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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Few Tips for Packing to Move


Mom and I packing to move to Texas 5 years ago.  If I look tired, it’s because I was!

Moving!  Ugh.  Sometimes it’s very sad, sometimes it’s exciting, often it’s a mixture of both.  But, even when you’re going on to something good or better, it’s a lot of work and frustration!

Not long ago someone on Facebook whom I follow was asking for tips on packing to move.  This is something with which I have a fair amount of experience.  My family moved quite a lot, and the last several moves that my family made I did a lot of the packing and organizing.  So, I made a short list of suggestions for this lady, and then it occurred to me that it  might be a useful blog post, so I copied it over here for you all with some edits. :-)


1. Try to pack boxes according the room the items belong in. Keep like items together as much as possible - this will make putting them away at the other end easier. (Books with books, utensils with kitchen gadgets, dinnerware and "silverware", etc.) Mark the boxes clearly as to which room they belong in.

2. Use extra towels, linens and sewing/crafting fabric to wrap breakables. Use other soft items for padding - throws, blankets, cushions, etc. This will reduce the amount of extra packing materials that you need and it will consolidated you packing at the same time.

3. For fragile items try to pack solidly so there won't be shifting or rattling. Add filler items inside of large empty fragiles (such as baskets) to help support them. Make sure that thin flat fragile items don't have pressure on them. Try to pack very fragile things together and clearly mark the boxes with warnings. Try to make sure there is cushioning of some sort between the box wall and all fragile items. Padding makes a big difference.

4. Mark all boxes clearly as to what is in them - a somewhat detailed list is best. (After numerous moves I can't emphasize this one enough! You never know how long it will be before you unpack some boxes, and you won't remember what is where.)

5. If you need boxes and don't want to buy them and don't get them free from the truck rental/moving company, ask for them at stores. Liquor stores often have quite a lot of boxes that are easy sizes to handle and very sturdy. (I realize some people might feel uncomfortable using those, though.)

6. Sure and steady wins the race. Take "breathers", drink plenty, eat and get a good night's sleep as much as possible.  Get some fresh air and sunshine if possible.  Funny as it sounds, when you're packing it's really easy to forget the obvious.

7. Don’t be proud.  Ask for help if you need it.  If a friend offers to make meals, watch the kids, do your laundry for you, etc. while you’re loading the truck/container, let them!  It will be a huge help.

8. If you accept help for the actual packing (which might be needful), try to make sure that someone who has moved across country before and packed their own things works on the fragile items.  People with no moving experience should be assigned to the less breakable items.  :-)

9. When you are packing to move is probably not the best time to be sorting your stuff with a view to reducing.  So – work on that ahead of time if there is a chance that you may be moving in the near future.  However, if you’re caught unawares, and you can’t take it all, remember that it is just stuff.  Make yourself rate items and identify the things that are most important for you family’s well being, important mementoes and items of real value (not what you think might be valuable).  Focus on that stuff and then eliminate what can’t go from the unnecessary things.


  1. All great advice! Our last move was ten years ago. We used our daughter's stuffed animals to help cushion breakables! :-)
    I go through our things very often and always seem to find something to get rid of. No use hanging onto stuff you don't need.

    1. Thanks. :-) That's a good idea for using the stuffed animals.

      I'm working on reducing our pile still and hopefully my dad is going to be helping too. Right now I'm not working on it because it's spider season in Texas and our garage is well stocked. hehe It will be better when the weather cools off some.