What to Keep When Moving to a Smaller Home in Chicago

You are relocating to a new home soon, and it’s about time to start preparations for a move. But there’s one inevitable problem you’ll face – how to decide what to keep when moving? Which things are useful and deserve a spot on the relocation truck? Surely you can’t pack everything you own – that would take too long, and your new house would be too crowded. Don’t worry, we can show you how to handle this issue. 

How will you know what items are worth moving? If you want to have a fresh start, a huge amount of old belongings that you don’t even need isn’t something you want to see in your lovely Chicago home. Something has to be thrown, but getting rid of stuff can be emotional, and it’s not as easy as it seems. That’s why we gathered some tips that can help you approach this task rationally and with a clear head. 

How to Decide What to Get Rid of and What to Keep When Moving to a Smaller Place in Chicago? 

There’s no dilemma when relocating to a smaller place – you have to declutter some of your belongings. But the question is which ones. Although this task from your to-do list will surely give you plenty of relocation stress, it’s not something you can avoid. You must set some decluttering ground rules and make sure you bring stuff that makes you happy and fits into the style of your new home. That’s the only way you’ll move efficiently

What Should I Purge Before Moving to Another House?

So, what to keep and what to sell when moving to the best neighborhood in Chicago? Or should you donate some stuff? There are so many options that it can be overwhelming, but our relocation hacks will make it all easier on you and ensure you get to enjoy all the benefits of relocating. When you start sorting through your belongings, you should ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do I have enough room in the house for this item?
  • Do I really like this?
  • Do I use it regularly?
  • Have I used it in the last year?
  • Is there another similar item that I can use instead of this one?
  • Can I easily replace this item?
  • Does this have any sentimental value to me?
Coffee, pen, and a napkin that's written on
It’s decluttering time – get ready to purge your whole life

Make a Pile of Old Stuff That You’ll Throw Away in Every Room 

Considering the fact that you’ve decided to move to a smaller place in a safe neighborhood in Chicago, it would do you good to embrace minimalism – enjoy the space as it is and store only stuff you actually need. The best way to do this, especially if you have to move in a hurry, is to go room by room and sort belongings into piles. Before packing, divide everything into two piles – keep and throw away. After you have carefully done this, the keep pile will be ready to pack into boxes, and other stuff should be further divided into the following categories:

  • For selling,
  • For donation,
  • For recycling,
  • For trash.

Where Can You Donate Some of the Things You No Longer Use?

If you have many well taken care of belongings, the most logical solution would be to donate them. You would do something good, which will immediately help you feel better and less stressed-out, plus you’ll have way less to unpack after a move. Consider donating the excess furniture, books, toys, clothes, food (be sure to check if it’s expired), hygiene products (that aren’t already opened), and many other household items. Check where to donate in Chicago, and head down to some donation sites like Chicago Furniture Bank, Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore Chicago, or Brown Elephant. 

Garage Sale Is Another Option

If you’re worried that your expenses checklist will exceed your budget, organizing a garage sale is one of the ideas that can help you grab some quick cash. Of course, planning this event won’t be as fun as planning a going-away party, but luckily, it isn’t complicated. Remember, you can sell only things in excellent condition, and keep prices to a minimum – although it sounds strange, it is one of the best tips, and it will allow you to sell the most items. If you advertise this event properly and arrange your stuff neatly for the buyers, we have no doubt that you’ll be successful. Take a look at some great tips in the video below for additional help.

How Do You Pack Only Essentials From the Bedroom? 

We suggest you start your decluttering mission from the bedroom because your wardrobe will be a huge challengethat you want to get out of the way at the beginning – trust us. Packing clothes isn’t an easy thing to do for one simple reason. Everybody has a hard time throwing out their clothes, even if they’ve been out of fashion for years. But, if you want to move safely and not hurt your back carrying countless boxes with clothes, accessories, and packed shoes, we suggest you check out our tips that will help you pack smart. Also, we’ve added a few rules for decluttering other bedroom items. 

  • Clothes – Start with winter clothes if you’re relocating during summer, and vice versa. That way, things you wear right now will be packed last. Pick piece by piece and ask yourself how often you wear the item in question. Is it comfortable and made from quality materials? Do you have something similar to replace it with? 
  • Shoes – Of course, you may be able to pack all of your pairs. It depends on how many you have. Even if you’re a shopaholic, you shouldn’t hoard shoes you don’t like or wear anymore – they will just eat up space and prolong packing.
  • Accessories – Naturally, you will pack valuable jewelry, preferably in an essentials bag where you’ll keep it with important documents. But, don’t you have many trinkets that have no value, either monetary or sentimental? We all do, and now is the right time for you to get rid of yours. 
  • Rest of the bedroom belongings – You have to consider the possibility that your bed frame is too big for your new bedroom or that a lamp won’t match the style you’re going for. Think about this before you pack everything up. 
Bed, nightstand, painting, and a door to the bathroom
Do you have enough space for everything from your bedroom?

What Do You Really Need From the Living Room? 

