These Pros Share Perfect Packing Tips When Moving

Moving to a new home can be daunting, especially when time is limited. The challenge of packing everything efficiently and securely often leaves us feeling overwhelmed. However, fret not! There are expert tips from seasoned movers that can transform this stressful chore into a smoother experience. Discovering the perfect packing hacks for a swift move is essential, and the guidance from these top influencers is invaluable. 

From clever ways to maximize space to strategies for safeguarding fragile items, these pros have shared their wisdom to make your packing process easier. While packing might not become a thrilling adventure, these tips will alleviate some of the stress associated with the task. Explore these tried-and-true methods for packing efficiently and effectively as you embark on your moving journey.

Declutter, declutter, declutter

Decluttering, a process that involves deliberate effort and commitment, holds immense value, particularly when preparing for a relocation. Ensuring that unnecessary items don’t make their way into your new home is crucial, and this demands a thorough approach to sorting through your possessions.

Letting go of belongings can be challenging, but it’s an opportune moment to assess each item within your household meticulously. Inspired by the renowned Marie Kondo and her KonMari Method™, which advocates categorizing items rather than organizing by location, consider dividing your possessions into five key categories:

  • Clothing
  • Books
  • Paper
  • Miscellaneous Items
  • Mementos

The KonMari Method™ encourages evaluating each item within these categories and asking yourself whether it sparks joy, indicating whether it brings happiness or fulfillment. Items that fail to evoke a positive emotional response should be set aside for donation or disposal. While this process might seem time-consuming initially, the liberating feeling of shedding unnecessary belongings is remarkable.

Determining whether an item sparks joy can be complicated. To facilitate decision-making, consider implementing the 20/20 rule proposed by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalists. According to this rule, if an item costs less than $20 and could be replaced within 20 minutes or less, it might be best to part ways with it. Utilizing this guideline can assist in navigating through possessions that fall into the “maybe” category.

A systematic and thoughtful approach to decluttering streamlines the moving process and cultivates a sense of clarity and lightness by minimizing unnecessary belongings.

Overestimate when it comes to packing materials.

Packing for a move often poses challenges as individuals tend to miscalculate the amount of belongings they possess. This miscalculation leads to last-minute scrambles, rushing to acquire packing materials at inflated prices. As the packing phase is crucial during a move, it necessitates more than a couple of box sizes and a simple loading strategy.

For a more seamless packing experience, it’s wise to err on caution and acquire extra packing materials than you think you’ll need. Estimates for the number of moving boxes needed based on household size can assist in this preparation:

  1. Studio Apartment: Approximately six small boxes, 12 medium boxes, and two large boxes, totaling around 20 boxes.
  2. Bedroom Residence: Around eight small boxes, 20 medium boxes, and four large boxes, totaling approximately 32 boxes.
  3. Bedroom Dwelling: Approximately 14 small boxes, 30 medium boxes, and six large boxes, up to about 50 boxes.
  4. Bedroom House with a Garage: A rough estimate of 26 small boxes, 54 medium boxes, and 12 large boxes, totaling around 92 boxes.
  5. Bedroom House with a Garage: Approximately 40 small boxes, 70 medium boxes, and 16 large boxes, roughly 126 boxes.

Sharrah Stevens, an expert from The Kinwoven Home, emphasizes the importance of purchasing more moving supplies than initially perceived as a common oversight. She frequently hears regretful comments about underestimating the required boxes in her advice to subscribers. This principle also extends to bubble cushioning rolls and moving blankets. Investing more than these supplies upfront proves more cost-effective than dealing with potential damage to furniture and household items. Essentially, the motto to remember is to “stock up before you box up.

Leave clothing on hangers.

When moving clothes, sometimes keeping them on hangers is smarter despite taking up more space. Here’s a helpful tip from Heather at Poppy + Grace:

  • Organize your hanging clothes into groups.
  • Cover each batch with trash bags.
  • Hang them up in your new closets.

