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Moving to a new, smaller space can be an exciting adventure, but the process of downsizing often requires some tough decisions. As you prepare to move house, it’s essential to carefully consider the items you’ll be taking with you to your new home.

In this blog, we’ll guide you through the downsizing journey, helping you identify the belongings you should leave behind when moving house. Whether it’s outdated furniture, redundant play equipment, or the sentimental clutter that’s been collecting over the years, this list will help ensure your new space is functional and uncluttered, while still retaining the things that give you most joy. Top of Form

What Should I Leave Behind When Moving House?

The golden rule of thumb when downsizing is this: if it doesn’t fit the new space or match the surrounds, leave it behind!

Here is a list of things you should consider leaving behind:

Garden Plants And Tools

While it’s hard to let all your hard planting work go, you’ll have to if you’re downsizing to a space with no garden. Even if your new abode does have a garden, consider whether your existing plants will survive being dug up and replanted, and whether the new space will be suitable for their requirements. You may do better starting your garden afresh.

If you’re moving into a place with no garden, or only a small space, you can also get rid of any unnecessary garden tools and supplies.

Home Fixtures And Dishwashers

In Australia, most home fixtures such as lights and TV wall attachments, must be left behind as a condition of house sale or rental. You’ll need to discuss with your real estate agent if you wish to remove fixtures. In any case, light types are usually chosen to suit the space, and may not be as suitable in your new home.

Note that plumbed in dishwashers are also considered part of the property and should not generally be removed after sale or rent.

Over-Sized And Old Furniture

It’s a good idea to take a tape measure when you visit your new abode before you move. Take note of the clear wall and floor space available between windows and doors, to check where your furniture will fit. If your furniture doesn’t fit or won’t leave you with enough clear space around it, don’t take it!

Also consider the style of the new home and whether your old furniture will suit it. Heavy sofas that look great in a large family home may look disproportionately large in a small unit. Moving house can be a great opportunity to streamline and update your furniture collection.

So what do you do with furniture when downsizing? Consider whether an item can be repurposed, donated or sold. Read these tips to find out how to successfully sell your stuff on Facebook Marketplace.

Excess Home Décor, Clothes and Personal Items

When you’re downsizing, it may be necessary to reduce the amount of things you own. Even if you’re moving to a similarly sized space, take the opportunity to sort through your belongings and let go of what’s old, unsuitable or simply too voluminous.

Start decluttering a few months ahead of your move, so you have time to sort through the following:

  • CDs and DVDs
  • Books
  • Kitchen items
  • Bed and table linen
  • Knick knacks & keepsakes
  • Clothing
  • Paperwork
  • Toiletries
  • Cleaning supplies.

For decluttering tips, read our blog on how to declutter before moving house.

Outdoor Furniture

Once again, if it won’t fit well in your new garden or deck space, move it along! Outdoor furniture is exposed to the elements, so check the condition of any pieces you decide to keep, to ensure they’re still up to scratch.

Outside Play Equipment

If your family are no longer using the basketball hoop, trampoline or swing, it’s time to let them go. While you’re at it, check the garage for any other unused leisure items such as inflatable pools, golf clubs, tents and treadmills.

White Goods And Appliances

Before you move, measure the apertures for fridges, freezers and washing machines, to check if your existing appliances will fit. Also check bench and cupboard space in the kitchen if you have large kitchen appliances.

If your existing appliances won’t fit, you’ll need to buy ones that will, or consider whether you can manage without them.

Blinds And Curtains

Blinds that are fixed to the wall are generally considered fixtures and should be left behind. Curtains can be removed, but only bring them to your new house if it does not already have acceptable window coverings. Also be sure that the size and style of your curtains will suit the new space before packing them for your move.

Old Mattresses And Pillows

Check the condition of your mattresses and pillows, as this is the perfect time to replace them if needed. It can be more convenient to have new mattresses delivered directly to your new home.

Old Paint And Chemicals

Check your garden shed, garage or under the house and clear out any old paint, fertiliser, insecticide or other chemicals. Be sure to dispose of them in a safe manner, such as through your local council’s nominated disposal depot.


Get rid of out-of-date food and try to use up the food in your pantry and fridge before you leave.

Downsizing: In Conclusion

The process of downsizing and moving house can provide a great opportunity to say goodbye to excess belongings and those that are past their best days. As you prepare for moving to your new home, keep in mind what possessions truly matter to you and will provide you with the most amenity, comfort and joy in your new living environment.

Downsizing or moving house across Melbourne? Pinder Tower Movers offer a truly exceptional level of customer service, especially for those moving into their retirement home. Contact our friendly team for moving advise and a no-obligation quote.