Stress-Free Steps to Pack for Your Move!

Are you looking forward to moving into your new home? Yes! But are you equally excited to box up ALL your possessions? No way!

Moving into a new home may be exhilarating, but the packing-up process is no one’s idea of a good time. Fortunately, these tips can make your move flow a little smoother.

1. Assemble a Moving Toolkit

Packing up a home goes much faster if you have essential supplies at your fingertips, including: 

Heavy-duty black markers to indicate where each box belongs. (Living room, garage, etc.) Be sure to add “FRAGILE” to any boxes containing delicate items that must be moved carefully.

Fine-tip markers to add descriptions of the boxes’ contents or a list of the most important items so it’s easier to locate essentials in your new home.

Plastic packing tape to assemble flattened boxes and reinforce the bottoms of boxes with heavy objects.

Ziplock bags for collections of small items like bookshelf clips or the bolts you’ll need to reassemble a bed frame. (Be sure to label each bag!)

Rubber bands in various sizes to secure pot lids, corral power cords, etc.

A razor-blade knife to cut handles into the sides of boxes that aren’t easy to pick up and carry. Keep the cuts 6-12 inches from the top edge to avoid tears.

A color-coding system can help ensure movers bring each box to the correct room. Purchase large colored labels and assign one color to the kitchen, office, main bedroom, etc. Then, attach labels to your boxes and put a matching sticker on the door of each room. 

2. Collect Containers

Save all your delivery boxes and scrounge or purchase others in the weeks leading up to your move.

Medium-sized boxes are often ideal because they’re large enough to fit most household items while remaining comfortable for most people to lift and carry.

Use large boxes for bulky but lighter-weight objects like lampshades instead of filling them with heavier items that will make moving difficult.

Fill rolling suitcases with your heaviest items, like book collections.

Local online communities like Nextdoor and Facebook groups can be excellent resources for finding recycled boxes from people in your area who’ve moved recently.

3. Find Padding

Save bubble wrap, paper, peanuts, and other packing materials from any deliveries you receive in the weeks before your move.

Use towels, dishcloths, socks, and small pillows to add padding to fragile items and fill open spaces so things stay secure within boxes.   

Nest breakables inside sturdy items to utilize all your packing space and minimize the need for padding. For example, instead of packing an empty Dutch oven, slip a stack of mixing bowls inside it and use oven mitts and plastic grocery bags for padding.

4. Maintain Your Sanity

Take pictures of your shelf arrangements so it’s easier to put everything back in its place. 

Label the cords connected to your television, cable box, game console, speakers, and other electronics, and take pictures of the back of each piece of equipment before packing them up. 

Prevent messy leaks by adding layers of plastic wrap under the lid and around the top of oil bottles, shampoo, etc. 

5. Other Shortcuts

Collect hanging clothes in garbage bags. Cut a hole in the bag for the hanger-tops to poke through, and wrap tape or a rubber band around the hooks so the garments remain side-by-side. 

Keep folded clothes in their drawers instead of transferring them into boxes. Wrap the drawer in plastic wrap or cut and tape cardboard to the top of the open drawer to add a “lid."

Open-sided storage units for shoes and purses can also be wrapped in plastic, keeping the contents in place.

Pack essential cleaning supplies separately and readily accessible so it’s easy to quickly wipe down cabinet shelves and drawers or remove unidentifiable food crud on a refrigerator shelf.