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21 Tips on How to Pack for a Move

February 19th, 2018 - 9:50 AM

How to pack for a move

Packing for a move involves strategy and planning. Whether it’s your first move or the fifteenth, you can’t be too prepared. These 21 tips will walk you through each step of the packing process and also give you some packing hacks to make the process easier.

Packing for a move with the U-Pack checklist is easy.

21 tips when packing for a move

1. Start with a plan. Use a moving checklist so nothing is forgotten.  

2. Purge your home. If an item won’t be used at the new house, get rid of it. Also get rid of (or make a plan for moving) items on the Do Not Ship list.

3. Use professional moving supplies. The better the packing materials, the better protection they will provide. Check out the U-Pack Box Store for everything you need.

4. Prep the boxes. Use two strips of packing tape on the bottom of each box for extra support.  

5. Set up a packing area. While you can pack boxes in individual rooms, it’s a good idea to set up an area specifically for filling empty space in boxes with packing paper, taping them closed and labeling. Then, to keep boxes organized, just stack the packed ones in this area. 

6. Set packing goals. Do you have eight total rooms and three weeks to pack? Set out to do a room every 2-3 days (or whatever schedule works). Taking it a little at a time makes it easier to manage.

7. Make an inventory. Take note of the contents in each box then number each one (and put the number on the inventory list) to make it easier to find stuff quickly as you unpack.

8. Start with seasonal items. If you’re moving in the winter, box up summer sports gear and warm weather clothes. In the summer, start with Christmas decorations and heavy coats. Pack those things first since you won’t need them during the move.

9. Create an essentials box. This box is for the things you’ll need right away. Include stuff like light bulbs, cleaning supplies, scissors, screw drivers, paper towels and toilet paper.

10. Clear out storage areas. Don’t forget about closets, cabinets, the basement and/or attic and storage buildings.

11. Pack rooms together. Each box should contain items from only one room, so it’s easy to unpack.  Going room-by-room makes packing faster.

12. Don’t pack air. If boxes aren’t fully packed there’s potential for shifting and damage. To secure the contents of a box, pack pieces as tightly as possible and fill empty space with packing paper.  

13. Place heavy items in small boxes. It’s best to keep the overall weight of each box under 40 lbs. So, when packing heavy things like books, use small boxes.  

14. Label everything. Use printable moving labels (or write on each box), and apply labels to the top and at least two sides, so the label can always be seen no matter how the boxes are stacked.

15. Utilize drawers. Keep clothing or linens (or other unbreakables) in drawers, and secure the drawers using plastic stretch wrap.

16. Don’t take clothes off hangers. Transfer clothes into wardrobe boxes to keep them protected during transit. This also makes unpacking easier.  

17. Take pictures before disconnecting electronics. Before unhooking anything, take a picture of the back connections. This makes hooking electronics back up a breeze.

18. Disassemble furniture. If possible, remove feet or legs from furniture and take lampshades off the base. Keep cords and connectors secure by placing them in a zip-top bag and taping them to an inconspicuous spot (be careful applying tape to any finish). Or place the bag in a box for safekeeping.

19. Use up perishable foods. A few weeks before the move, start using everything from the freezer and fridge and use any open pantry items you don’t want to move.

20. Pack an “open first” kitchen box. Make cooking easy so you don’t have to live off of pizza and fast food. This meal plan includes the things to put in a kitchen box and a few items to pick up at the store.

21. Finish packing before moving day. Before the equipment arrives, do a final check to ensure everything gets packed. Don’t waste time on moving day packing — finish ahead of time and use your energy for loading the moving trailer.

Learn more about packing

With over 20 years of experience, we have a lot to say about packing and moving. Check out these resources to learn more:

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