This trick saves time and effort during unpacking, giving you a smoother transition. So, take a moment to relax and enjoy a refreshing glass of lemonade, knowing that your clothes are all set for your new space.

Shrink the sweater

To save space taken up by big sweaters and winter clothes, you can use special bags that shrink items when air is removed. These bags are like large sandwich bags but have a hole for a vacuum cleaner. First, fill the bag with your clothes. Then, use a vacuum cleaner to suck the air out through the hole. As a result, your clothes will flatten inside the bag, saving a lot of space. If you want to avoid buying these bags, there’s a do-it-yourself method using regular garbage bags shared by Emily Norris. This trick lets you shrink clothes without harming them, and it’s an easy way to make room for more in your closet.

Start with your lesser-used things first.

Packing up your home takes a week or two if you focus most of your time on it. To begin, Kimmy from She’s In Her Apron suggests a helpful strategy: go through each room and pack up items you won’t need for the final week in your current home. This way, you’ll start with the nonessential things, making the process smoother.

  1. Nonessential Items: Begin by boxing up nonessential items from each room. Store away first-aid kits in plastic bins for quick access if needed. Similarly, pack toiletries that aren’t used daily.
  2. Bedding: Strip down guest beds and pack extra sets of sheets. Keep only the necessary bedding for use until you move.
  3. Kids’ Toys: Keep only the toys your kids regularly play with. Pack away the rest.
  4. Clothing: Temporarily say goodbye to a significant portion of your wardrobe. You’ll likely wear more casual attire, like workout clothes, during this packing period.
  5. Kitchen Items: Pack most of your kitchen dishes and flatware. Consider using disposable paper goods to minimize the need for washing dishes during your final days in the old home.

Consider renting a portable moving and storage container to help store your boxes of temporarily unused items. You can select the container size that suits your needs and bring it directly to your driveway. This container offers the convenience of loading at your own pace. You can keep it in your driveway for easy access or opt for professional delivery to a secure storage facility. This way, you can conveniently organize and store your belongings until you need them again.

When should you start packing to move?

Begin planning your packing process around six weeks before your move. Start by preparing—declutter, clean, and gather all the necessary moving and packing supplies. Then, dedicate the final two to three weeks specifically for packing your belongings. To guide you through each step leading up to your move, check out a detailed moving checklist that outlines what to do week by week. This will help you stay organized and prepared for your moving day.

Don’t Forget About the Knick Knacks: They May be Small, but They Can Take a Lot of Time to Pack

Packing up random items that tend to be forgotten can take time and effort. Things like gift wraps or the mishmash of items in a junk drawer – pens, cords, and assorted bits – might seem easy to pack, but they can be tricky to organize neatly.

One helpful technique suggested by the method is called the Russian doll method. Like nesting dolls, this method involves placing smaller packed boxes inside larger moving boxes. It keeps things organized and saves space. There is no need to fret if gaps are inside the bigger box! You can use towels, linens, or T-shirts to fill those gaps and provide padding. This clever trick lets your softer items do double duty by protecting the rest of your belongings.

Pack a suitcase with valuable belongings.

Packing your valuable belongings is crucial, especially when you’re moving, and Kristi from Inspired Living with Kristi has some great advice. She’s experienced moving, having changed classrooms frequently as a teacher and relocated with her family seven times, including cross-country moves. Here’s what she suggests:

  • Separate Valuables: Begin by identifying items that are valuable or hold sensitive information. These could include jewelry, passports, Social Security cards, birth certificates, important documents, and anything else that’s hard to replace.
  • Personal Packing: Pack these valuable items personally in a suitcase. This lets you keep a close eye on them and ensures they’re not mixed in with other belongings during the move.
  • Accessibility: Keep this suitcase where you can easily access it. Ensure it’s never handed over to anyone assisting with your move, ensuring your valuable possessions are always within your control.
  • Consider Travel Mode: If you’re flying to your new destination, ensure that your suitcase is carry-on-sized. This way, you can keep it throughout the journey and won’t have to check it in, minimizing the risk of loss or damage.

