If you are moving to Florida and wondering what items to leave behind, we have just the article for you. When we moved to Florida, we were stressed about sorting our belongings. What should we keep? What should we sell? What should we give away?
Having lived in Florida for years, we can give you our best advice when making challenging decisions regarding items you may no longer require.
Not to mention, it’s also an opportunity to declutter and leave behind certain things that may not be as necessary in your new Floridian lifestyle.
Here are five things you might consider leaving behind:
1. HEAVY Winter Clothing
Florida is warm—all year round. Unless you live in the farthest areas of Florida, you will very rarely need anything more than a light coat.
Florida is known for its warm, tropical climate. It’s paradise.
Winters here are mild, if not warm, compared to many other parts of the United States.
So, one of the first things you can consider leaving behind is your heavy winter clothing.
We are talking about multiple heavy jackets, ski gear, snow boots, thermal wear, and things that are needed for survival in the blistering north.
Trust us, you’ll find yourself in a winter month like November or December with shorts and tank tops at the beach.
Winter is just not that cold in Florida.
If the clothing item is rated for sub-zero temperatures, you won’t need it.
But before you put all your winter clothing in a box and drop it at a local charity, there are some things you will probably need to keep around.
2. Snow-Related Gear
Following the theme of weather, any snow-related gear like snow shovels, snow blowers, or ice scrapers can be left behind.
Don’t worry, you probably won’t see snow. Even if you do, it would be a phenomenon. You can read our blog about why it rarely snows in Florida.
In Florida, snow is a rarity, and even in the northern parts of the state, it’s uncommon to see more than a fleeting dusting.
The image above is probably the worst snow you’ll see in Florida—and that barely dusted the ground.
We live in Orlando, and it’s only snowed twice and stuck in the last 100 years.
Without the need to battle icy roads or clear snow from driveways, these items become unnecessary clutter in your new home.
For example, you will no longer need to store all-season or snow tires. You won’t need to be prepared to battle icy roads during your commute.
In fact, the trade-off for less traction in rain and heat for potential snow and ice isn’t worth it here, according to tire experts.
3. Heating Appliances
When we lived in Chicago, it was normal to have portable heaters to cut down on high gas bills in the winter. But that’s all changed in Florida.
If you’re moving from a colder climate, you might have a collection of space heaters, heated blankets, or other heating devices, but you probably no longer need them.
Although there are random chilly nights in Florida where they could be useful as temperatures drop to the 50s, it’s probably not worth the space needed to store them.
Our state’s climate is almost always warm, and most homes are equipped with central heating and cooling systems that are more than adequate for the occasional chilly evening.
Not to mention, the amount of heat needed is minimal because our temperatures aren’t dropping anywhere close to freezing—typically.
4. Excessive Formal Wear
Florida is chill. It’s the kind of place to leave your worries behind—and ties, high-heels, and cocktail dresses.
Unless you are required to wear formal wear for work, you won’t be needing much of it here. Florida is LAID BACK!!!
Think more Margaritaville and less Gatsby.
Going out on the town with shorts and short sleeve shirts is common here. In fact, the closer you are to the coast, the more apparent this becomes.
You can typically wear summer clothing in most restaurants in Florida, unless there are any explicit dress codes in place.
Even in a place like The Edison—one of Disney Spring’s nicest restaurants—you can see how many people are in short sleeve shirts.
While it’s always good to have a few formal outfits for special occasions, even these outfits may require a change. That black suit hiding in your closet for “special occasions” may need to be replaced with a breathable linen suit.
We prefer lightweight fabrics because it’s hot and humid here.
So, if your closet is overflowing with heavy, formal clothing, you might want to pare it down before the move or replace items after you arrive.
5. Anything that rusts
If you are moving from a dryer climate where items left outside rarely rust, you are in for a rude awakening.
Those bikes, tools, furniture, and outdoor electronics aren’t going to last long on your back patio in Florida. If it can rust…it will rust in Florida.
