally. Using the move to reduce the clutter and amount of items you will take is always a smart idea. It boils down to looking at what items you don’t have to pack and setting them aside. Those will be either the ones you don’t need anymore or you simply can’t take with you. Read on to find out what exactly does this include

Think about your new home when deciding what are the items that you don’t have to pack

When planning the move it is certainly a good idea to take into account the size and arrangement of your new home. All good packing guidelines will point out the futility of packing something that you can’t fit in your new home. Maybe you like the sofa you have now, but it realistically can’t be placed in your new home. So get your measuring tape out and get yourself a pen and paper.

Woman working on a floor plan on her computer
Realistically estimating the space of your new home will help you decide what items you don’t need to pack.

Measure all your furniture and map out the floor plan of your new home. Take a realistic approach to it. While some of your old furniture may have a sentimental value to you if it physically can’t fit there’s no need to pack it. And even if you think “oh but I can make it work” don’t overestimate the space compromise you are willing to make. Handing on to a certain piece of furniture only for it to be in the way every day will grow annoying very soon.

Old clothes

Next up is the wardrobe. People usually tend to keep pieces of clothing that they might not even wear. Consider what items of clothing you actually use and which ones you keep just in case you want to make that one outfit work. If you haven’t worn something for more than a year or two, chances are you won’t suddenly start wearing it after the move. Add to these the clothes that just don’t fit anymore. Certainly, there is little point in bringing them with. Just like with furniture, take a realistic approach. Set aside clothes in three piles. One for throwing away, one for giving away and one for packing. This way you will save yourself from wasting times on items you don’t have to pack.

Art and plants

Depending on where you move, you may not be able to take certain items with you due to legal restrictions. What’s the point of packing an art piece or a plant only to have them impounded later on? Here, research becomes key when deciding which items you don’t have to pack. Check any laws and legal restrictions that may apply to your move. A lot of countries have a limit on the value of an art piece you can take to and out of the country. Similarly, ecological laws may prevent you from taking a certain plant with you, especially if they are considered an invasive species. Sadly the same goes for some pets. Therefore, the time invested in researching which of these items you won’t be allowed to take, while lost, will have you prepared against any nasty surprises later on.


Another type of items that you don’t need to pack is perishables. Preparations for moving day will include going through your fridge and pantry. Unless you are moving a very short distance, as in locally, chances are your perishables won’t survive the trip. Even if they are taken with utmost care, they may become damaged in the transport. Also, the move may take so long that they simply expire. It becomes not only pointless but counter-productive to pack them then. Just imagine opening the box with the perishables you packed, only to find a mix expired goods floating in the nasty sauce of the ones that got crushed. Just cleaning it up would be an additional chore after the move. And nobody wants that.

Strawberries in a bowl. Perishables are one of those items you don’t have to pack
Perishables are one of the items that there’s no point in packing.

Old books

You may have read a book and never intend on reading it again. But you didn’t throw it out. Well, the move is a great chance to say goodbye to it. After all, there’s no point in wasting time on packing a book you will never open again. Scour your library with a realistic mindset. Don’t underestimate the weight of books. Just make a smart selection, and pack those you know you will want to keep.


Decorations and accessories bring life to a home. Some may even have a sentimental value for you, but they are not essential items. Depending on your new home some may not even fit the décor. Therefore it’s smart to go through these as well and decide which fall in the category of items you don’t have to pack. Keeping the ones that have emotional value is natural. but don’t overdo it and pack some decorations you like only to have them sit in a box collecting dust because they wouldn’t fit your new home’s design

What to do with the items that you won’t be packing

Now that the selection has been made its time to answer another question tied to the issue of items you don’t need to pack. Namely, what do you do with them? Well, there are several options. First of all, you could sell them. Arranging a yard sale or selling them over the internet will dampen some of the costs you will incur in the moving process. Another option is to give them away. Ask around with your friends, maybe some of them would like to keep that plant or couch you won’t be taking along.

Person handing out a gift
Gift the items you won’t be taking along to your friends to make the best of them!

For the rest, you can contact one of the charity services, that will even pick up the items you’re giving away, further reducing the time you spend on these items. Finally, you can throw away the rest. It’s the most simple and time-saving approach, but it won’t give you any money or emotional satisfaction in return.

Packing smart

After reading through this guide you should be equipped to conduct your packing in a smart manner. Just take your time and keep your wits about you. Approach it rationally and avoid encumbering yourself with excess items. When the move is done, you will be happy about not having to unpack any excess possessions. Just remember this mantra – items that you don’t need are the items you don’t have to pack!

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