Following these steps will ensure your important belongings are kept safe and secure during your move.

Make a parts box.

Creating a “parts box” can be a game-changer during a move, especially with tips from Karin Carr, a seasoned mover from Georgia Coast Homes. She has moved around 40 times across nine states and has some solid advice to make your moving process smoother.

Here’s how to create your own parts box:

  • Last In, First Out: The parts box should be the last item loaded onto your moving truck or portable container and the first thing you unpack at your new place. This way, essential tools and parts are readily available when needed.
  • Tools for Furniture: Gather essential tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches, and any other tools necessary for assembling your furniture. These tools will be crucial in putting your furniture together upon arrival.
  • Bagged Parts: Use plastic bags to organize small parts from your furniture, like screws and connecting pieces. Have one bag designated for each furniture item and label them accordingly. This labeling will make it effortless to identify the parts for each piece of furniture.

Following Karin’s advice and having a well-prepared parts box will make it much easier to reassemble your furniture upon reaching your new home. No more worrying about sleeping on a mattress on the floor – you’ll have your bed ready for a comfortable first night in your new house!

Consider the fact you’ll have to unpack, too.

When it comes to moving, unpacking is just as important as packing. Sharrah Stevens from The Kinwoven Home has some valuable advice for unpacking, which can be quite different but equally necessary. Here’s her unpacking strategy:

  • Priority Rooms: Sharrah suggests focusing on unpacking three critical rooms on the first day of your move: the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, in that order. These spaces cater to your immediate needs after a tiring move.
  • Reasoning Behind the Order: By prioritizing these rooms, you’ll ensure you have a place to shower, prepare a meal, and finally rest after a long day of moving. This order addresses your basic needs for cleanliness, nourishment, and a comfortable night’s sleep.
  • Accessibility of Boxes: Pack boxes containing items for these priority rooms to make them easily accessible in your moving truck or container. This means placing them towards the front or where you can reach them quickly when unloading.

Following Sharrah’s advice will help you streamline the unpacking process by focusing on key areas for immediate comfort and functionality. Prioritizing the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen on your first day will ensure a comfortable and functional living space as you start this new chapter in your home.


Should I pack all my belongings myself or hire professional packers?

It depends on your preferences, budget, and the complexity of your move. Packing yourself can save money, but professional packers can provide expertise and save time.

How far in advance should I start packing before my move?

Starting packing at least 4-6 weeks before your move is generally recommended. This will give you enough time to sort through your belongings, declutter, and pack in an organized manner.

How can I find high-quality moving boxes without breaking the bank?

You can find free or discounted moving boxes by asking friends, family, or local businesses. Online marketplaces and social media groups often have people giving away boxes after their own moves.

What should I do with items I no longer want or need?

Consider donating them to charity, selling them online, or organizing a garage sale. Not only will this help declutter your space, but it can also benefit others.

How do I stay organized during the move?

Create a detailed timeline and break down the packing process into smaller tasks. Use labels and an inventory list to keep track of your packed items. Take breaks when needed and stay focused on one room at a time.

Should I hire professional movers?

Hiring professional movers is recommended if you have heavy or bulky items, move long distances, or need more time to pack and move. They can provide packing services, handle your items with care, and offer insurance coverage.

How can I protect my furniture during the move?

Use furniture blankets or moving pads to protect your furniture from scratches and dents. Secure them with packing tape or stretch wrap for added protection.

Remember to put the oxygen mask on yourself first.

Moving can be a huge task, so it’s essential to take care of yourself while doing it. Packing can be tiring, and it’s easy to want to rush through it. But remember, pushing too hard one day might make you feel tired and achy the next. So, take breaks, get enough rest, drink water, and eat well.

Remember, it’s okay to ask for help if you need it. If you’re using for moving, they don’t just provide containers. Experts are available if you need help loading your things properly or need a hand with heavy items.

You can also check out our blog for more tips from people who know a lot about organizing homes and making moving easier. They’ve got advice, from making a smaller space work for you to organizing your whole house.

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