Best Way To Pack For Moving

The Best Way To Pack For Moving | Smoothest Moveout

Moving can be a daunting task, whether you’re moving across the country or town! Your home is full of memories tucked away in every corner.

It’s important to pack and transport a wide range of belongings safely to your new home, whether they’re artwork, electronics, or kitchen gadgets (oh, there are so many kitchen gadgets!). But how? Despite many handy packing lists out there, we’ve compiled a systematic room-by-room guide to help you pack efficiently.

You’re ready to rock and roll on over to your new home. We’ve consulted with experts to help you keep the stress levels at a minimum.

It’s packing time! Let’s get started!

Following Are The Best Way To Pack For Moving

Best Way To Pack For Moving

Step 1: Get rid of clutter and purge

If you want to start packing, you should get rid of what you don’t want to move first. It’s just plain, good ol’ common sense to not put things in boxes and then regret it when you realize you should have taken them to the Salvation Army or Goodwill a few weeks or months after your move.

As part of the sale process, Megan Toll, a top real estate agent in the greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area, suggests that you make donations before you list your house so that when you go under contract, you don’t have to worry about the 45-day squeeze to get things out of the house.

You will need to declutter one room at a time, starting with the biggest items first. It will be necessary to remove any side tables, lamps, desks, or large items that don’t match your new decor or won’t fit into your new home. Put sticky notes on these items or move them all into one area or room.

Go through each room again, but this time look at clothes, appliances, books, and other items. If an item hasn’t been used in months, doesn’t fit, or doesn’t “spark joy”, donate it.

Attics, basements, and storage closets are usually filled with nostalgia and can be the most difficult areas of the house to get rid of items.

Also check: Is ADT Worth It? How Much Is ADT A Month?

Before hauling boxes or bookshelves around town, check with your local charity or nonprofit organization about free donation pick-up. Simply schedule a pickup and pat yourself on the back.

You can also plan a garage sale to raise money for your moving fund if you have a can-do attitude.

Step 2: Get prepped

Having completed your declutter-a-thon, it’s time to get ready to move. The best way to pack is to make an inventory list for every room.

If you have a list of everything you’ll be moving, you’ll be able to figure out how much packing supplies you’ll need, including boxes, bubble wrap, tape, a tape gun, packing paper, markers, blankets, and a moving dolly.

It is not uncommon for packing supplies to be expensive. If you are on the hunt for inexpensive boxes, Toll recommends searching “buy nothing” sites like Facebook groups or FreeCycle for the best deals. Use what you have on hand to protect your valuables and buffer the more delicate items that you’re packing. As well as using food delivery boxes for packing, she recommends “they’re sturdy and a great size!”

Step 3: Get your suitcase ready

This step comes before organizing and packing, which might surprise you. Your family members and you should have a few days’ worth of clothes and necessities with you so you can settle into your new home quickly. You won’t want to hunt for your toothbrush in boxes!

When your closing or moving process is delayed, packing important items can also be helpful. “What if the settlement is delayed for a couple of days and you are stuck in a truck with all your belongings?” Toll asks. When you pack everything you own, you forget that all you have are the clothes you wear.”

Before you begin packing things, be sure you have your own important documents, sensitive paperwork, and essentials out of the way. To make sure it doesn’t accidentally end up in one of the boxes, Sayra Rafi from Imperial Movers in New York recommends taking your passport out and placing it as far away as possible from everything you’re packing. 

Invest in a portable filing tote or at the very least a document folder before you finally start packing your house so that you can keep all your important documents with you.

Step 4: Organize yourself

It’s time to organize. Now that you have your essentials and cardboard and tape in hand, it’s time to get organized. We hear you groaning.

Getting organized is as easy as these tips:

  • Like items should be grouped Create a zone where you shouldn’t pack
  • Make a spreadsheet to record the contents of your boxes and number them
  • Room-by-room color-coded boxes
  • Keep yourself energized by listening to music

Step 5: Walk through each room

To pack your house efficiently, experts agree that you should take a room-by-room approach. However, the order in which you approach each room differs.

You should start in one corner and work your way systematically to the other corner, according to packing companies.

As the room you use the least often is likely to be the catch-all room, Toll recommends packing it up first, whether it’s a basement or extra bedroom, which tends to be used for storage. The first items to pack are those you don’t use every day, and the last items are the ones you use every day, like your main kitchen items.

