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Only the Essentials! A Meditative Minimalist Moving Guide 

Only the Essentials! A Meditative Minimalist Moving Guide
Young girl sealing with tape big cardboard box

When it’s time to move from one house to another (especially if you’re moving long distances) you need to be very selective when it comes to what belongings that you’re bringing with you.

Moving a house full of items is expensive, difficult, and time-consuming. It’s best to minimize and declutter beforehand so you can lighten your load. 

But what should you do to get the best minimalist moving experience? We’re here to guide you through it. Keep reading for our minimalist moving guide to make your next move a breeze.

Set a Budget

Setting a budget for yourself before you start the moving process is one of the best ways to plan out what you’re going to bring and what you’re going to leave in the past. 

Moving is expensive. The more things that you’re moving, the more you’re going to spend on the way to your destination. Sometimes it’s more affordable to buy items there, depending on what it is that you’re buying. 

After you’ve figured out how much you’re getting from the sale of your home (you can get great, quick prices from, or after you’ve determined your savings that you can allocate to the move with the rent or the down payment is taken out,

Set a Limited Number of Boxes and Transportation

Giving yourself a storage limit is another great way to make sure that you’re not over-packing. If you don’t have places to put your items, you can’t bring them!

If you’re doing a small move and it’s only yourself or yourself and one other person, consider forcing yourself into only using your own transportation. Whether that means only using your car or being the person to drive a moving van, this limits the amount that you’re going to bring with you. 

Measure out your available space and decide how many boxes or pieces of furniture are going to fit. Commit to not adding any more transportation vehicles or shipping any extra boxes. 

Consider the Size of Your New Home

While you’re committing to downsizing, make sure you only bring enough things that you can fit in your new home. Are you downsizing? Is your home size staying about the same? 

It’s easy to get rid of things when you literally have nowhere to put them. If you’re moving from a 4-bedroom house to a studio apartment, you’ll learn to prioritize quickly. 

While you may not be able to go in and take measurements if the home is far away, try to get a feel for the floorplan, how you want the home to look, and how much storage space you have. Use that information to your advantage when you’re minimizing your things. 

Decide What You Need

There are some things that are must-haves when you move into a new home. It’s okay to bring those along. You need beds, your must-have electronics, living room furniture, and anything else that gets daily use in your current home. 

These things are priorities. Pack them first so you know how much room you have leftover when it’s time to start packing non-essentials. 

Compare Against the Costs of Buying New Items

On the other hand, are these must-haves worth bringing if you could instead donate them and buy new ones when you reach your destination? It’s quicker, easier, and you get to both offer affordable (or free) items to people who need them and get a whole set of new items for yourself. 

Get a quote for how much it would cost you to move everyone over from one home to the other based on the number of items you’re bringing with you. Then estimate how much it would cost to instead get new items when you arrive. 

If it’s only a small difference, or if you think you may spend less by donating your current things and buying new things, consider it. 

Consider Ditching Everything

While you’re doing this, take a minute to consider if you’re capable of getting rid of all of your things. 

This is a huge step and not everyone is prepared to take it. If it makes it easier, omit personal items and necessary electronics from the equation. Would you be willing to get rid of all of your furniture, all excess clothing, and all large and impersonal decorations? 

If you do this, moving is cheap and easy.

This isn’t a necessary step and most people aren’t willing or able to get rid of everything before a move, but if you truly want to go minimal, keep it in the back of your mind. 

Use Up Disposable Items

Once you’ve committed to moving as little as possible, take this time to use up everything that’s disposable. This means any food in the pantry (even if you could bring it with you, like canned food), any toiletries, and any cleaning supplies.

While you will need these things when you move into your new home, it’s easy to buy them the moment that you arrive. You’re giving yourself extra luggage by trying to bring them along. 


This is when you start the decluttering process. Once you’ve decided on the large and necessary items, you move to the things that might not be “needed” but as still valuable. How do you determine what should stay and what should go?

We have a few decluttering tips to help start the process. 

Plan Ahead

You need to determine a plan of action. Anyone who’s ever tried to move or even clean a bedroom knows how easy it is to get distracted and off-track when you’re going through your items. 

Go room by room, and better yet, area by area. Giving yourself small tasks to work with will stop you from getting overwhelmed. For example, start with a single closet in a single bedroom. 

If multiple people are moving, delegate tasks to everyone beforehand. This keeps everyone accountable, establishes a clear schedule, and makes the whole process go by more quickly and painlessly. 

Decide on Important Items

Before you start sorting everything into boxes, separate everything that you can see that isn’t an absolute necessity but still deserves a place in your new home. These are often items that you can recognize as sentimental.

Family photos, personal artwork, souvenirs from important events, and anything else that you’re really attached to should be set aside. 

While you do this though, consider why you’re interested in keeping those things. Can you not retain those memories without them? Are they treasured, or are you clinging to them? 

One great way of keeping up with this is using the Konmari method. Do these things spark joy, or are you hoarding? 

Keep Track of What You Use

Many of us keep items that we have no business keeping; we never use them. We hold onto them out of habit or because we forget that they’re there. This is the time to figure out what gets regular use. Those are the things that you keep. 

Have you kept pots and pans or Tupperware that you no longer use because you’ve received new and updated versions over the years? What about old electronics?

When it comes to clothing, establish a way to check which things that you wear. If clothing is seasonal you can omit it (after all, you can’t tell how much of your summer clothing you wear when it’s wintertime) but check whether or not it still fits. 

Otherwise, either try to use a different color of a hanger when you wear an item or flip the hanger backward when you wear it. This gives you a clear view of things that go unworn. 

Use the Box Method

Once you’ve removed everything that you have no chance of getting rid of, take several boxes and label them: 

  • Keep
  • Throw away
  • Give away
  • Fix or repurpose

Go area by area and assign things to their respective boxes. You may need to incorporate other boxes depending on what you’re decluttering, but this is a general set that should suit most rooms.

For example, start with one clothing closet. Things that you wear often go into the “keep” box. Things that are in good condition are in the “give away” box for either friends or charity donations. If something is ruined or damaged, throw it in the box for repairs or for it to be used in a project or as a rag. 

Minimalist Moving Made Easy

Moving like a minimalist is stressful, but you’ll feel so much better when you’re done. With these minimalist moving tips, you’ll lighten your load, save money, and save time when you’re moving into your new home. 

Ditch your extra items to enter into your new life. 

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