31 Tips and Tricks for Packing for A Move

Knowing how to pack properly is a skill. Lucky for you we have the answers! From knowing WHAT to pack to HOW to pack, we have the information you need.

Here are 31 things to remember as you pack for your big move!

Download and print this moving checklist: The Ultimate Moving Checklist With Tips

1. Start with decorations


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Take down whatever is on the walls. Pictures, art, and decor can all come down and put in boxes.

It’s great to look at, but there’s no need to have those up while you move.

Wrap large pictures in bubble wrap or other protective material and wrap in packing film. Gently place pictures in boxes and tape shut.

2. Only pack what you DON’T need

moving unnecessary items

Whatever you haven’t used in the last few months, go ahead and put in boxes. Winter/summer clothing, documents, kitchen supplies, outside equipment, and kid toys are all things that can be packed beforehand.

3. Designate “Open me first” clear bin

storage bin

When you get to your new home or apartment, there’s a good chance you will need a few things. Consider including these items in a bin for when you get to your new place:

  • Water bottles
  • Paper towels
  • All-purpose cleaning spray
  • Trash bags
  • A blanket
  • An extension cord
  • Small amount of laundry detergent
  • A drink to celebrate!

4. Go room by room


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Start with the room you use the least and completely pack it and clean it. This will give you an idea of how much more you have to do.

Start early so you can pace yourself. Do your best to not put things in that room unless you absolutely have to. Less clutter is more peace of mind.

5. Pack by category


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As you’re in those rooms, pack in categories. The kitchen items should stay together. When you need to find a pan, you don’t want to look through tons of boxes that were not categorized.

Oh, and don’t forget to label!

6. “Last on, first off”

When you get to your new home, beds are the first thing you’ll need to set up. So, designate a pile or area that will be “last on,” to take off first when you arrive at your new home. There’s nothing like falling into an already-made bed after a long day of moving.

7. Pack well

Securely tape the bottom of the box, heavy things on the bottom, lighter on top, and don’t allow for much movement. Don’t overpack or overstuff! hen using small- or medium-sized boxes, you lessen the risk of making the boxes too heavy.

8. Use storage bins and luggage

Have plastic storage bins or suitcases laying around? Use them to your advantage! Luggage, storage bins, and laundry bins make for great extra storage space.

9. Pack EVERYTHING in boxes


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As best as you can, pack everything in boxes because it makes for easy stacking. Luggage may not be able to fit, but do your best.

10. Know what’s in each box


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Number the boxes so you know what’s in each one. Keep a notepad with the corresponding box and items in it. Or simply write on the box. Whichever you choose, know the main items so you don’t have to open every box when looking for something specific.

11. Don’t make boxes too heavy

Books will most likely be the heaviest thing you move, so use small boxes for this so you don’t hurt yourself lifting them.

Also as a rule of thumb, using smaller boxes will lessen the risk of packing boxes that are too heavy to lift. Only use large boxes for bulky things, not heavy things.

12. But pack them full

Don’t allow for free space in the boxes. Utilize the space by putting in small items to fill the space. Minimize the moving and shifting space by using crumpled paper.

13. Pack breakables together

If you keep breakables together, you’ll be better able to protect them from breaking. Label as “fragile” on the box so you or movers know to be careful.

14. Put knives in an oven mitt


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Don’t cut yourself with hidden knives! Put them in an oven mitt to keep the blades hidden and your fingers protected.

15. Use dividers

Use dividers for mugs and glasses. This way you won’t need to use as much packing material. Find these at your local hardware store.

16. Glass? Tape it

tape glass

If you have a glass table, tape a giant “X” across the top to prevent it from shattering in the case of possible breaking.

17. Label as “fragile”


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Label all boxes as “fragile” if the contents inside could break. Help yourself or movers to know that the items could break if not handled carefully.

18. Pack dishes and plates vertically

Rather than stacking, put them sideways. Then, all the pressure isn’t all on the bottom dish.

19. Small boxes for heavy items


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Put your heaviest items — like books — in small boxes for easy carrying.

20. Use a garbage bag to hold clothing


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If you opt-out for leaving clothes in drawers, use a plastic bag to carry clothing. Even do the ones on hangers. You could also buy a few wardrobe boxes to haul clothing. But don’t overfill!

21. Vacuum-seal your clothing

vacuum seal

Another way of packing clothes is by putting them in a vacuum-sealed bag and sucking the air from the bag. Reduce the space your clothes take by making them smaller.

22. Have Ziploc bags ready


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Ziploc bags are handy for the little things that get left around. Keep one box designated for these full bags. It makes it easier to find later!

23. Use straws or toilet paper rolls for necklaces

necklace and straw

It’s annoying to have tangled necklaces. Put them in straws to keep them from tangling or knotting. Use toilet paper rolls for larger necklaces.

24. Use a pill case for earrings and rings


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Buy a pill case at the dollar store to keep your earrings and rings together. This way they won’t get tangled together or separated.

25. Press’n Seal to lock jewelry in place


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If you don’t want to use straws, Press’n Seal is another option. Lay necklaces or bracelets out on top of a sheet and put another sheet the same size over it and press. The wrap will lock in place. Pick some up at the grocery store.

26. Saran Wrap toiletries

Saran Wrap toiletries

A leaking bottle of soap can leave a mess in a box. Use plastic to seal the top before packing. Place a square of Saran Wrap over top an open bottle. Screw the lid back on gently.

27. Important documents? Keep off the truck

passport off a moving truck

It’s best to keep your important documents — like Social Security cards and passports — with you and not on the truck. It’s not worth getting these lost.

28. Properly pack electronics

Moisture can ruin electronics, so use Silica Gel to protect them from humidity. Check out the video above to see some unique uses for Silica Gel.

29. Take photos to when taking things aparmt

picture of electronics

Before you take apart electronics, snap a picture so you know how to put it together again. It’s a headache to put it together if you don’t remember how to do it.

30. Pack all the chargers together

keep chargers together

Keep all the chargers and power cords in one place so you can easily find them later.

31. Pack a separate overnight bag


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Pack a bag with clothes, toiletries, and other important overnight things in case you’re not able to find your packed items at the new house.

BONUS! Check out this montage of simple and unique packing hacks with a genius way of showing you how to vacuum-seal your clothing in a garbage bag:


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For the ultimate list of moving tips, check out our list of 143 Ways To Make Moving Easier For You, Kids, And Pets — With A Printable Version

Contact Moishe’s Self Storage if you’re looking for cheap storage units in New York City to hold wine, art, or other things. Our Manhattan/The Bronx and Queens/Brooklyn Storage Facilities are conveniently located near you. We offer over 20 different storage unit sizes, available to individuals, students, and businesses. Reserve your room, view specials, or contact us.

Consider other resources:

19 Things Not To Forget — Gathering Your Moving Supplies

7 Things To Do As You Move Out Of Your Old House

14 Things To Do When Moving To A New Home Or Apartment