It’s your choice whether to start with the kitchen or with the living room. While we’re listing the kitchen first, you can go bananas and start with the living room.

A guide to packing your kitchen

There is nothing more fun than baking cookies and zesting lemons – keep in mind that the kitchen is often the most difficult room to pack, owing to its fragile items, sharp edges, or odd shapes and sizes.

Dishware: Pack dishes vertically and use padding under dishes and to fill in extra space on top to keep dishes from breaking. In between bowls, place paper or paper towels. Use a box with cardboard dividers; or stack cups with paper in between. Wine boxes are great for this!

Small kitchen appliances: Make sure you pack like items together and fill your boxes so they are secure and that the weight of the boxes is balanced. Pack like items together and approach your boxes as if they were puzzles. Be sure to tape down moving parts, remove accessories, and cover small kitchen appliances in plenty of packing paper or padding to prevent damage while being transported when you pack them.

Large kitchen appliances: Before moving out, defrost your refrigerator and unplug your oven from the gas line. Everything should be unplugged and disconnected before moving day.

Food: Perishable foods cannot be moved by moving companies, but cans, spices, non-perishable foods, or wine bottles can be packed and moved by you.

Pack your kitchen essentials box last and label it clearly when putting things in your car. Rather than putting it in the moving truck, it’s best to bring it with you with you in your car so that you can get to it quickly and easily when you arrive at your new house.

The best way to pack a dining room

There are many different types of dining rooms. Perhaps it’s only a table and chairs and an extension of the kitchen, or perhaps it’s a formal banquet hall with candelabras and hutches displaying china and crystal. The instructions will vary depending on your dining room.

Fine china: Our instructions for a more lavish dining room will be similar to those given in the kitchen: pack similar items together, wrap dishes vertically, and use dividers to divide boxes. Make sure your fine china and crystal are protected by using extra bubble wrap or packing paper!

Dining room table and chairs: To move a dining room table, it’s best to unbolt or unscrew the legs first. Wrap the legs in bubble wrap for additional protection. Put the hardware in a resealable plastic bag and tape it under the table. In order to secure the chairs, wrap them with a table cloth or blanket and then wrap the table around the base and legs so they are securely packed for moving. Tape the legs of the chairs to the bottom or back (and don’t forget to attach the hardware) if you decide to remove their legs.

Hutch or cabinet: It is a heavy piece of furniture! Remove all the items from the interior and determine if it can be disassembled. Sometimes glass shelving can be removed, and you can do this carefully with gloves that are cut-resistant. If you do not plan to disassemble, tape all drawers and doors closed to prevent them from opening in transit.

Packing the den and/or living room

Often, your den or living room is a place of relaxation — a place for a true escape. Getting all the items in your den and living room ready for a move can feel challenging, because you usually have plenty of electronics, artwork, or fragile lamps. Here are some tips for packing common items.

Electronics: If you hate reassembling electronics, remember to take photos of the back of your television, modem, or router, and anything else that uses cables, cords, and wizardry.

Lamps: When moving lamps, disassemble them before packing them. Be sure to remove the light bulbs. If you don’t have the original boxes, you can store them in plastic containers wrapped in kitchen towels. Light bulbs can break in a snap and fragile glass is difficult to clean up. If you are in a pinch, you can store them in empty Pringles cans wrapped in padding. Genius idea? That’s what we think.

Rugs: You must pack your rugs in a way that makes them as snug as a bug in a rug. You should vacuum your rugs before packing so that your (Pringles!) crumbs don’t travel with you.


In order to prevent damage to your artwork, whether it is a painted canvas or framed family photo, you should treat it like gold. Using painters tape, mark the glass with a “X,” wrap the piece in paper or bubble wrap, and test the box for any movement. Last but not least, make sure that you reinforce the bottom of the box, and don’t forget to purchase or make protective cardboard corners to protect the corners of the artwork or frame.

Packing your home office

Wondering how to pack your home office for moving? We understand. The home office is generally a place of orderly chaos filled with photos, documents, and meaningful mementos.

Books, rugs, and miscellaneous: Organize your desk and shelves by packing the easiest items first, such as books, rugs, and miscellaneous items.

Electronics: If you are packing electronics, take pictures of how the cords are connected when you are packing. If you do not have the original packaging for computers or TVs, you might want to consider investing in boxes made specifically to hold them. U-Haul offers kits for packing computer monitors or TVs, which are equipped with eight-point protection and built-in cushions.

