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Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page

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You're going crazy about how to prepare for a move without going crazy. Starting to pack for a move - going through all of your things, loading and labeling all of those boxes, packing up every place in your home — can be daunting. It can feel overwhelming to pack up for a break, and it can be overwhelming to pack for a long vacation. Going to pack up and move to a new house on you own? This is a move that can be very aggravating without the right knowledge.


Here's the packing 101 checklist for how to pack for a move!

  1. Plan Ahead
  2. Pack a 1st Day Box for Everyone
  3. You May Want To Hire Help
  4. Gather Old Things And Sell Them
  5. Label And Mark Everything
  6. Disassemble Big Pieces Neatly
  7. Padding And Covering
  8. Be Prepared To Go
  9. Pack Up Necessities For The Unpacking Process
  10. Don’t Pack Heavy Things In Big Boxes
  11. Double Check Empty Rooms

Plan Ahead

Few individuals are looking forward to actually packing for a move - not even when they are excited by the move in general.It is necessary to start gathering boxes at least a month (and hopefully more) before the day of move in order to make things much simpler. Supermarkets have fresh boxes that are perfectly sized, so it may be helpful to gather as many boxes you need before anything else. To avoid the chaos, start packing early as possible and you'll be able to get going.

Grab the necessary supplies for packing and moving containers of different sizes. To load objects in different sizes, you will need different sizes of sturdy storage bins. Be sure you buy good quality packing products and sturdy shipping containers or cartons; for advice, it may be best to contact a pro who can help you with all the packing 101 checklist items.

Pack a 1st Day Box for Everyone

Prepare a suitcase or container several days ahead of time for each member of the family. Have a personal-sized bar of soap, fresh toothbrush and mouthwash, towel and washcloth, plastic razor if needed, a change of clothes (sweatpants or something similar) or two full wardrobe changes, and anything else you think every individual will need during the first few days (while everything else is in containers). Everything they need is conveniently accessible in this manner.

Store these boxes and suitcases in a secure place where they won't be blended in with anything else, maybe in the truck or even further away (work or home for a neighbor). Carry them in the vehicle or which ever way you're traveling.

You May Want To Hire Help

Professionals in every segment of the moving process are agile and knowledgeable. You might want to save time and just get somebody's assistance with the heavy lifting. You can prepare the boxes in advance. Maybe you want somebody with a little help to do everything for you. To cover and secure all your merchandise, you can arrange for the full service movers. There are experts who represent you, and they will do the job you need them to do. Wait for a qualified mover to ask your specific needs a lot of questions.

Professionals account for all things in the truck as it arrives and exits. A skilled mover must keep a log of every package or product, helping them to demonstrate to your new location that they have it safely. This kind of double-checking is critical, particularly on large or complicated movements (multi-truck, cross-country, etc.). If your things are not handled by the moving company, you are.


Gather Old Things And Sell Them

This can be the difficult part of the whole moving process for most individuals— starting with their possessions. Yet, if in the last year you haven't worn a pair of shoes, will you ever use them? Pack up and sell these kind of items. A major move is a great chance to get rid of stuff you hardly use while putting in your wallet some extra money. Just bring everything in containers and dump it in the local thrift store.

Not only do you make life much better for yourself if you decide to let go of your old stuff, you always make things convenient for someone else. If you don't want to sell things you're no longer buying, why don't you just donate them to someone who's less fortunate? This is a simple way of helping people.

Label And Mark Everything

Making sure to pack all of the specific things that belong together in a name-labeled box in a particular room. It makes it easier to unpack once you get to where you're headed. Pack up a room at a time, then packing small things to easily get them out of the way. Stamp and tape each box thoughtfully so that when you unpack it you can locate everything. This will also make it much simpler for the movers. If they're considerate and not crunched on time, they'll probably take may marked box and put it in correct room.

Stack the boxes as you are finishing up and ensure that they are filled, taped and labeled. Aim to keep them stocked in the packing rooms you've already finished. Be sure to store in one particular package all power panels and extension cords and floor adapters; they will be much easier to locate later. The tool box and the long cords box should be clearly labeled. Remove all the screws and bolts to an specific clear box after it has been detached. That way, instead of looking for them, you could attach the bed and place the lampshade back on quickly.

See also: Moving Box Labeling Tips

Disassemble Big Pieces Neatly

Start to take apart any big items. Place all equipment appropriate to contents and space in double-thick Ziploc bags. Store your bags with the right tools in one package–all wrenches, drill bits, scissors, and so on. This will make things simpler when you've settled in to put things back together.
Be sure you maintain the hardware and supplies box in a central location where it can be seen by everyone. This will make it much easier to reassemble. Put the small things like camera earbuds, remote controls, nail boxes and things you'll need right after you move in.


