Sometimes, the whole seemingly hard and endless process of moving gets easier with knowing what not to move. And it will definitely make your whole moving project much less difficult if, from the very beginning, you know exactly what to put aside, take extra care with or just leave behind and buy a new substitute for once in the new place.

Firstly, exclude the perishables! This means all foodstuff and goods that can decay, spoil, or rot along the way. Most moving companies refuse to handle such goods, but if you are moving yourself a short distance, you can still afford to take some of them with you in your own car, just pay particular attention to eggs, meat and dairy. Plants also fall into this category, so depending on the distance and modes of transportation of your move, as well as the conditions in the new residence, you should make the important decision in advance whether to take them, plant them elsewhere or just give them away.

Secondly, know which stuff is hazardous! I remember once, when arriving late for a flight, I dropped a nail polish with some cotton buds in my purse in a hurry with the idea to remove my two-week-old varnish, as I had an important meeting at the airport right after landing and just couldn’t show up with my nails in that state. The ground police at the airport on departure not only made a total fool of me, but also treated me like a first-class terrorist for “carrying explosive materials in my personal belongings”. Thus, sometimes we really forget which otherwise common household stuff is really dangerous. Therefore, when packing make sure to consider the following goods in the dangerous category: all kinds of batteries, chemistry and painting sets, fireworks, lighters and matches, fertilizers, any kind of oxygen bottles, etc. For a complete list, it’s best to check the internal policy of the chosen forwarding company and/or federal laws if moving to another country, state, etc.

Thirdly, pack up what travels with you and what goes with the movers! It is an internal policy of most shipping companies to not allow the transportation of personal documents and papers such as passports, licenses, any kinds of certificates, wills, insurances, deeds, bonds or stocks. Jewelry is referred to as a non-transferable good, too, just as all items of personal value such as photos, photo albums, including personal home movies, whether on video tape or CD, any types of computer software, personal collections of coins, stamps, paintings or other kinds of art, even kids’ paintings and artwork. It is also very important to know that no medicines or prescription drugs can be moved by the removal company. So when you are wondering where and how to pack any item that falls into these four non-transportable categories (documents, jewelry, objects of personal value, and medicines), make sure that it safely travels with your personal baggage.

Finally, the last paragraph is a good point to start considering and even making a list of what could and should be left behind. There are always things of high-value, that are either really expensive and/or have an immeasurable personal importance to you, which makes them truly irreplaceable. Yet, there are also lots of items which could be purchased again with no trouble once you settle in the new residence.

Perhaps, you should also consider the ancient Chinese proverb advising us to always start a new home with something new, which is probably another way of saying that it is sometimes healthy to cleanse by leaving some stuff behind with no regrets.

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