What Should You Take with You While Moving?

by c21commonweath_ldowling 3. December 2019 16:01

Are you unsure of what items to leave behind during a move? If you have a myriad of hefty household objects, furniture, and equipment on your property, you may wonder what’s worth keeping and what you should leave for the newcomers.

Your convenience isn’t the only factor. Buyers expect to own certain items on the property when they write the offer letter, unless negotiated otherwise. Luckily, there are some rules of thumb you can follow when deciding what to leave and what to take. 

To Pack or Not to Pack

To ensure a smooth and lawsuit-free move, most real estate agents recommend their clients stick to certain guidelines regarding what stays and goes. Here’s how each of these household items fits into the de facto code of conduct.

Built-In Fixtures

It’s common knowledge that a house’s fixtures (its built-in elements) should stay put. If something is nailed down, bolted, or mounted, it likely stays with the home. These items include lighting fixtures, built-in air conditioners, and other immovable items like hardwired alarms that connect to the electrical system.

If you’re not sure if an item is considered an immovable fixture, document your decision to keep it or leave it in your lease. Mounting devices for big-screen TVs, for example, are technically mounted into the wall but are part of a movable item. Let buyers know up-front if you’ll be taking items like these to avoid conflict down the road.


The refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, and washer and dryer aren’t considered fixtures because they’re not permanently mounted to anything. While you may want to take these items with you, consider negotiating them into the sale. Many homeowners (especially new ones) want the convenience of purchasing a home with appliances already included.

Outdoor Items

Sheds, basketball hoops, and anything else anchored to the ground should stay, but freestanding objects like lawn chairs and umbrellas can go. If you’re no longer attached to these items, consider including them in your sale to help make your newcomers feel more welcome. Basketball hoops in the front yard encourage kids to play outside and meet their neighbors, while backyard sheds provide more room for gardening enthusiasts to store tools, potting soil, and more.

Tip: You can’t just dig up your plants and take them with you. Landscaping, unless specified in your lease, is considered an outdoor fixture!

Window Treatments

While curtains are considered personal property, curtain rods, fixtures, and blinds fall under the immovable fixtures category. If you’re confused about what you’re allowed to take, just remember the “built-in” rule. Is the object mounted to the wall, or is it easily removable without the use of hardware? 

you’re no longer in love with your curtains (and you don’t have blinds), leave them behind for the new owner. Even if they don’t keep them long-term, they’ll appreciate having privacy before unpacking their own window coverings.

Negotiate Wisely

Now that you have a better idea of what you can and cannot take with you when you move, think about whether or not the items you’ll leave behind merit a higher asking price. A professional real estate agent can help you decide on a price that’s fair for both you and your buyers. If you’re not attached to that washing machine, let it stay with the house—it might just get you more bang for your buck.