Padding And Covering

Do not pack covers and towels; use them as padding and save yourself the worry of things getting damaged in containers. Blankets cover and wrap around frames of artwork or lamps. In a move things like that can  always take a beating. Extract each shade; stack them small to large, and place them in one box to make sure they stay intact.

Be Prepared To Go

Prior to the movers coming and before you get the vehicle running, have everything ready. Disassemble the furniture that has to be broken down (Securely label nuts and bolts of furniture items.)  After rolling the rug up, be sure to tape it up tightly. The more prepared you are, the less time you spend with movers— paying for the hour— and renting moving trucks.

Professionals are liable for any damage to your belongings. A pro makes their living from carrying your stuff and has the necessary resources and knowledge to prevent accidents. That being said, in the event that something happens, it is the duty of licensed movers to compensate you for any damage incurred. Hiring a specialist would guarantee the actual past pack work, and then protect you if something bad happens. Please inquire about the deal before signing— if you're not vigilant, many smaller firms may want to get out of responsibility for injuries. You may have to pay for the offer.

Pack Up Necessities For The Unpacking Process

A move is not just a one hour process. There's a lot of things to be done from beginning to end, packing the things you know everybody is going to need before things are even settled is very important. This will most likely include the things you used up to the date of the transfer. Think of useful little things that you might want to use before unpacking all packages. Including products such as laundry soap, a brush, a package of paper towels, Toilet paper, a few pencils, clips, plastic / plastic plates / forks, a bottle opener, bath towels for each member of the family, a pan, a saucepan, one plastic cooking utensil, one small box cutter, etc. can also be helpful.

Keep in mind that people will have to wash their hands, eat and bath well before the other part of the move; which is unpacking. It's going to make this box quick.

Don't Pack Heavy Things In Big Boxes

Many people who try moving themselves think that big heavy material belongs in a big box, but the exact opposite is the case. Fill big boxes with light weight objects and place heavy items in small boxes, like books. You would be shocked to see how many people fill big containers until weighing 120 pounds and breaking. And that slows down the whole moving process.

Double Check Empty Rooms

Check at each empty room and make sure it's all gone. Place all things in one area at the last hour. Keep in mind: when the vehicle has been loaded and the movers tell you they've got it all, scope out every room to make certain you've left nothing behind. If you're confident the room is clear, it's time to shut down the door and go!


Hiring a Professional?

Professionals anticipate  the home to be ready and organized before they come. Pro movers are skilled in moving everything from one family home to another safely and efficiently. They don't excel in sorting the good china from the mediocre, they don't gather up the dirty laundry on the ground. Once they arrive they'll request you to be organized  and packed. Good ideas include: placing similar small objects in containers (books, plates, etc.) Specifically designating useful or delicate goods Discarding or purging unnecessary products in advance.Label identification of containers for actual places.

To make unpacking simpler, specialists will try to organize the truck by specific room. There are methodical great movers. They keep things in similar spots while loading the truck room by room. Although they can mix things together to ensure it can fit together, they are trained to get things in and out of their vehicle in the most reliable way. Prepare for them to operate far more effectively than you could on your own.

Professionals Take Care Of Furniture

Furniture can be wrapped, padded and reassembled by professionals One of a packing team's main benefits is that they know how to take care of the children's bunk beds or the queen sized frame that seem to be stuck in the room. Professional furniture moving companies are going to take the furniture apart into the most compact, conveniently transported sections, securely pad the items, and put everything back together when you come back and see.

Because most movers are paid by the hour, if you feel secure in your skills, feel obliged to install and break down furniture on your own. You're going to save some money.

Didn't Protect Your Furniture? Professionals Will

Professionals are packing things to prevent them from shifting and moving in the container or car. Things break by bouncing off other items,  if movement in the truck is not managed A great mover knows it's not just about preserving space to pack securely, it's about a close, comfortable fit. They're going to use  Styrofoam peanuts to fill empty room. To avoid slipping and sliding, wrap chairs and large pieces in thick blankets. While grouping the square or rectangular items in the same container that can be stuck in close proximity.


See also: How to Pack for a Move Quickly


There are two main types of rushed moves. There are those where you don't have a lot of time before figuring out you have to move, and then  those where you've done a little too much procrastinating and a couple of days before the movers are scheduled to arrive at a totally unpacked house. We suggest you do not panic in any of those situations by following the packing tips and tricks above. You would have plenty of time to prepare for any move you have to make in a perfect world. Moving is a procedure of tiny details and different activities, and it is usually best to do it correctly for at least three to four weeks. Yet life is quickly coming to you in the real world, and so is this last moment move.

Content Update: Here's one of our recent articles about how to pack clothes for moving: https://9kilo.com/national-moving/how-to-pack-clothes-for-moving