Packing Tips for a Move
Getting ready to move into a new home can bring feelings of excitement and happiness, but packing can be stressful. Figuring out where to begin, knowing what to pack and which room to start with can be overwhelming. Starting with a Week-by-Week Moving Checklist
Before packing, make sure you have the correct moving supplies
Before you begin packing, consider making a packing checklist to stay organized. As you prepare for the big day, the following items can quickly become packing essentials for a move.
- Boxes. These are the biggest priority when it comes to packing. Having a variety of sizes for items in your home can make organizing easier.
- Tape. Have a strong adhesive to seal boxes, secure bubble wrap around fragile items, and ensure your home goods are put away safely.
- Utility knife/scissors. Utility knives can cut a variety of things. The ability to make a clean cut to tape and other materials can lessen any frustration when assembling things.
- Permanent marker. Labeling boxes is important. You don’t want to lose track of what was packed in which box. Use permanent markers to label boxes so you can sort them by room and easily prioritize unpacking.
- Plastic bags. These can be handy with smaller items such as silverware, and helpful with storing non-perishable food items.
- Blankets. Blankets can be used for additional padding of mirrors and other breakable items.
- Bubble wrap and/or newspaper. Like using blankets, bubble wrap, or newspapers can be helpful when packing kitchen items such as mugs and dishes.
- Handcart. Using a handcart can help with lifting heavy items and boxes. Utilizing this will lessen the chance of physical injury from lifting heavy boxes.
General moving and packing tips
Organization and planning are essential when you pack for a move. Consider creating a schedule for your move and organizing items by room, common function, or use. The following tips can help you get started.
- Start with items you won’t need right away. Start by packing items you don’t use often so you don’t find yourself living out of boxes and repacking.
- Pack similar items together. Stay organized by packing similar items together based on room or use.
- Keep essentials packed separately for quick access. No one wants to go digging through boxes to find necessary items. Packing things such as first aid or flashlights in the same box could eliminate frustration.
- Label each box by its contents and room. Labeling boxes with contents and room will simplify unpacking. Boxes can be unloaded directly into the correct rooms.
- Color code boxes by each room. Having a color system for each room can ensure organization when it comes to packing.
- Allow yourself plenty of time to pack. It’s usually best to give yourself a little more time than you think to organize and pack. Creating a packing schedule for a move is a great way to make sure you give yourself enough time.
- Load furniture, appliances, and larger items first. This leaves more room for the smaller items towards the door to the truck, making it easier to unload.
Packing a home office
Your home office can include a lot of important items and documents. How you choose to pack your electronics, paperwork, and other stationery is essential.
- Avoid packing boxes too heavily.
- Consider color-coding wires for electronics when disassembling them.
- Keep all important documents in a secure box and close to you.
- Take a photo of electronics before you disassemble them, so you can properly put them back together once you’ve moved.
Packing outdoor furniture and garage items
With a lot of focus put on items within the home, make sure you consider how to pack any outdoor furniture and items in your garage as well.
- Remove any charcoal, burnt wood, or propane tanks from grills, fire pits, and heaters before moving.
- Clean furniture and break it down to allow for easy moving.
- Keep your toolbox or tools you may need for moving aside and pack those last.
- Cover any sharp tools with cardboard, towels, or within their original carrying case for safety.
- Recycle light bulbs that you no longer use.
Packing a kitchen or pantry
A kitchen is a place where your loved ones gather. When it comes to packing everything in preparation for a move, it may seem easiest to place as much as you can into a box to speed up the process. But taking care of your energy-saving kitchen appliances by packing them properly, along with the other tips below, could save you a headache.
- Donate as many food items as you can and dispose of any open packages to avoid spills/messes.
- Make sure all kitchen appliances (coffee maker, toaster, blender, etc.) are emptied and clean before packing. Wrap their cords in a plastic bag and place them inside the appliance.
- Pack appliances in their original boxes if you have them.
- All breakable items should be in a box labeled “FRAGILE”.
- Use bubble wrap to stack smaller dishes and prevent them from breaking during the trip.
Packing a dining room
Breakable items may take more attention to detail when it comes to packing your dining room.
- Utilize kitchen towels, newspaper, cardboard pieces, and/or linens to line boxes and serve as bumpers for plates and china.
- Roll rugs up and secure them with plastic ties or rope.
Packing a living or family room
From your smart TV to mirrors and family photos, the following tips can help with packing a living or family room.
- Remove light bulbs and shades from lamps and chandeliers and wrap each separately.
- Keep any irreplaceable photos or videos with you during your move – hot or humid climates can affect photo paper.
- Use blankets and towels to wrap mirrors and paintings. For mirrors or large framed pictures, place an ‘X’ made of masking tape over the glass in order to minimize spilled glass in the case of a break.