Florida’s humid and salty air makes these items susceptible to rapid deterioration. And, the closer you live to the coast, the worse this problem becomes.
Check to see if any of your materials are made of the following rust-prone metals:
- Iron and Steel: Especially when not stainless or galvanized.
- Cast Iron: Common in cookware and some types of machinery.
- Carbon Steel: Found in tools, knives, and certain construction materials.
- Wrought Iron: Used in outdoor furniture and decorative items.
- Mild Steel: Often used in automotive parts and structural steel.
Okay, now that you know what to leave behind, let’s talk about things you may want to keep.
Winter clothing you should KEEP
Not all winter items need to be discarded. We live in the Central Florida region outside of Orlando and there are weeks that it gets cool.
In fact, on a recent November trip to Siesta Key, we needed our sweaters on the beach.
The following is a list of items you may want to keep during the occasional cold-spell in Florida.
Lightweight Jackets or Windbreakers
These are perfect for cooler evenings and mornings. Florida can experience brief cold snaps, especially in the northern and central parts of the state.
We live in the Orlando area, and we have light jackets on during random days from November through March. It’s not often, but it does happen.
A lightweight jacket or a windbreaker is ideal for such times, providing enough warmth without being too heavy.
Long-Sleeve Shirts and Sweaters
Sweaters and long-sleeve shirts are perfect for layering on days when the temperature is a bit lower, especially in the early mornings or late evenings.
We even find they are useful on beach evenings when the sun is going down and the wind kicks up.
Materials like cotton or polyester are great choices as they provide warmth without causing overheating.
While shorts might be the go-to for Florida’s hot summers, having a few pairs of comfortable jeans or other long pants is a great idea.
We use pants quite often when going out for a night at Disney Springs or a local restaurant in Clermont.
We love light fabric pants that are versatile and can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion.
Don’t go throwing away all your closed-toe shoes with dreams of sandals, sand, and barefoot walking.
Although sandals and flip-flops might be the norm, having a couple of pairs of closed-toe shoes is necessary.
In fact, Tom and I are in shoes more than we thought. We are on the go a lot and our new active lifestyle requires comfortable shoes. We do have comfortable walking sandals, but they aren’t always the answer for biking and hiking.
Not only does it get cool at night during the winter months, but you’ll want to take advantage of the outdoor adventures, biking, hiking, and walking through Florida’s many thousands of miles of trails.
Florida is known for its sudden rain showers, especially during the summer and early fall.
We were surprised by how consistently it rains in the afternoon during the summer monsoon season.
Keeping a lightweight rain jacket or a compact umbrella is essential. And by essential, you should have those items in your new Florida home and all of your cars.
These items are not specifically winter gear but are year-round essentials in Florida due to its wet, subtropical climate.
You’ll Want Open Space For New Things
When we moved to Florida, we thought we had everything we needed. After all, we had a few beach bags for our occasional vacations from Destin/Orlando two weeks each year.
However, we soon realized that to fully embrace the Florida lifestyle, we needed to purge.
Our move was really stressful, but we did it. We packed 60% of our belongings and gave away or sold the rest.
We mourned our stuff, stuff we thought we “had to have” to live a fulfilled life.
But the truth is our new life required mental space, free from the things that were sitting dormant in our basement and our garage.
Check out our recent blog on moving from Chicago to Florida—it was SO worth it.
In summary, when moving to Florida, think about the climate and lifestyle differences. We’ve made this move, and we understand that a lifetime of accumulation can be a real headache—knowing what to keep and what to leave behind.
But remember, moving to Florida is a new adventure and that may require space to fill with new memories.
Leaving behind heavy winter gear, snow equipment, heating appliances, formal wear, and rust-prone outdoor objects can make your move easier and your life in Florida.
This decluttering process not only lightens your moving load but also gives you a fresh start in embracing the Floridian way of life.