Packing Tips for Moving: A Complete Guide to Packing Your Home
Packing your home for moving can be quite the challenge, especially if you’re not sure which moving supplies you need or where to even begin. There’s a whole house to pack, after all! But there’s no need to fret. This guide is full of easy tips and tricks designed to help you efficiently pack your belongings and prepare them for the journey ahead. This guide also provides moving supplies recommendations that will make your job easier. Continue reading to see how to pack for a move, as told by the moving experts!
General Packing and Moving Tips
Start by getting all the moving boxes you will need. You can order moving boxes of various sizes on uhaul.com. If you’re on a tight schedule, you can have your boxes delivered to your house on the same day or you can pick them up from a U-Haul location near you for free. If you’re not sure how many boxes (and other supplies you need), use our helpful Moving Supply Calculator to get a good estimate. After you have your boxe,, here are some general packing and moving tips you should be aware of so you can stay organized and make packing easier.
1. Start Packing Rooms Used Least
Make a mental note of everything you might need in the days leading up to your move, like clothing, toiletries, kitchen items, electronics, and some cleaning products. Leave these things for last and start with spare rooms, closets, decor and anything else that isn’t a necessity.
2. Pack One Room at a Time
It’s easier to stay organized when you focus on packing one room at a time. It also helps to keep items from the same rooms in the same boxes as best you can. That way, you can accurately label your boxes and unload them into the correct rooms at your new place.
3. Pack Heavier Items in Small Boxes
It’s easier to manage heavy, bulky items when they are packed in a smaller box than a large one, as it minimizes shifting and keeps loads easier to manage. If you only have larger boxes available, use Furniture Pads, towels, or a few small, soft items to fill the space.
4. Pack An “Open First” box and Load It Last
Any essential items you might need during your first day/night at your new home should be packed in this box. It might include a phone charger, basic bathroom items, change of clothes and other necessities. Pack and load this box last so you have access to the items quickly and easily.
5. Keep Important Items With You
This includes wallets, cell phones, important documents of any kind, and medication. Pack these items in a small box or bag and keep it with you so you can access it at any time. You won’t have easy access once the truck is loaded and moving.
6. Use the Right Packing Tape!
You may have some duct tape or masking tape lying around that you want to put to good use, but we don’t recommend these types of tape. Instead, use moving or packing tape to secure your boxes. These varieties of tape are specially designed to hold cardboard boxes together under stressful conditions. Duct and masking tape, on the other, can peel off in heat or moisture.
7. Dissemble Furniture Where Possible
Kitchen tables, TV stands, bed frames, and more; many of these items can be disassembled to a degree, making them easier to pack and move. If you have the time, take everything apart and store all the screws, nuts, and bolts in bags stored in a safe place.
8. Pack Heavier Items on the Bottom
Another packing hack for heavy items: keep them at the bottom of the box! This keeps your boxes from collapsing at the bottom and from being too heavy to carry. This applies to loading the truck as well — place heavier boxes on the bottom of the stacks. Learn more about packing moving boxes the right way.
How to Pack a Living Room For Moving
There are few items most people have in their living room, including sofas, a television, and probably a coffee table. But beyond those, living rooms vary quite a bit. These are some general tips that will help you with packing a living room for moving.
2. When possible, pack small electronics (gaming consoles, DVRs, and stereo equipment) in their original boxes. If you don’t have the original boxes, Enviro-Bubble® can be used to protect these items. Pack them in a small or medium sized moving box. Learn more about packing a computer for moving.
3. Video games, books, and movies can be stacked and stored in small boxes.
4. Dissemble any furniture you can for added packing and moving convenience. Wrap with Furniture Pads for protection and store small pieces in plastic bags. Use Mover’s Wrap and moving blankets to keep your furniture safe.
Watch our short video to see how to pack all the items in your living room, including mirrors, wall art, appliances, and more!
