Most people don’t really want to add another thing to their moving day checklist. So they might think it’s easier to empty the pantry and fridge, put everything in the garbage, and not worry about moving boxes of food. Let’s think about the bigger picture, though. You might be saving some time now, before the move. But is it worth the trouble of dealing with a major grocery shopping spree later on? In this article, we’ll help you break down what matters most for moving food. (And how to keep things easy.)


What’s Actually Worth Moving?

It helps to think ahead when you’ve got a move on the calendar. If you already know that you’ll be replacing certain items once you get to your new space, there’s no reason to have your moving company bring them to that address. But when it comes to your food, the rule isn’t as clear-cut.

Gearing up for a move is always a good motivator to ditch the things that aren’t necessary anymore. So this might go without saying—but you should definitely toss out any expired food. Clear out the fridge and then check the pantry. Even though most things are “nonperishable,” there might be stale crackers, cereal, or chips that you don’t need to hold onto anymore.


Moving Food—Waste Not, Want Not

Once you’ve gotten rid of the food that’s gone bad, you’ll be ready to figure out the logistics of the move itself. Categorizing helps. Baking ingredients should all go in the same box, and canned items can stay together too. Just be sure the box doesn’t get too heavy.

As you sort through your food, you’ll want to stay realistic about what you actually care about keeping and eating. Any dry goods, canned goods, or snacks that haven’t gone past their expiration date could become great things to donate to a local food pantry or shelter. Keep what you like, throw out what’s bad, and then donate the rest.


Final Thoughts for the Moving Day

During the countdown to your moving day, it’s also a good idea to be more strategic with your grocery runs. Try to avoid buying anything that you won’t be able to eat while you’re still at your current address. Finish your leftovers, and maybe treat yourself to some carryout. Then you’ll have fewer items to pack up.

Last but not least, you might want to pull aside some of your go-to snacks for moving day. Or even a bag of food for the next day. You may not want to organize your new pantry right away. But definitely be sure to unload the items for your fridge and freezer! Also, plan on having a cooler or two handy for moving day. Even if your new place isn’t that far away, it’s better to be safe than sorry.


You’ll always have the option to leave your old food behind. Just remember that you spent money to get your food in the first place. Why let that investment go to waste?