If you're planning to move long distance, you know that selling or donating the really big, bulky furniture can save you money and grief during the move. But should you extend that to all of your furniture, rather than just the big things? Sometimes you can get the answer by looking at the item itself, while other times, the circumstances surrounding your move can dictate whether the pieces of furniture are expendable.
Cost and Condition
Costwise, it can be a wash, as the money you'd save by dumping every single piece of your furniture before the move would just go toward buying new furniture at the new location. Dumping the really big, really old stuff first can pay off in the end because you'd be able to get new items that would last a long time. But dumping every last piece can quickly whittle away at any savings because a lot of those little things, like night stands and desks, don't take up much room to begin with in the moving truck.
If you've got older pieces, like a big old bed, those are worth selling or donating first. But a small plastic storage cart, for example, is worth taking with you because omitting it isn't going to make much of a dent in your moving bill.
Are you moving to a decently-sized city where finding furniture is a snap? If so, you can afford to leave more furniture behind in your old city. Many big box stores sell furniture pieces that are basic but decent, making refurnishing your home a relatively fast job. But if you're moving somewhere where getting to a furniture store is a multihour drive, taking your old furniture will be much more helpful to you.
Items that you can flat-pack and reassemble may be worth keeping, depending on how much of a pain it is to take them apart and put them back together. A desk where you just have to screw in metal legs can be easy to reassemble and worth taking, but a desk where you have to remove every last screw might be more trouble than it's worth, even if you have a power screwdriver.
Of course, really unique, antique pieces are a special case. That metal bookcase dating from the Depression era? You might not find a lot like those anymore. However, that wood bookcase from your college years that you got at a department store? That, maybe, can be left behind.
Talk to the moving companies that you're going to get quotes from about how moving furniture affects their quotes. There may be certain items that they consider to be real game-changers, adding a significant amount of money to your moving bill.