6. Roll up rugs and bundle them together using Mover’s Wrap. Place them in a Rug Storage Bag to keep them clean and dry throughout the move. Learn more about using Mover’s Wrap for wrapping furniture for moving.
7. All fragile decorations and picture frames should be wrapped in Packing Paper or bubble packaging before being placed in a box. For added safe keeping, fill the box with Biodegradable Packing Peanuts to keep fragile items from shifting or colliding during transport.
How to Pack a Bathroom for Moving
Packing a bathroom for moving can be tricky because there are a lot of small items — many of which have the potential to spill if they’re not packed correctly. It’s best to choose smaller boxes so that items don't shift under too much. By using the recommended moving supplies and implementing these tips, your bathrooms can be packed quickly and efficiently.
1. Remove the lids from all shampoos, lotions and oils, place a piece of Mover’s Wrap over the opening, then put the lid back in place.
2. Place all small items – nail clippers, razors, tweezers, etc. – in clear plastic bags. Place the bags in Medium or Small Boxes.
3. Roll towels up and place them in a Medium Box.
4. Wrap picture frames and other fragile decorations in Enviro-Bubble® then place them in your boxes. You can use the rolled up towels to fill empty spaces and provide a cushion.
5. Store cleaning supplies in a Medium Box using a Cell Kit so nothing topples and spills. Make sure these are sealed tight – use Mover’s Wrap if necessary.
6. Make a note of any cleaning supplies or liquids that need to remain at room temperature. These may need to be safely discarded before moving.
7. Seal all your packed boxes with Box/Packaging Tape so there are no spills if a box topples in transit. See how to effectively tape a moving box.
Bundle Tools and Lawn Items
How to Pack a Garage and Tools for Moving
Packing and moving a garage can be a somewhat daunting task, considering this part of the home is often used to store all the extra stuff you may have forgotten about. Luckily, there are ways to minimize clutter and pack your garage neatly. Here’s how:
1. Time permitting, try getting rid of things you don’t need before you start packing. Have a yard sale, donate to a local charity, or simply put items on the curb with a sign marked “free.”
2. Keep a large trash receptacle on hand. Use this for anything that can be thrown away so you don’t end up packing what you don’t need.
3. If you have a tool box, use Mover’s Wrap to hold the drawers in place and to secure tools inside. Tools are often too heavy to pack in cardboard boxes, so leave them in the toolbox where possible.
4. Drain your power tools of gasoline before packing them. Any sharp tools, like saws and lawn shears, should be wrapped in a Quilted Pad.
5. Small, loose tools and other handheld items should be bundled in 5” Mover’s Wrap and placed in their original box if you have it. If not, wrap in Paper Pads and pack in Small and Medium boxes.
6. Anything already in a box – seasonal decorations, old clothing, anything in storage, etc. – should be left in the box and secured with Box/Packaging Tape. Don’t create more work for yourself!
How to Pack a Kitchen for Moving
Packing your kitchen requires some extra care and kitchen-specific supplies. There’s a lot to pack if you’re counting food, appliances, décor, and cutlery, which can feel overwhelming. However, by implementing these tips and using the right supplies, packing your kitchen can be a piece of cake.
1. Stop buying perishable food a week or two prior to moving so you can cut back on wasted food when you pack. Donate unwanted non-perishable and sealed foods to a food bank so you have less to pack.
2. Pack extra dishware, cutlery, pots and pans, decorations and anything you won’t need in the days leading up to the move first. Leave only a few cups, plates, bowls, silverware and pots and pans.
3. Pack your glassware using Cushion Foam and the Dish Saver Kit. The kit includes foam pouches for your plates and a cell-divider for glasses. Keep like-sized items together and stack where possible.
4. Use a Glass Pack Kit for glassware, crystal, stemware, and porcelain. Wrap each item in Packing Paper before placing it in the box for added protection. The Dish Barrel Box can be used for extra fragile items.
