6 Packing Tips for Your Moving Checklist

Make sure you have completed everything on your packing and moving checklist before you move out. Relocating can be a stressful experience, but you can make it easier by making and sticking to a plan. Additionally, preparing for an upcoming move early can help make the process easier. By giving yourself ample time and a moving checklist to follow, you can avoid losing belongings, misplacing them or accidentally leaving them behind. Plan ahead and you will not have to spend the first week at your new home replacing lost necessities. 

Often, packing and moving tips can be contradictory, unhelpful or expensive. Many people simply suggest hiring a mover. However, not everyone has the budget to hire a professional moving company, and if you are currently receiving Section 8 or interested in the program, you may want to save money where you can. Rather than waste money on labor, you can learn how to pack smart and move for cheap. Moving is stressful enough without the added expense of moving fees. The sections below provide tips for moving out on a limited budget. 

Packing and Moving Tips

When it comes to packing tips, the most crucial piece of advice is not to procrastinate. Procrastinating is an excellent way to ensure that your last few days before moving will be chaotic and stressful. By starting early, you can give yourself plenty of time to evaluate your packing decisions and carefully arrange your things. Below is a packing and moving checklist to help guide your move. 

1. Decide what is going and what is staying.

The first packing tip is to avoid packing things you do not want in the first place. Moving is an excellent time to purge your house of non-essentials. Donate clothes you have not worn in ages, pots and pans you do not use, plates and utensils you avoid and other extraneous items. Throw away anything that cannot be donated. Lightening the load now will make unpacking and moving in easier. Try to use up what you have in your fridge and pantry so you do not have to worry about transporting groceries. However, put aside some non-perishables like canned soup for quick, easy meals in your first days at your new place.

2. Figure out what supplies you do and do not need

A common command on packing checklists is to acquire moving boxes and packing paper. However, you may not need to do this — chances are that you already have plenty of materials in your home. In lieu of packing paper, wrap your delicates like glasses in socks and soft t-shirts. Instead of buying boxes, use suitcases, dresser drawers, and even trash cans and bags. This way, you will not have to recycle them. Once you empty something, you just put it away. 

If you run out of containers and need boxes, you do not have to spring for overpriced cardboard boxes. Drive by your local grocery store or hardware store for free moving boxes. Most will give away containers that goods were shipped in without question. However, one thing you will probably have to buy is tape. Make sure you get a reliable and sticky tape, so you do not have to worry about boxes falling open from the bottom. You may also need a sharpie or pen to help label containers. 

3. Pack room by room

A critical packing tip for moving is to avoid mixing up all your belongings. Rather than trying to pack any small or large items together where they fit, think about where they go. For example, if something goes in the kitchen, it should be packed with other items that go in the kitchen. You do not have to get too organized with this. In fact, it is perfectly acceptable to pack utensils with pots and pans, for example. However, the more organized you are, the more clear-cut the unpacking process will be. 

In any case, by putting items together by room, you will ease the unpacking process. Make sure you label containers with “Kitchen 1,” “Kitchen 2,” etc. This ensures that you will not spend ages opening boxes later on to find what you are looking for. 

4. Pack a “day one” bag.

The day before moving into your new house, put together a “day one” bag, or an essential moving kit. Throughout the packing process, you should set aside anything you may need immediately upon moving in. This kit should include:

  • One or two changes of clothes.
  • A towel.
  • Sheets and a blanket.
  • A roll of toilet paper.
  • Body soap.
  • Shampoo and conditioner.
  • A wash cloth.
  • A toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Scissors.
  • A flashlight.
  • Garbage bags.
  • A set of cutlery and a bowl.
  • A cooking pot.
  • Non-perishable food, like canned soup.

Packing a bag with essentials is a popular moving tip because it gives you the ability to relax right away. Everyone in your household should have an essential moving kit. Only one person needs to pack a cooking pot, food and scissors, but everyone else should have daily essentials. 

5. Keep your boxes grouped together as you move.

During your move into a new house, keep your boxes grouped as you packed them. If you cannot fit all your boxes in one trip, break them up, but transport the boxes in groups. All your kitchen boxes should be placed together, and all your bathroom boxes should be kept in a group, etc. This makes it easier to keep track of what belongs where. You will not have to worry about moving boxes around when you get there or sorting after arriving. By using this packing tip, you can simplify and shorten the unpacking process later on. Moving is exhausting, and you will kick yourself later if your boxes are disorganized and difficult to sort through.

6. Unpacking in the right order

After moving into your new house, unpack strategically. Begin with the bathroom, which people will probably need to use during the unpacking process. Next, unpack the kitchen supplies and any food you brought with you. Because the bathroom and the kitchen are communal spaces, everyone in your household should prioritize those rooms first. Once the bathroom and kitchen are unpacked, you can begin unpacking your bedroom supplies. 

The last room you will need to unpack is the living room. It may take several days to unpack completely before you can even begin decorating your space, so prioritize essentials. If you cannot finish both the kitchen and the bathroom on day one, just put out the essentials and arrange your sleeping necessities. Do not procrastinate on this. Your moving checklist should include a schedule for unpacking as well. That way, you do not have to spend the next several weeks living out of boxes and a suitcase.