How to Pack a Kitchen for Moving

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A photo of a modern kitchen

Packing your kitchen for moving can feel slightly overwhelming. After all, there are food items, kitchen appliances, lots of silverware and dishware, and packing these items requires some time and patience. However, by implementing these packing tips and using the right packing supplies, packing an entire kitchen can be a piece of cake. Here is how to pack a kitchen in six easy steps.

1. Cut back on perishable foods

Try to avoid buying perishable foods about a week or two prior to moving. You may also want to look up recipes that utilize the perishables you currently have so you further dwindle your supply. The less you have in your pantry and refrigerator come moving day, the less you have to pack or throw out!

2. Keep only the essentials

Continue to purge your pantry and refrigerator by determining which food items are essential and which are non-essential. You can donate non-perishable, non-essential foods to a food bank, then find ways to use the essentials in the days leading up to your move or plan to pack them. This goes for kitchenware as well. Try to leave yourself with only the kitchen items you are certain you will need in the days leading up to your move. For example, leave only one or two cups, plates, bowls and sets of silverware for each person in the house, then plan to pack everything else.

3. Organize the kitchen

Before you begin packing, go through all the items you have in the kitchen and determine if there is anything you might not need to take, like rarely-used appliances or dishes for example. This is an easy way to create less work for yourself when it’s time to pack. These items can be donated to a charity group or sold to retail store or at a yard sale.

4. Gather recommended dish and kitchen packing supplies

There are a variety of kitchen packing supplies available that will make your job much easier, including:

5. How to secure and pack your kitchen items

With your kitchen organized, you can begin packing. Keep these kitchen packing tips in mind so everything is secure and organized in transit.

How to pack stemware and crystal

Using the Glass Pack Kit, place each item in a foam pouch, then store each item in its own cell. For added protection, wrap each item in Packing Paper before using the foam pouch. Avoid stacking items where possible, instead opting for isolated protection in the cardboard cells. Use packing peanuts to fill empty space.

How to pack glassware and dishes

Wrap all breakable glassware in packing paper then secure with packing tape like you’re wrapping a gift. Place the extra-fragile items in a foam pouch or foam sleeve then place them in a cell in the Dish Saver Kit or Dish Barrel Box with packing peanuts. For non-fragile kitchenware, stack everything with a sheet of packing paper in between each.

How to pack kitchen appliances

Small kitchen appliances like microwaves, coffee makers, toasters and bread makers should be packed in the manufacturer’s box if you still have it. If you don’t, wrap each appliance in Enviro-Bubble and secure it with packing tape. Place each secured appliance in its own small box and use packing peanuts to fill the empty space.

How to pack pots and pans

Treat pots and pans like you would other non-breakable kitchenware by stacking them in small- and medium-sized boxes with a single sheet of packing paper in between each. You can nest smaller pans in larger ones to maximize your space. If you have glass lids, wrap them in packing paper and secure the edges with packing tape. Again, use packing peanuts to fill the empty space.

How to pack flatware

If your flatware is stored in an organizing tray, leave it there. Wrap the tray in packing paper or bubble wrap and place the entire tray in a medium box. You may want to remove knives and individually wrap them in Enviro-Bubble, then place them in a bundle inside the box. If you have ceramic flatware, treat these like you would fragile dishware and individually wrap each with Enviro-Bubble.

How to pantry items

All pantries are different, so you may some items that aren’t accounted for here. But in general, your boxed, bagged and canned food should be packed in a way that prevents spills. For instance, seal previously opened containers with tape or place them in a sealed bag. When packing cans, pack them in a single layer at the bottom of a small box and place lighter food items on top.

6. Secure and label your boxes

When packing your boxes, keep these tips in mind:

  • Don’t over-stuff boxes: Kitchenware and canned goods get heavy quickly; keep your loads light by leaving extra space and filling that space with packing peanuts or bubble wrap.
  • Secure box openings: Place several layers of box tape across the bottom and top of the box to prevent items from dropping out.
  • Label things clearly: Use a Box Marker and Knife kit to clearly label your boxes with their contents; ‘fragile,’ ‘pots and pans,’ ‘panty,’ etc.
  • Pad the bottom of fragile boxes: Any box that has fragile items should have a layer of foam cushion on the bottom for shock absorption.

Whatever packing supplies or resources you need to move successfully, U-Haul has a solution for you. Check out some additional packing tips and shop for moving and packing supplies.