6. Use Mover’s Wrap to seal all silverware in the flatware organizer. Place this in a box.
7. Use Enviro-Bubble® to wrap small kitchen appliances and place them in a Medium Box.
8. Wrap large kitchen appliances in Furniture Pads and Mover’s Wrap for protection against dents and dings. Use an appliance dolly to load them onto the truck.
9. If possible, disassemble your dining room furniture for more convenient packing and moving. Wrap the pieces with Furniture Pads and Mover’s Wrap and secure the small pieces in a bag taped to the piece of furniture.
How to Pack a Bedroom for Moving
Most bedrooms have many of the same items, like mattresses, bed frames, dressers, vanities, and closet organizers. It doesn’t matter so much where you start, just that you follow these packing tips to stay organized and use the correct supplies.
1. Use a Large Box to pack and store sheets, bedding, and other linens. You can fold these items flat or roll them up to save space.
3. Disassemble your bed frame if possible. Keep the small pieces together in a sandwich bag and tape that to the inside of a moving box or store it safely.
4. Don’t completely empty your dresser! Instead, use Mover’s Wrap to keep the drawers shut so you can conveniently move your dresser and clothing at once. If you have heavy items in the drawers, you may want to remove them and pack in a Medium Box.
6. Use sandwich bags to pack small items like jewelry. Pack these backs into a Small Box.
7. Wrap picture frames and other fragile decorations in Enviro-Bubble® or Packing Paper and place them in a Medium or Small Box.
9. Place your laptop in a protective case (if possible). If you don’t have a case, wrap in Enviro-Bubble® and place it in its own Small or Medium Box.
How to Pack Clothing for Moving
Dress shirts and clothing in general have their own rules for packing. In general, you want to keep them in their usual position, whether that’s folded a certain way, hanging up, or otherwise. Keep these tips in mind when packing your closet for moving.
1. Go through your clothing and pull out anything you no longer wear or need. Use a trash bag or extra box to collect these items. You can take them to a donation center, sell gently-used articles to a thrift store, or give them away to friends. This will lessen your packing load.
2. Be sure your dirty clothes are clean before packing. Even seemingly clean clothes can carry dust and odors that may contaminate other clothing when packed together.
3. Make sure your clothes are completely dry. Damp clothes densely packed in a tight space can lead to mildew growth and bad odors.
4. Pack your hanging clothing using a Wardrobe Box; the Shorty Wardrobe® Box works for dress shirts, the Medium Wardrobe for a variety of garments, Grand Wardrobe for dresses, suit and long jackets, and the Laydown Wardrobe for seasonal items.
5. When packing non-hanging clothing in standard cardboard boxes, remember to avoid over-stuffing. Not only does this make your boxes easier to carry, it prevents the bottom of the box from falling out.
6. If desired, line your cardboard boxes in Packing Paper. This will provide additional shielding for your clothing from rain, dust and debris during the move.
7. If you have suitcases and duffle bags handy, you can use them in addition to small and medium boxes to pack your non-hanging clothing. Both the rolling method and flat fold are useful folding techniques.
How to Pack a Home Office for Moving
Home offices are somewhat underrated in terms of being a pain to pack. Not only are there expensive electronics, there are also a lot of important documents that need to be safely packed. There are also books, decorations, and some furniture. Avoid feeling overwhelmed by gathering the right moving supplies and following these tips.
2. Start packing your remaining documents. Try to organize these documents based on a system. For example, keep medical records together, financial paperwork together, and so on.
3. If you have a file cabinet, be sure the drawers are shut tightly using either the built-in lock, or by wrapping the cabinet in Mover’s Wrap.
4. For loose documents and folders, organize into categories and create stacks. Place your stacks in a Medium Box and tape the lids shut with Box/Packaging Tape.
5. For electronics – Wi-Fi routers, keyboards, computer towers, monitors, paper shredders, etc. – use Enviro-Bubble® to keep them safe in transit and load these into a Large Box.
6. If you have hired movers, designate a Small Box for your most sensitive documents and take this with you in the car. This includes birth certificates, social security cards, and other crucial information.
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