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  • Writer's pictureEliott Flores

Packing Tips for Moving: Mastering the Art of a Stress-Free Move

Updated: Dec 31

Moving doesn't have to be a dreaded chore. In fact, with some smart strategies, it can become a smooth and organized process. Whether you're relocating from a cozy one-bedroom apartment or a sprawling two-story house, we've got you covered with an array of tips to ensure your precious belongings reach your new destination in pristine condition.

Before You Begin

To embark on your packing journey, start by taking a room-by-room inventory of your possessions. This checklist will be your trusty companion throughout the move, helping you stay organized and preventing any items from being left behind.

To start your adventure and supercharge your packing prowess, consider these useful and smart packing tips for moving:

1. Declutter and Donate

Before diving into the packing process, identify items you no longer need. Sort them into categories for donation, sale, or disposal. Local charities like The Salvation Army and Goodwill often have convenient drop-off locations to make your donations hassle-free. In case you want to get a return on the clothes you don't use anymore or want a different place to donate, thrift shops such as the Leopard Lounge or Pavement can help you out!

2. Categorize and Conquer

To streamline the packing process, group similar items together. You can organize them based on rooms or by item type, whichever suits your preferences. We suggest you organize by room if you plan on relocating to a new home while keeping the same layout of how you organized each room. Likewise, sort by item type if you plan on changing their location when you move in! For extra advice on what to do after packing, look up a moving guide!

3. A Clean Start

Don't forget to tidy up and discard any garbage as you go along, ensuring you leave no mess behind. Donate or sell what you don't think you'll use, discard what qualifies as unusable to you, and make sure that your belongings don't carry any dust or bugs you can potentially bring into your new home!

4. Label Everything

Clear and visible labeling is crucial. We suggest that when labeling boxes, label at least the top and one side of each box to make identification easy, especially when boxes are stacked. If a box must remain upright at all times, draw arrows on each side indicating which end should be kept up. If a box contains particularly fragile valuables, write "top" on it so you and/or your movers can make sure they don't stack boxes on top of it. We suggest you find smart packing tips for moving in case instructions may seem unclear!

5. Essentials Box

Prepare a box for essential items you'll need on your first night and day at your new place. This should include fresh clothes, toiletries, cleaning supplies, tools, and first-day kitchen essentials like paper plates and silverware. This box should be taken with you or be one of the last things your movers put in their moving vehicle so it's the first thing out and accessible to you.

6. Get the Right Supplies

Ensure you have the appropriate packing materials: well-sized boxes, packing paper (newspapers work well too) or bubble wrap, masking tape, scissors, and any other essentials.

7. Mind the Weight

Don't overpack your boxes. Whether you're moving by yourself or hiring professionals, it's crucial to ensure that each box can be safely carried without risking damage to fragile items. Avoid loading more than 50 pounds into a single box. Maintaining an optimal box weight can ensure your box doesn't tear or crush other boxes.


Woman packing her belongings safely


Let's Start Packing!

Now, let's delve into packing specific household items, each with its unique set of guidelines:

1. Clothing

When it comes to your wardrobe, there are two types of clothing to consider: folded items and those hanging in your closet.

For folded clothes, especially if you plan on long-term storage, wardrobe boxes are your best bet. They keep your garments in pristine condition.

For hanging clothes, a cost-effective solution is to use contractor trash bags. Simply poke a hole through the top, place the hangers through it, and tie the bag around the bottom to keep your clothes clean and well-organized. Alternatively, zip ties around the hangers work well too. If you want to really protect your clothes and ensure they remain crease and wrinkle free, opt for wardrobe boxes with a hanging bar.

2. Jewelry & Accessories

Packing delicate items like jewelry and accessories requires special care to prevent tangling or loss. Here's how:

- Utilize small plastic organization boxes, pillboxes, or tackle boxes available at craft stores. These containers are perfect for keeping bracelets, charms, and earrings organized.

- For earrings without backings, use small foam blocks, buttons, or other puncturable materials to prevent separation.

- Always wrap jewelry and accessories individually with tissue paper or packing paper to prevent tangling or discoloration.

- High-end jewelry and accessories deserve extra protection, so consider using a jewelry roll or a professional case.

- Keep necklaces tangle-free by running one side of the chain through a straw and securing the clasp.

3. Pictures & Artwork

Preserving your artwork and precious pictures during a move is vital. Follow these steps:

- Provide protective padding using bubble wrap or packing paper for all pictures.

- For valuable paintings, consider using special picture or TV boxes, available at most moving supply and home improvement stores. Sometimes you can grab individual moving boxes and open them up only slightly while sliding the painting in and taping the bottom and top openings to keep it in.

- If you hire professional movers, ensure that they pad all large paintings on moving day. In case some paintings are very expensive consider getting wooden crates to move them in!

4. Books

Bookworms, take note! Packing books requires care to avoid mishaps. Here's how:

- Pack books tightly on end, just as you'd arrange them on a bookshelf.

