Top 10 Packing Tips To Know Before You Move

My dear friend Cindy asked me to write a guest blog about packing for trips. Now, I’ve gone a lot of places. Traveled the world, in fact. I still haven’t explored all I’d love to explore… I know my passport isn’t as full as others’… but I can cross China, Italy, Greece, Jamaica, and a few others off my list. I’d say that’s not bad!

But what I’m really an expert at packing is my home. In the five years Tyler and I have been married, we will have moved six times. And we aren’t even a military family!! Some friends and family think we’re addicted to change while others just think we’re crazy. Maybe they’re both right. But we’re also in a very transient time of life, as many of you are!

Hence this post. I know a lot of you are finishing grad school, starting new jobs, or growing your families, which means that a bunch of us are moving this summer. Hopefully this post will be relevant to many of you. That being said, if you’re also vacationing this summer and want vacation packing tips, check out Cindy’s related blog at, “So The Cook Said”

So here are my Top Ten Packing Tips To Know Before You Move:

1. On Day 1, when you decide it’s finally time to start packing up the house, start with the wall hangings and decorations. They’re entirely unnecessary, easy to pack, and once they’re gone you realize that it’s actually time to leave. It prepares you mentally for all that’s coming. And I don’t know about you, but once there’s a disturbance in my home (construction, painting, even just laundry piled on the bed), I can’t rest until it’s taken care of. Having bare walls right off the bat signifies the start of a project that has to get done, and now you’ll be motivated to finish what you started.

2. Move from the least necessary room to the most necessary in the order you pack everything. For me, that’s the guest bedroom, office, basement, family room, bathroom (live out of your toiletry bag for a week or so), kitchen, and bedroom. This step is pretty intuitive, but I thought I’d include it anyway.

3. Utilize your blankets. A lot of people think they need to rent those big blue blankets from the moving company, and maybe you do. You know your stuff better than I. But before you spend the extra cash, count all your blankets. Wrap those around mirrors, large pictures, the TV, and (in my case), my giant stand-alone jewelry box. Then use painters tape (packing tape can leave a sticky residue on your furniture and the blankets) to secure everything. In my case with the jewelry box, my necklaces rest on hooks in the doors of the box. Tape them to the back of the door. Put tape over the rings in the ring cushions, and more over the little individual boxes where earrings and pins live. Things may get tossed around a bit, but it’ll all stay together, and you don’t have to pack and place every tiny item.

4. Don’t pack your clothes. It’s redundant and repetitive! Leave them in drawers and remove the drawers to move them. you’d be surprised how many people don’t do it this way. If you’re concerned about your best friend’s husband accidentally seeing your unmentionables in one of the drawers as he graciously helps pack the truck, utilize all your many purses and pack up your things in those, then place the purses in the drawers. I’ve done this every time, and each time the guy who got that drawer commented, “Who keeps purses in a drawer?” Little did he know …

For hanging clothes, I have only 1 of the tall boxes with the metal bar for really nice clothes. Everything else — shirts, sweaters, etc. gets taken off the rack, placed on the couch in the moving truck then moved directly into my closet in the new place. The bedroom, in my opinion, is the easiest room to move.

5. Food. How do you use up everything you need to, pack the little extras, and still eat well during those few days that you’re transient? Casseroles in disposable, tin pans. Lasagna. Pot Pie. Anything that will last for multiple meals. Get creative with the last of your food, then either keep them in the fridge or freeze them until they’re ready to bake. Try to avoid ordering pizza until the day you’re moving out and the day you’re moving in. You’ll get sick of it really quickly otherwise. Along with that, either use plastic everything or keep a few sets of silverware (and maybe a spatula) in a ziplock in your purse for meals. Wash immediately and put back. I still recommend paper plates and cups, though.

6. Utilize your kitchen and bath hand towels to pack small breakable items

7. Old shoe boxes are perfect for kitchen glasses, mugs, bowls, and other small, breakable, heavy items.

8. Pack books in SMALL boxes. Books are too heavy for big ones.

9. Once you’re in your new home, unpack your bed first and put the sheets on it immediately. When it’s time to crash, you now have a place to do so!

Packing Tip #10
I’ve saved the best for last as this may actually be the most important tip of all!

Keep these items in the front seat of the car with you, in a separate box from everything else so you ALWAYS know where they are:
plastic plates & cups
bed sheets & pillows
bath towels, a shower curtain, & a roll of toilet paper
cleaning supplies

and … the most important advice I can give anyone moving …

KEEP THE THE COFFEE POT WITH YOU ALWAYS! Complete with coffee, travel mugs, bean grinder (if that’s how you roll), and filters. If you remember nothing else of these tips, remember to keep the coffee pot with you always! The first time Tyler and I moved, we didn’t know this. We packed the pot in the truck, moved on a Sunday in a small town which means NOTHING was open, and didn’t find said coffee pot for TWO WHOLE DAYS!
Worst.
Move.
Ever.
And, without the help of caffeine, possibly the slowest move ever! We’ve since learned the importance of this tip and share it, along with any others, to everyone who will listen.

I hope these will help you as you start a new stage in your life! Feel free to post any tips you have that would be beneficial to anyone reading. Have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy packing up your home!

p.s. Here’s a bonus tip that I almost forgot! Make the effort to go to the Post Office to change your address. They hand you a wad of coupons that could be very useful before you hit the road (20% off Budget trucks, anyone?). You can change your info online, but they mail the coupons. Once they arrive, it may be too late to use them.

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