Packing and Moving Tips Complete Checklist / Guide

Moving, at first, may sound daunting, but you’ll realize it is not as difficult as you had first imagined. The following top ten packing and moving tips will let you know how to get organized while packing for moving, what supplies you will need, and even the types of boxes you could use as well as how to pack each item. With the following guidelines and suggestions, you will be able to do everything with ease.

3-Step Packing and Moving Tips:

1. Planning Phase (How to Get Started)

Moving can be tough and you probably don’t know how and where to start. Fortunately for you, successful packing and moving often begins with how well you organize your stuff and how you place them in the right containers. First, decide which items you will need to take with you to your new place and which ones should stay behind. You may have items you no longer need, items you can come back for later, and ones that you can put into a storage facility. If you have items in an existing storage, create a thorough inventory of these to make sure you are not unnecessarily moving items you could have just left behind.

2. Cost-cutting (Do You Need to Purchase Moving Boxes?)

One of the most important details when preparing to move into a new home is the boxes that you will be using. With this you have two options: purchasing specialty boxes from a moving company, or asking for used boxes at a grocery store (or even a specialty liquor store).

Is it better to recycle old boxes or just buy new ones? How many boxes will you need? Are bigger boxes always better? A big box can hold more, but it might not be strong enough to carry the weight of some of your heavier belongings. These are just some of the things you need to consider.

For expensive, fragile, or valuable items that you cannot bear getting damaged, it is always best to choose caution and purchase new, sturdier boxes. This will also give you more peace of mind because you are assured that the box will not fail on you and let your valuables crash on the floor.

The rule of thumb when it comes to choosing boxes for when you are moving house is that they should only carry no more than 50 pounds of stuff. Any more than that and the risk of the movers dropping your boxes will increase significantly.

There are also specialty boxes that you can use to place items that would not fit in regular boxes, like guitars, large mirrors and picture frames, etc.

3. Packing Everything

It is highly recommend to allot at least 8 to 12 weeks to organize and pack your stuff to be able to move everything in time. Here are some packing and moving tips to make things a lot easier and faster:

 Gather all packing supplies before getting started. This will save you more time than being interrupted half-way through your packing session just to get some more supplies.

• Pack wisely. Boxes should weigh only about 50 pounds or less. Also, pack heavier objects on the bottom of the box. Do not overstuff each box or risk damaging the contents. Make sure the boxes are sealed and closed properly with the tops laying neat and flat. Stuff bubble wrap, wrapping paper, or towel, scarves, or other soft materials into every nook and cranny between the box and the items inside it to make sure they won’t move around inside and get damaged.

• Place small items in separate boxes, bags, or compartments, then seal them before placing in a much bigger box.

• Label all boxes accurately with the items inside, making sure you include notes such as ‘Fragile. Do not drop’ or ‘This side up.’ For your first- and/or last-day ‘essentials’ box, mark it as “Load last, unload first”.

• Pack the tools you’ll need for reassembling furniture in a separate box. Also mark it clearly and legibly.

• Keep a master inventory of each box with its contents in case something goes missing and you need to report a claim.

• Keep all important documents with you. If you can’t possibly take them along with you in your car or vehicle, send them ahead using a courier.

• Place in the same box or boxes all items from each room in your house, and then keep them together when you load them onto the moving truck. (This is to make things a lot easier for you when you unpack later).

Must-Have Packing Supplies:

Once you have decided which items you need to pack, and you have also identified which ones need specialized packing, make a list of all supplies you need then go shopping. (Note: Make sure you have enough of these. You don’t want the stress of having to stop all your packing just because you ran out of packing supplies!)

Packing and Moving Must-Have Supplies:

20 Small-size Moving Boxes
11 Medium-size Moving Boxes
10 Large-size Moving Boxes
4 Extra-Large Moving Boxes
5 Heavy-Duty Boxes
6 Wardrobe Boxes
Electronics Box
Other Specialty Boxes (optional: Frame protector)
Unprinted News Wrap or Brown Paper (newspaper could leave prints on to your valuables)
1 150-ft. Roll Bubble Wrap
1 Permanent Marker for Labeling
Papers or Blank Sticker Labels (again, for Labeling)
7 Boxes Clear Sealing/Packing Tape
Scissor or Cutter

Others (for More Protection or Cushioning when Packing):

Stretch Wrap
Peanuts (foam pieces for filling empty spaces)
Mattress Cover

Essentials Box Must-Have Items:

It will be frustrating to move without packing an ‘essentials’ box beforehand. Your essentials box should have everything you’ll need for the first few days in your new place, and/or for your last 24 hours in your previous house. These will save you from scrambling until the time you are fully settled in your new house.

Your essentials box should include all the items you and your family needs to prepare small meals, to clean up, to deal with possible emergencies, and also to entertain you a bit while you’re still unpacking the rest of your stuff.

Items to Include in Your Essentials Box:

Toilet Paper
Toiletries (Soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, etc)
Wet wipes
All-around cleaner
Dishwashing soap
Dishtowels, dishcloths
Garbage bags, plastic bags
Instant coffee or tea, sugar, creamer
Small toaster
Pasta and small jar of pasta/spaghetti sauce (or other easy-to-prepare food items for one lunch and one dinner)
Loaf bread
Jar of jam or peanut butter
Water/ Beverages
Cups, plates, fork, spoon, knives for each family member
Pet food, pet dish, other pet supplies
Portable tool kit
Flashlight, emergency light or candles and matches
Small emergency kit
Radio or small TV
Shower curtain
Bath towels
A change of clothes for each family member
Important documents/records such as passports, birth and/or marriage certificates, medical records, property leases, financial documents, etc.

The main idea behind an essentials box is to include everything you’ll need to survive a full 24-hours period. You never know what will happen so you should always be prepared, have everything you need on-hand so you can live comfortably in the first few days or hours in your new house.


When packing your essentials box, make sure you also label it as “Last to load, first to unload/unpack”. You can either take it along with you in your car or load it in the moving van’s cab area.

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