- If you have multiple rows of books, ensure that the spines of the books face each other to prevent shifting inside the box. This helps maintain balance and prevents damage.

- Limit how many books you fit within a box a time, book-filled boxes get heavy fast!

5. Electronics

Electronics can be expensive, so safeguard them during your move. Follow these guidelines:

- Remove all cables and tape them to their corresponding devices to avoid losing essential connections. An alternative is using wires to keep all the cables bundled properly.

- Before packing, take pictures of your entire electronic setup. This will make reconnecting your devices a breeze.

- Ensure that all transit screws are securely tightened. If available, place electronics in their original boxes. If not, use sturdy boxes and ample padding. If you put all your cables in the same box we recommend finding a way to separate them, or putting tape on each cable to remind you what electronic they belong to!

- For extra protection, wrap TV or computer screens with a blanket and secure them with packing tape to guard against any bumps or jolts.

6. Rugs & Draperies

Arriving at your new home with clean, ready-to-use decor is the goal. Here's how to pack rugs and draperies:

- Have them professionally cleaned before the move, leaving them in their wrappings for added protection.

In case your rugs have already been used, vacuum and clean them as much as possible, roll them up and then secure them with tape.

7. Toiletries & Medicines

Don't overlook your toiletries and medicines. Prevent leaks and ensure easy access by packing them as follows:

- Place them in leak-proof containers or sealed bags, such as Ziplock bags, to guard against spills.

- Keep essential toiletries and medicines in an overnight bag for quick and convenient access on your first night in your new home.

8. Washer & Dryer

While it's not a common sight, some folks do move their washers and dryers. Ensure a smooth move with these tips:

- Front-loading washer owners should look for shipping bolts, which stabilize the drum during transit.

- Check if the plug from your current location matches the outlet in your new place. Replace it if necessary; you can find suitable plugs at most home improvement stores. Consider replacing old dryer hoses too.

- Disconnect you hoses and cables form your walls properly and secure them to your washer and dryer to make transportation easier.

9. Bedding & Mattresses

The freshness of your new home starts with clean bedding. Follow these guidelines:

- Decide whether you can use some bedding as padding for other items. For items you won't use for padding, wrap them in plastic bags or packing paper to protect them from dirt, dust, and anything else that can get them dirty.

- Don't forget to clean your bedding before packing to ensure they're in tip-top shape. You want to have it ready for when you make your bed in your new home!

- When placing bedding in boxes, compress them to maximize space and avoid wastage.

- Get a mattress bag or ask your movers for one!

10. Dishes

Packing dishes requires precision to prevent breakage. Follow these eight steps:

1. Set up a spacious workstation with ample room for your packing materials, paper, bubble wrap, and dishes.

2. Assemble your boxes securely, reinforcing the bottom to prevent spills.

3. Line the bottom of each box with bubble wrap or crumpled paper for added cushioning.

4. Start with heavier items, wrapping each one individually. Ensure proper wrapping by crumpling the paper around the item.

5. Place dishes vertically in the box, standing on their edge. Avoid stacking, as it can exert pressure and increase the risk of breakage. Placing dishes vertically makes them more resistant!

6. For those in hilly areas like Austin, fill each box to the top, leaving no room for items to shift. It'll further protect your dishes despite the bumpy road!

7. Use dividers or soft material between layers if possible.

8. For delicate china, double-wrap it in bubble wrap and additional packing paper for maximum protection.

*Bonus Tip:* After packing, gently shake the box. If you hear clinking noises, add more padding!

Additional Packing Tips

- Opt for sturdy boxes and containers, ensuring they seal tightly. Consider specialty boxes for fragile items, wardrobes, and other unique items.

- Keep heavier items, like books or canned goods, in smaller boxes to make them easier to carry.

- Tape the bottom of boxes securely to prevent contents from spilling out during the move. Try taping along the opening line at the bottom, and then tape twice more in an "X" shape on top of that!

- Bigger and heavier boxes always go at the bottom of every stack to prevent damages.

- Fill each box to the top without overfilling, and make sure it's properly sealed with tape. Leave at least half an inch from the top if you have something breakable in your box.

- Pre-stack your boxes in stacks of similar sizes, making them easy to transport from your house to the moving truck.

Final Reminders

- Measure and disassemble large furniture pieces before moving day, unless you've hired professional movers to handle this.

- Dispose of corrosive, toxic, or flammable items before the move, including draining fuel from items like BBQs.

- Don't forget to pack for your furry family members, including pet food, toys, bedding, and other essentials.

- Note that particleboard furniture can be fragile during a move, so take precautions.

- Items packed by the owner are moved at the owner's risk, so be mindful when packing valuable or delicate items.

Get ready for a stress free relocation with these comprehensive packing tips for moving. Happy moving, we hope this helps whenever you plan to relocate or travel! And before we forget, check out our article where you can discover The Benefits Of Hiring Professional Movers and find ways to make your move stress free!


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