Reasons People Move and 7 Things You Should Leave Behind

It is easy to get overwhelmed when thinking about your upcoming move. According to data collected by the United States Census Bureau, the average person will move approximately 11.7 times during their lifetime. For young adults, those aged between 18 and 34, the average number of times they move is slightly higher, at 14.2 times.1

Furniture dolly loading boxes

The reason for the higher average in young adults is largely due to many young adults moving away from home to attend university or college and then moving back home at the end of each school year, only to move again in the fall back to school.

People have all different reasons for moving, regardless of whether it is a local or long distance move. For most people, the primary reason they move is due to housing-related reasons, such as renting a new apartment or purchasing a new home. The second most common reason people move is for family-related reasons, with employment reasons coming in third, which is further supported by data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau from 2012 and 2013:

  • 48% of moves during this time were for housing reasons.
  • 3% of all moves were for family reasons.
  • 4% of moves for this period were for employment reasons.2

The Evolution of Residential Moving

When we are younger and moving back and forth from university or college, we do not really have a large number of belongings. It is easy to get our clothes, TVs, gaming systems, and other belongings into our vehicles. After we graduate, rent our first apartment, and start accumulating furniture and other property, moving starts to become more challenging.

It is not as easy to get a bed, sofa, end tables, and other larger items into a vehicle, so now, anytime we move, we get help from a residential mover. Eventually, most of us will get married or cohabitate, which means our belongings now double since there are two people living in the same home.

Happy couple holding out their keys

Then, many people decide to start families and have children. So now, there are even more belongings and property. Every time you introduce someone new to your family, it also typically means you will be moving into a new residence to ensure you have plenty of space for everyone.

With people moving quite a bit, it is no wonder, whether you move across town, the state, or the country, there will eventually be things you dread moving or should simply not move.

Item #1 to Leave Behind: Frozen and Refrigerated Foods

Most frozen and refrigerated foods are perishable and are difficult to move. If you are moving across town, you may be able to save some of these items using coolers and moving them in your own vehicle. However, the hassles of doing so are often not worth it. Plus, you would be surprised by how many people have frozen and refrigerated foods that are well past their expiration dates.

Instead, it is better to start planning meals around what is in your freezer or refrigerator about four to six weeks before your move to use the food up and toss out expired items. Then, you will want to avoid stocking back up on food and only purchase what food you will need to last you until moving day.

Bedroom clutter after moving

Item #2 to Leave Behind: Old Electronics

Depending on how long you have lived in your current home, you could easily have several old computers, TVs, smartphones, DVD players, and other such electronics you no longer use. Moving them just adds to the time and effort needed to box the items up, not to mention the extra space they will take up on the moving truck.

Rather than pay to move old electronics you are never going to use again, now is a good time to donate working ones to a charity or recycle them at a local recycling center. You will be glad you got rid of them, too, so you will not have to worry about where to store them in your new home.

Electronics and appliances

Item #3 to Leave Behind: Anything That Is Broken

If they no longer work or are falling apart and cannot be repaired, then recycle the items and get new ones after you move into your new home. This includes:

  • Electronics
  • Appliances
  • Vehicles
  • Furniture

For instance, you may have a sofa that has worn out springs and a broken leg. You decide to put off getting a new one because you know you will be moving soon, so, until then, you are making do. Now that your moving day is approaching, you have no reason to move the dilapidated sofa.

Item #4 to Leave Behind: Anything You Have Not Used in Two Years

If you are like other people, you probably have boxes of items in your garage, attic, closets, or other areas of your home that have not seen the light of day for several years. A good rule of thumb when it comes to most of these items is: If you have not used in the past two years, get rid of it.

Your upcoming move is a great time to go through the items in these boxes and see what is really in them. Unless they are keepsakes, like childhood photos, collectibles, or family heirlooms, it is time to part with them by selling, donating, or recycling the items.

Single female after moving

Item #5 to Leave Behind: Appliances

This is a no-brainer if you are renting and your landlord supplied the appliances in your current home. For people who recently sold their home and are moving into a new one where there are already appliances, you really have no reason to take your existing ones. Many people will offer to sell them for a reasonable price to the buyer instead of moving them.

The only exception would be if you have a stand-alone freezer you want to keep or the washer and dryer are not included with your new home, as long as it was a short distance move. For long distance moves, it may not be worth the effort. It is often better to sell the appliances and just buy new ones locally, where you know it will be easier to get them serviced.

Item #6 to Leave Behind: Bathroom Items

Most of the items in the cabinets and drawers in your bathroom will be outdated and/or expired. It is a waste of your time to pack these things up and move them. When disposing of expired over-the-counter and prescription medications, make sure to get rid of them in the safest manner, which is not always by flushing them down the toilet. For specific items, it is recommended to call your local pharmacy for advice.

Moving boxes

Item #7 to Leave Behind: Anything You Cannot Justify Keeping

All of us have “junk” in our homes we accumulate over time from so many sources:

  • Free give-a-ways at trade shows.
  • Gifts we received but never wanted nor will use.
  • Promotion items like those can coolers that never get used and which are piled in a drawer.
  • Family and friends off-loading their unwanted items by giving them to us.

You get the point. If there is not a use for it or it does not have meaning or value, it is time to part ways with it.

Getting Rid of the Items You Are Leaving Behind

There are several different viable methods for getting rid of anything you do not want to move. There are websites and apps, like eBay or LetGo, where you list items you want to sell online or give away for free.

Another option is to have a garage or yard sale and sell as many things as you can. You can use the money you make to help defray the costs of moving or to treat yourself to some new items or a day at the spa after you get settled into your new home.

If you have items left over as your moving day approaches, then donate anything you have not gotten rid of or sold. If it cannot be sold or donated, then toss it into a recycling bin. For larger items, like furniture, you may have to look for furniture movers near you that will pick up donations for free or talk to your moving company, as they may offer cheap moving services to help you get rid of unwanted items.

Someone picking up and moving a couch

Here at Midway Moving & Storage, we offer local and long distance moving services, as well as all-in-one options and storage solutions to make moving to your new home easy and convenient. To learn more about our professional moving services and to obtain a free moving quote, please feel free to contact us at 866-693-4148 today to speak with one of our Chicago movers.



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