File cabinets: If you don’t want your drawers to open during transport, tape them with tape or lock them with a key. It’s a good idea to take all sensitive documents with you in your car to prevent loss, damage, or theft.

Packing the bedroom: how to do it

You probably have more clothes in your bedroom than you think – whether they are tucked under the bed or shoved to the back of the closet. Let’s discuss how to pack your room.

Clothing: Dressers allow you to keep your clothes in their drawers. Just tape them up so nothing falls out during transport. You don’t need to unpack your clothes, just tape them up. When it comes to your closet, we recommend leaving your clothing on hangers for the simplest moving experience. Toll suggests using trash bags as an alternative to wardrobe boxes. “Cardboard has a distinct smell, which can sometimes permeate clothing,” she said. As if you’d be getting dry cleaning back, keep your clothes on hangers and wrap a garbage bag over them, so they won’t have to be washed again.”

Jewelry: If you are traveling by plane or by car, take your jewelry with you. It’s always better to be safe than sorry! You can wrap jewelry in tissue paper and keep it in small, individual plastic bags to prevent scratching if you do not have soft-cloth jewelry bags.


If you have extra bedding, you can use them as packing material. They can help pad boxes or they can be wrapped around more delicate items, such as lamps, for soft cushioning.

Bed: Make sure all hardware is sealed and taped to the frame so it does not fall off. If possible, disassemble the bed frame and headboard.

Bathroom packing tips

There’s a good chance that packing up your bathroom will be the easiest in your home. Most moving companies will not move cosmetic products such as nail polish remover.

Bathroom supplies: To ensure that your bathroom supplies do not shift when transported in your personal vehicle, pack them upright in a sturdy plastic tub and use packing paper or wrap to secure the lids to prevent leaks. Keep in mind that moving companies do not move aerosols or shampoos. You can use masking tape to secure caps to prevent leaks.

Cosmetics: Your makeup bag and shaving kit are coming with you!

Laundry room packing tips

With lavender and vanilla bean scents wafting around, packing up will be a soothing experience.

Washing machine: After cleaning your washer with a washer cleaning tablet and leaving it open for at least 24 hours, turn off the water and power and disconnect the power cord and hoses. (Note: Depending on your situation, you may want to consult with a professional to handle this task.) Drain the hoses into a bucket, then put them in a sealed bag and connect it to your washer so you won’t lose it. Tape the cord to the washer so that it won’t trip when you move. In addition, you will want to wrap the washer with blankets and secure the door and drum.

Dryer: If your dryer has a gas valve, you’ll need to shut off the gas valve and disconnect the gas line. Make sure the lint trap, filters, and dryer vents are clean. To prevent injury, turn off the power before unplugging it. In fact, many moving companies will not disconnect or hook up your appliances if this is something you haven’t done before. You should seek the advice of a qualified professional if this is something you haven’t done before.

Packing your home gym

Your home gym might seem like the best place to pack it for moving, so you might be thinking that disassembling it for packing is the best option. Give yourself a high-five if you actually use the spiffy equipment! In Rafi’s opinion, it is best not to disassemble anything. Do not take your treadmill or gym equipment apart. Wrap it in moving blankets to prevent scratching and damage. Any tech items, such as screens, can be removed.

Large gym equipment: With treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, and other large gym equipment, you simply need to unplug and remove any electronics. Wrap a blanket around stationary bikes to keep them safe during transportation.

Handbells or dumbweights: Whenever possible, pack your handbells or dumb weights in sturdy plastic tubs. Include some yoga mats, cushions, or blankets in the tubs to keep them from knocking against one another.

Packing the attic, basement, and garage

In order to have a clear playing field, Rafi recommends that you start with larger items first, then focus on smaller items in the attic, garage, basement, or external storage unit. When you have furniture and large items in the corner closest to the door, everything bulky and large is completely out of your way, so it’s easier to see.

Lawnmower, chainsaw, weed whacker: Gasoline and oil-powered items must be drained of all flammable liquids before packing and moving.

Step 6: Be aware of what not to pack

Moving companies won’t move quite a few items. The list can vary slightly depending on who you hire.

Hazardous materials: Basically, anything flammable or potentially explosive, like fertilizers, paints, pesticides, aerosol cans, propane tanks, pool chemicals, charcoal, oil, nail polish, nail polish remover, batteries, acids, etc.

