Packing is often the most overwhelming part of a move. It can be a big job, but with careful planning, you can make it much easier on yourself. Stay organized leading up to your move with our essential PACKING TIPS CHECKLIST. Follow these helpful tips and timelines to get you organized before, during, and after your move.
WHEN SHOULD YOU START PACKING TO MOVE?
When it comes to packing, the key is to start as early as possible. You definitely want to finish packing BEFORE moving day. Moving day is busy and if you wait until the last minute, you’ll end up throwing random things in boxes — that’s how you lose track of things.
About 6-8 weeks ahead of your move, you should start sorting through your items and cleaning out storage areas so you can get rid of anything you won’t be taking with you. If possible, you should start the actual packing process a month before moving day — pack up anything you know you won’t need right away, like out of season clothing and decorative items. Two weeks before your move, you can start packing up everything you don’t need for daily use. (This includes kitchen and pantry items.) It’s a good idea to pack a few boxes each day until you’re left with just the essentials. Finally, the day before your move you can clean out your fridge and get rid of any perishable items that you won’t be taking with you.
DOWNLOAD OUR PACKING CHECKLIST FOR MOVING
HOW TO PACK FOR A MOVE
The first step is to gather your PACKING SUPPLIES. Here are a few of the essentials you’ll need to ensure your packing experience goes smoothly:
- Boxes: When choosing boxes, we suggest using either brand new professional moving boxes or reusable plastic moving totes. These are much sturdier than secondhand boxes and will keep your things safe during the move.
- Packing paper / bubble wrap: You’ll need plenty of packing paper and bubble wrap to keep fragile items protected. Get more than you think you’ll need—it’s always better to have a little extra on hand just in case.
- Tape / tape gun: If you’re using traditional moving boxes, you’ll need plenty of tape! A tape gun makes it much easier to manage, especially when you’re building and sealing up your boxes.
- Mattress bags / furniture protection: It’s important to keep your furniture protected, especially if you’re moving in rough weather like rain or snow. We recommend using mattress bags for all your mattresses to protect them from dirt and water. For the rest of your furniture, blankets will do the trick. If you go with professional movers, they will usually have moving blankets you can use.
HOW DO I ORGANIZE MY PACKING WHEN MOVING?
The key to ensuring your packing process goes smoothly is to stay organized. A good rule of thumb is to pack one room at a time. This will help you keep everything together and make it much easier as you unpack. As you start on each room, keep these tips in mind to make sure everything stays organized and safe from damage.
- One box, one room: Pack items from the same room in one box. Don’t mix together items from several rooms, or you’ll never be able to find anything.
- Follow the golden rule of packing: The heavier the item, the smaller the box! When packing boxes, the heaviest items go at the bottom, with lighter items layered on top. Make sure you don’t overload boxes—if they’re too heavy, it will slow down your move. They should be able to be carried between the house and the truck easily.
- Keep fragile items together: Pack wine glasses and stemware separately, and dishes as well. Wrap all breakable items in paper and pack them standing up in the boxes.
- How to pack electronics: For computers, TVs, and other electronics, try to pack them up in their original boxes if you still have them. If you don’t, wrap them securely with blankets and padding, and place in boxes with lots of extra padding around them.
- Packing up your clothes: Wardrobe boxes are great for hanging clothes—you simply leave them on the hangers and hang them up in the box, which also makes unpacking a breeze. For all your other clothes, regular boxes are all you need.
- Leave refrigerated items until last: The only items you should be packing up on moving day should be the contents of your fridge. Ideally, you should start using up all your food a couple of weeks before your move, and will have already cleaned it out and gotten rid of anything you don’t need to take with you well in advance of moving day. Pack frozen or refrigerated food in a cooler or insulated container and take it with you in the car so you can unload it right away at the new place.
- Put labels where you can see them: Label boxes on the side, not the top. When they’re stacked, you should be able to clearly see the labels so you know where the boxes go.
- Seal it all up: Make sure all your boxes and containers are properly closed and sealed up before you move them. This will prevent anything from spilling out once you start moving things around.
- Pack an overnight bag: Pack yourself a bag with all the essentials for your first night in your new home: change of clothes, toiletries, prescription medications, and anything else you’ll need right away. That way you’ll have everything you need, without having to dig through boxes when you’re too tired to fully unpack.