If you have the original packing/boxes, use those to repack any electronics, such as televisions.
Packing a bedroom
When figuring out how to pack up a bedroom, the following pointers will get you started and keep you organized throughout your moving process.
- Leave hanging clothes on hangers and place them directly in boxes or moving containers.
- Keep valuable possessions such as jewelry in a secure case or box. Keep these with you and not in the moving truck.
- Thread thin necklaces through drinking straws or toilet paper rolls to keep them from getting tangled and use buttons to keep your earring together.
- Place loose items in luggage or suitcases for quick packing.
- Shoes can be packed in original boxes if available or within larger boxes.
- Protect mattresses and furniture with old sheets and blankets for the move.
- Put all bedding and pillows in trash bags to keep dust out and place them in labeled moving boxes.
Packing a bathroom
The bathroom can be a place that’s neglected when it comes to packing. The following tips can be a good place to start.
- Try to pack your bathroom necessities last.
- Make sure all toiletries are closed and won’t leak in plastic bags.
- Pack any medications separately and label the box accordingly.
QUESTION & ANSWER (Q/A)
Q. What size of the boxes should you use?
A. Small heavy articles such as books records canned goods etc. should go in smaller boxes.
Bulkier but not so heavy items such as pots and pans, linens, small kitchen appliances, etc. would go in larger boxes. Very bulky light-weight items such as pillows, blankets, or lampshades would go in the largest boxes.
Q. How do you pack books?
A. Small boxes should be used to pack books. Stand books on end and make sure the box is filled to the top to prevent crushing of the box.
Q. How to pack China?
A. A dish box is usually recommended for packing china and fragile items. Line the bottom of the box with crushed paper, this will provide the first layer of protection for your fragile items.
- Working from a stack of wrapping paper, place a plate in the center of your sheet. Grasp about two sheets of paper at one corner. Pull over the plate so as to completely cover the plate. Stack the second plate on the first plate.
- Grasp the second corner of your paper. Pull over and cover stacked plates.
- Stack third plate. Take the remaining two corners (one at a time) and fold each over your stack of plates.
- Turn your wrapped stack of plates upside down onto your packing paper.
- Re-wrap the entire bundle. Follow the same wrapping procedure as before. Start with one corner of packing paper, and pull two sheets over the bundle; cover the bundle with the next corner, and finally, the fourth.
- Place the bundle of flatware in the carton so the plates are standing on edge.
Q. How do I pack Glassware
A. Again, a dish box or other sturdy box should be used for packing all fragile items. Cups and glasses may be ‘nested’ (one placed inside another) and three or four wrapped in a bundle. Tear or cut up some small sheets of paper. Use at least a couple of small sheets between each glass or cup as a protective lining.
- Take the first glass and line it with a couple of sheets of your paper.
- Place the second glass (or cup) inside the first one. Line with two more sheets of paper. Insert another glass (or cup).
- Using your best judgment, nest three or four glasses (or cups) and lay these on your stack of wrapping paper in a diagonal manner, off center closer to your body.
- Grasp the corner closest to you of two sheets of wrapping paper. Wrap around your glasses (or cups).
- Grasp the next corner of wrapping paper and wrap it around your glasses.
- Repeat procedure with remaining corners of wrapping paper. Then roll it into a bundle (much the same as a butcher might wrap a package of hamburgers).
- If you have collected in liquor cartons with dividers, pack glasses, cups, and stemware in these boxes. If your bundle does not fill to the top of the compartment, stuff additional wadded-up packing paper in the compartment to fill it up.
If you don’t have liquor cartons then pack your glasses, cups, and stemware in boxes with your dishes fitting them in where ever you find some space. Be sure these articles are toward the top of your carton.
Q. How do I pack table lamps and lamp shades
A. Sturdy cartons such as dish packs should be used. Line the bottom of the box with crushed paper, this will provide the first layer of protection for your fragile items.
- Remove the lamp shade and bulb and wrap the cord around the lamp’s base.
- Spread out several sheets of packing paper so that your paper is wider and longer than the lamp. Place a lamp in the center of your packing paper.
- Roll packing paper around your lamp. Tuck the end of the paper at the base of the lamp. User sealing tape, if necessary, to prevent the end from coming apart.
- Seal the seams where packing paper overlaps around your bundle with your tape.
- Fold up another end (at the top of the lamp) of packing paper and seal with tape. Place bundle in a previously lined carton.
- When all lamps are packed in the carton, fill out the carton with plenty of wadded-up packing paper. Be generous. Finally, mark “FRAGILE” and “LAMPS” in large, clear letters on all sides of the carton.