Packing Tips for a Move: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Feb 26, 2016

Yes, packing for a move doesn’t exactly make for a fun weekend. As a matter of fact, depending on how much stuff you have, packing will take much longer than a weekend. As a rule of thumb, you should begin packing a few weeks prior to your moving date. That little tip is just one of many this post will offer.

So call it a guide or a checklist but here’s everything you need to know to pack for your next move.

Must-Have Packing Suppliespacking tips for a move

You may be tempted to buy a bunch small, medium and large boxes and call it a day, and while you should buy those, there are other moving supplies that will make protecting your stuff easier.

  • Boxes – All sizes.
  • Tape – I recommend paper tape to save time.
  • Marker – Label your boxes
  • Wardrobe boxes – These will help you pack your closet in no time.
  • TV box kit – Flat screens are expensive, so protect yours.
  • Mattress bags – Seriously, these will save your bed from getting damaged.
  • Stretch wrap – This can be used 101 ways.
  • Dish saver kit – Name says it all.
  • Glass saver kit – Again, the name says it all.
  • Cell kit – Use this to keep small things from rolling in a box.
  • Packing paper – Use this to wrap fragile items and to prevent things from shifting in a box.
  • Bubble roll – Wrap fragile things, then pop it for fun.
  • Moving pads – Wrap appliances and use as a cushion when loading a truck.
  • Dolly – Do yourself a favor and don’t carry heavy things without these.
  • Box-cutter – For easy unpacking.

Keep in mind that the right quantity of supplies will depend on the size of your living space and how much stuff you own. If you need help deciding, check out this moving supply calculator to get an estimate.

Also, too many supplies are better than not enough. If you buy them at U-Haul, they will buy back any unused supplies, so it’s not a waste of your money.

Packing the Bedroomspacking tips for a move - packing a mattress

Likely you have beds, dressers, vanities, closets and much more. Start where you want, but here are the main tips:

  • Use a large box to pack sheets, bedding, and other linens.
  • Use a mattress bag on both the mattress and box spring.
  • Break apart your bed frame if possible.
  • Remove the drawers from your dresser.
    • Leave your things in the drawers and use stretch wrap all around to seal these.
  • Use stretch wrap around small dressers or vanity to prevent drawers from opening.
  • Use wardrobe boxes to quickly pack hanging clothes.
  • Use sandwich bags to pack small items like jewelry.
  • Wrap frames and other fragile things in bubble or packing paper.
  • Pack the flat screen in a TV box.
  • Put your laptop in a protective case and not in a box.

Packing the Bathroomspacking tips for a move - packing a bathroom

  • Remove the lids from bottles and put stretch wrap over the top, then screw the cap back on.
  • Put all the small bits in clear bags.
  • Put towels in large boxes.
  • Wrap any decorative/fragile things in packing paper.
  • Use stretch wrap to keep loose items like makeup in their containers.
  • Store cleaning supplies in a box with a cell kit to keep them organized and secure.

If anything is sensitive to changes in temperature, plan accordingly.

Packing the Kitchenpacking tips for a move - packing dishes

As you pack your kitchen, know that you should stop buying perishable food a week or two prior to the move to avoid moving these.

  • Use a dish saver kit for your dishes.
  • Use a glass saver kit for other breakables.
  • Put things from your pantry in a box with a cell kit to keep them from breaking.
  • Use stretch wrap to seal silverware into its container.
  • Use the bubble roll to wrap small kitchen appliances.
  • Use a furniture pad and dolly to protect and move large kitchen appliances.
  • If possible, disassemble your dining room furniture for its protection and easier moving.
    • Wrap the pieces with moving pads and secure the small pits in a bag taped to the piece of furniture.

Packing the Living Roompacking tips for a move - packing a flat screen tv

  • Again, pack that TV in a flat screen box kit to keep it safe.
  • Use bubble roll on small electronic devices.
  • Put games and movies in small boxes.
  • Disassemble pieces of furniture and wrap these with pads for protection.
  • Use a furniture dolly to move couches.
  • Use stretch wrap to secure rolled-up rugs.

Packing the Garage

Before you start packing this room, it might be a good idea to set out a donate and trash box to rid yourself of things you may have accumulated and no longer want or need.

  • For the 101st time, use stretch wrap to seal the toolbox – don’t box this item.
  • Drain gas and other fluids from power tools before packing.
  • Wrap sharp tools in moving pads to protect yourself and other things.
  • Place hand tools in the original box if you still have it.

General Packing Tips

  • Start packing the things/rooms you use least.
  • Pack a room at a time and don’t mix rooms in the same box.
  • Pack heavy items in small boxes.
  • Pack an “Open First” box and load it last onto the truck.
  • Keep medication or anything you need to use throughout moving day in the cab of the truck.
  • Don’t use duct tape to seal boxes.
  • Take apart furniture and save all small bits in a bag taped to the piece of furniture.
  • Pack heavier items at the bottom of the boxes.

Now that you’re ready to start packing, go on over to to buy all these supplies you’ll need to tackle your move.

I shared plenty of tips, but I’m sure there’s more out there. Let me know in the comment section what advice you have for anyone packing for a move.


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