How to Pack for a Move?

How to Pack for a Move

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Packing for a move can be a stressful process. There is a lot that you have to think about: when to start packing, how to pack efficiently, and how to keep everything organized. If you’re in the process of moving, or about to begin the process, read this post for some great packing tips and guidelines.


Getting Started

The beginning of the packing process requires a lot of organization. How you handle getting started will determine if the rest of your move goes smoothly or not.

  • Gather Your Packing Supplies

    The very first thing you need to do when you start packing is gather your packing materials. This means things like cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, tape, packing paper, trash bags, permanent markers for labeling, scissors, etc.

  • Make a List

    The next thing you need to do is make a list of things you want to pack. The way you set up this list is up to you. But, your best option is probably going room by room (kitchen, bedroom, etc.)

    During this step, it’s also best to decide what items you are going to put in storage or say goodbye to. If you haven’t used it in the past year, it’s probably time for it to go. There’s no need to complicate your move with clutter.

  • Label

    Labeling incredibly important when you are packing for a move. Once you have your moving boxes packed, label them right away. Write directly on the box if you can. You don’t want a label that will fall off in the moving process.

    When labeling boxes, write the room name it’s going to and what is inside. It’s also important that you mark boxes containing fragile items. You might even consider color-coding. Really, the more specific you can be in your labeling, the better. There’s nothing worse than wandering through a labyrinth of poorly labeled moving boxes in search of dinner plates.

  • Build Your Moving Day Essentials Kit

    There are some things that you’re just going to want to have on hand when moving day arrives. Usually, what you decide to include is something you should talk about with your family, partner, or housemate.

    To get your ideas flowing, here are some things we recommend: a change of clothes, personal items, valuable items, phone chargers, toiletries, pajamas, bed sheets, important medicines, tools, and all your housing documents. Of course, this list is not exhaustive, but it should get you thinking about what else you might need.


When Should I Start Packing?

When you are thinking about how to pack for a move, timing is highly important. Knowing when to start packing for a move and budgeting your time wisely will make your life a lot easier when moving day comes around.

  • 4 to 6 Weeks Before Moving Day

    At four to six weeks out, you can take the first step in your moving process by researching different moving companies and hiring someone. A professional mover can make your move go much smoother. If you do decide to hire a professional, you should set your moving date at around 4 weeks out.

    If you decide to do the move on your own, look into renting a moving truck to help carry your things.

  • 2 to 3 Weeks Before Moving Day

    This is when you should start packing. Look at the “Getting Started” section of this post to see exactly what you need to do.

    At 2 to 3 weeks out, you can begin packing non-essential items like home decor or out of season clothing/items. You can also start packing up rooms you consider non-essential. Non-essential rooms are really everything besides the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms.

  • 1 Week Before Moving Day

    At one week out, you can finish packing up all your non-essential items and get started on packing things from the bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen. Here, you need to be decisive about what you really need and what you can live without for the next week.

  • 1 Day Before Moving Day

    On the day before the big day, you should finish packing up everything besides what you will need for moving day (which should already have been packed in your moving day essentials kit).

    This is also the time to start cleaning the house, unplugging appliances, and double checking each room for any missed items.


How to Pack Efficiently for a Move

Figuring out how to organize your moving boxes efficiently can be intimidating. Instead of just throwing things into each box without thinking, it’s best to follow these steps on how to pack efficiently for a move.

  • Step 1: Preparing Your Moving Boxes

    You should put some sort of barrier on the bottom of your moving boxes to provide an extra layer of protection. For example, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or even an old towel or old clothes.

  • Step 2: Weight and Size

    The order in which you place items in each box is important. Pack items that are heavy on the bottom and the lighter things on top. Think of this step like bagging groceries, you don’t put the milk on top of the eggs because if you did, the eggs would be crushed and the milk would be tumbling out of the bag.

    You also need to avoid making your boxes too heavy. It’s best to put heavy items in smaller boxes and light items in larger boxes. This will help you avoid the mistake of overloading a big box with lots of heavy items, making it impossible to carry.

  • Step 3: Taping and Labeling

    Once you have your boxes completely full, you need to tape them shut and label them. Make sure each box fully closes and the tape is secure. When labeling, remember to be as specific as possible.

  • Step 4: Organizing

    You have to organize how you will stack the moving boxes. Think about what boxes you will want easy access to and make sure that those go into the moving truck last.

    You also need to think about weight and size. Heavy boxes shouldn’t go on top of small boxes that weigh practically nothing. Consider planning how you will organize your moving boxes ahead of time.