Perishables: Milk, yogurt, and perishable food items can’t be moved by moving companies.

Scuba gear: You will have to arrange for other methods of moving your oxygen tanks or other scuba gear.

Family heirlooms: Several movers avoid moving family heirlooms, such as jewelry, collections, keys, and photo albums, for fear of losing or damaging them.

Sensitive documents: Even though movers will take your important documents, you should keep them with you.


It’s not uncommon for moving companies to refuse to transport plants, especially when moving interstate. Get a tarp for the back seat of your car, and make sure all plants are potted and secured to prevent them from tipping over.

Bonus Tips

We promised you bonus tips, didn’t we? Here are some more:

Here are some tips and tricks for a smoother move

Boxes should be smaller

In order to avoid damaging fragile items during moving, it is best to pack them in smaller boxes rather than larger ones. Smaller boxes will minimize the amount of movement that the box undergoes and will help to prevent damage to the items within.

The heavier items should be packed first

It is best to pack fragile items in a box by starting with the heaviest items first. By packing heavier items first, the box will not be top-heavy, preventing damage to the items inside.

Any glass or stemware can be divided with dividers

To prevent any damage to glasses or stemware during the move, use dividers to prevent them from rattling together.

Packing paper should be used

The packing paper or bubble wrap will help keep your fragile items in place once you have packed all of your fragile items into the box.

Packing tape should be used liberally

It is essential to use a lot of packing tape when packing a box full of fragile items. This tape will keep the box closed and prevent the items inside from being damaged.

Make sure the boxes are labeled

If you label all of your boxes with fragile stickers, the movers will be informed that the items inside are fragile and should be handled with care.

Don’t rush

Take your time when packing fragile items. Rushing and breaking your valuables before moving can be nerve-wracking.

Packing fragile items properly


Pack your plates, bowls, and other delicate dishes tightly together in newspaper before packing.

It is best to stack the plates vertically. You can also use bubble wrap or foam peanuts to prevent them from breaking.

The glassware

Pack your glasses and stemware in a wine box if you have one, or pack them upside down to protect them. Wrap them in newspaper or bubble wrap before packing.

The mirrors

You can use old sheets or towels to protect your mirrors if you wish to wrap them in bubble wrap or packing paper. Be sure to cover the entire mirror, including the frame.

Frames or pictures

Gently tape the frame until it covers the entire image or painting with bubble wrap. Place the picture or frame face down on a soft surface like bubble wrap, packing paper, or an old sheet.

Be sure to wrap the frame’s edges and top with more bubble wrap or packing paper.

The picture box helps keep the artwork inside safe, then tape it securely to keep it in place. If you have a picture or a painting over three feet, we recommend a picture box.


There is a little more complexity involved in packing unusually shaped lamps than other fragile items. Lights should be packed separately from their lampshade. If you have a hard-shell lampshade, fill it in the box. If you have a cloth lampshade, wrap it in bubble wrap or newspaper securely.

Wrap the cord around the bottom of the light so it doesn’t get tangled. Next, remove the lamp base from the lamp and pack it in a separate box.

Make sure all lamp pieces (shade and base) are wrapped in bubble wrap or packing paper. Old towels or sheets work as well.


When packing your television, use a TV box or a large wardrobe box if you don’t have one.

The first step is to remove all the cables and cords from the back of the TV and wrap them and secure them with tape to make sure they are safe during the move.

Be sure to cover the television’s entire surface, including its screen, with bubble wrap or packing paper.

After wrapping the TV in bubble wrap, place it in the TV box or wardrobe box. Remember to pack the remote control separately.


When moving furniture, it is best to disassemble it so that it can be moved easily and protected from damage.

Use bubble wrap, packing paper, or old towels if you can’t disassemble the furniture.

You should pack any small pieces or parts separately so that they do not get lost.


What is the best time to start packing for a move?

Packing strategies should be planned six weeks in advance if possible.

What is the hardest room to pack when moving?

Having so many breakable items in the kitchen makes it one of the hardest rooms to pack when moving.

How early is too early to start packing?

It is a good idea to begin planning your move about two months in advance, begin packing about 2-3 weeks before moving in, and be finished a few days to a week before moving in.

Where do you start when packing a house?

Make sure you pack the room that is least used first


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