A big move is enough to stress even the most kept-together renter out. You never truly know how much useless junk you’ve acquired until you have to pack it up into boxes. And when those boxes start running out an alarming rate, it may be time to A) List this stuff on EBay or Craigslist to make a few bucks or B) Find the nearest dumpster. So what goes and what stays?

Before you start the process of packing up, make a list of things you absolutely need for your new apartment. It’s easiest to sort by rooms. For your kitchen, does your new place have built-in appliances? Sell or store your microwave. Does your new living room have existing shelving? Find your bookshelves a new home! So here’s our breakdown of what to bring – sorted nicely into boxes for you.

Kitchen Box
• Plates, bowls, cups and silverware.
• All of your pots, pans and other cookware that are in good condition.
• Small appliances (Toaster, food processor, etc.)

Living Room Box
• DVD players, DVDs, video games and gaming consoles
• MP3 dock or Bluetooth speaker system
• Curtains and curtain rod hardware
• Sentimental or decorative knickknacks

Bedroom Box
• Alarm clock, books and framed photographs
• Linens, pillows and bedding
• Curtains and curtain rod hardware
• Shoes and clothes that can’t be transferred by hanger (Moving is the best time to truly sort through what you do and don’t wear and to donate unwanted, gently-used clothing.)
• Phone charger

Bathroom Box
• Towels and laundry baskets/hamper
• Toothbrush holder, soap dish, shower caddy and trash can
• Toilet brush and plunger

Office Box
• Laptop (or desktop computer)
• Printer, scanner, fax machine, etc.
• Mouse, mouse pad and other desk accessories
• All necessary power cords

If something isn’t listed in these boxes they either A) Belong in a miscellaneous box or B) Don’t belong in your new place. Moving is the perfect time to let go of clutter in favor of a clean, fresh start.

“What about my furniture?”

When it comes to furniture, keep only what you need, what you have space for and what’s in good shape. It may be time to ditch that sagging futon and invest in a new living room set using a financing plan. (Bonus: That furniture will be delivered to your new place. Less packing for you!) If your mattress sits on a frame, dismantle it for easy transportation. Protect your mattress with a protective cover before moving it outside and into the truck. If you have furniture to discard of, definitely post about it on your local bulletin boards, Craigslist, EBay and even Facebook. (Furniture will go fast, especially in college towns.)

I hope our guide to packing helps you to remember the important things and shed any excess. What will go into your boxes? What are your favorite packing and moving tips?

(Shelley Davenport is a copywriter for Move For Free, an apartment locating service in Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. For more moving tips, visit the Move For Free blog.)

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