At first, you might be puzzled – the living room has so many things. Not all of them are so cheap that they can be gotten rid of without a second thought. The only thing that is a no-brainer is your beautiful piano – surely, you will move a piano, right? Even in a small house, there’s space for this beauty, but the rest of the belongings are up for debate.

  • Furniture – If you’re not up for packing furniture you no longer like, this is the perfect chance to get rid of your old sofas or armchairs. Remember, the donation is always an option, but these pieces could be quickly sold during your garage sale. It’s a common practice to replace everything once you change your home. 
  • BooksWrapping books is every bookworm’s nightmare. It’s hard to part ways with something from your library. But, if you’re going to a smaller residence, you might have to. Keep books you love, those that have literary or sentimental value, and rare copies. If you really can’t decide what not to pack, you can rent a storage unit to keep your novels. 
  • Electronics – Obviously, you will pack a computer or a laptop that you use daily, and there’s no reason to overthink wrapping a TV, but if you have some outdated devices, consider throwing them out – why pack electronics and then let them sit in your place and collect dust? One of our tips would be to research whether you can recycle some of those devices. 
  • Decorations – Do you want to pack candles, vases, mirrors, or some other fragile stuff that stands on your shelves? Or are you ready to replace some of those when you start decorating your place in an affordable neighborhood in Chicago? That’s the only question that matters. Also, remember to pack your paintings – they won’t be so easy to replace, and unfortunately, they are some of the most commonly forgotten stuff to pack
Sofa, coffee table, plants, and shelf with books
If you’re downsizing for a move, you might not be able to pack everything

Which Kitchen Items Do You Use on a Regular Basis?

Wrapping dishes is one of the most complex parts of the move, and not even the fact that you’re going to the greatest Chicago suburb can change that. Also, we should mention that another hard thing to do before you move is cleaning your kitchen, but you should do that after you pack all the stuff you’ve decided to keep. The list below can help you stay organized when decluttering your kitchen. 

  • Dishes – Should you pack all pots and pans you own? We wouldn’t advise that – when wrapping any type of dishware, you should follow the rule that says – throw out pieces that you never cook in. When you pack plates, pack only those that are used regularly or have some value. And should you really pack glasses that haven’t left the cabinet in years? You see where we’re going with this, right?
  • Small appliances – Toaster, microwave, blender, and other similar devices should be packed. There’s no reason to waste money on buying different ones. However, if you’re not satisfied with them anymore, you can sell or take them to any donation center.
  • Table, chairs, and cabinets – Here, we have the same dilemma as we did with the bed. Can these fit in the soon-to-be-your kitchen? If not, you will have to buy something else. If they’re good to go, be sure to clean them before you wrap them (especially kitchen cabinets – there could be some crumbs left behind). 
Small white kitchen with two wooden chairs and a white table
If your kitchen is going to be smaller, you must decide which dishes are worth a spot

What to Keep and What to Throw Away From the Bathroom? 

The bathroom is the least of your problems when it comes to wrapping your belongings. If you’ve survived the kitchen, this will be a walk in the park. You should pack stuff from this room a day or two before you head to the best neighborhood in Chicago for families since you’ll be using it up until the last minute. Luckily, there’s not much to pack here. The more significant issue is cleaning the bathroom, but you should think about that later after you’ve packed everything. Your hygiene products should be packed in case they’re mostly full or expensive so you can’t easily replace them. The same goes for makeup. But, if some stuff is almost empty – throw those out. Also, remember to pack your shower curtain – people often forget that. 

White bathroom with a sink, mirror, and bathtub
 Bathroom isn’t hard to pack, but it’s challenging to clean

Which Items You Have to Throw Out Because Movers Can’t Move Them? 

It’s a well-known fact that some stuff movers won’t move because it isn’t safe to transport them. So, at least you won’t have to wonder whether to pack those or not – they go to the throw-out pile immediately. Here’s what not even the best professional movers in Chicago aren’t allowed to move for you:

  • Cleaning  and other types of chemicals,
  • Guns, ammunition, and any other weapons,
  • Valuable jewelry and other extremely expensive belongings,
  • Flammable and hazardous materials
  • Food,
  • Batteries, 
  • Paint,
  • Plants.
Pile of batteries
Batteries are some of the hazardous stuff that your local movers in Chicago can’t move

Do You Need a Chicago Moving Company That Will Help You Move Effortlessly? Contact Us

Now that you know what to pack for your residential relocation, all you have left to do is contact the best moving company in Chicago and prepare for your relocation stress-free because you know it will go perfectly. There won’t be any relocation scams with us – your belongings will safely arrive at their destination, and the relocation day will be over before you know it. Our services are affordable, and we will provide you with the most experienced movers and packers in Chicago. Why waste more time? Contact our relocation company, and you will have an effortless move.

If you want to move your office, we can offer you help with that as well. Our commercial relocation service is perfect for this – we can handle this easily since we’ve been doing it for a while, and our Chicago movers are highly trained to handle any difficulties. For those who have to move large stuff and are worried they can’t do it all on their own, we suggest our labor-only service. Let our best movers in Chicago handle everything, and your move will go without a glitch. Contact us for more information, and we will provide you with a team to help you move. 

Written by: Hannah Michaelson