Perfecting Your Packing: The Top Packing Tips You Need to Know

Francey Beall
Back to all posts

Each year, 40 million Americans pack up and move to a new home. That's roughly 14 percent of the population.

Are you getting ready to move and you've decided to pack your own things?

If so, you might be wondering where to start or how to pack your belongings.  Moving can be an overwhelming and sometimes stressful experience, but it doesn't have to be if you plan carefully.

These expert packing tips are sure to make your move as hassle-free as possible.

Start by Donating or Selling Unwanted Items

The average American home has roughly 300,000 items inside. From overstuffed junk drawers to overflowing closets, that's a lot of things that you have to deal with before a move.

As you start the packing process, it helps to go through your stuff and create an inventory of what you have. Start by getting rid of items you don't want to pack and bring with you to your new place.

You can do this before and during the packing process to make the move easier (and cheaper). Start with duplicate items in the kitchen, broken appliances, or clothes you don't wear anymore. The less stuff you have to pack, the better.

If you have gently used or high-end items that you want to get a few bucks for, start by listing those items online. As a nice bonus, you can use that extra cash towards your move.

Use Colored Packing Labels

Color-coded packing labels make it easy for the movers to know where each box belongs.

Each room of the house has a different color sticker to avoid confusion such as yellow for the kitchen. Some of these labels even have space for an inventory list so you can write down the contents of the box as well.

If you can't find packing labels, you can also color-code your boxes with permanent markers or colored packing tape. Make sure to label your boxes on the side so you can read the contents while the boxes are stacked.

You should also grab a roll of fragile labels for boxes with breakable items.

Write Down the Contents of Each Box

An inventory list on the box prevents confusion on moving day. Both you and the movers know what each box contains, meaning its more likely to wind up in the right place.

Make a simplified list of the contents in each box. Use a permanent marker and write on the side for better readability.

You don't have to list every item. Writing "pots and pans" or "bedroom linens" is sufficient.

This is one of those moving and packing tips that makes unpacking easier on you once you're moved in. After all, no one wants to dig through every single box in the kitchen looking for a coffee mug.

Use Packing Paper Instead of Newspaper

While newspaper might be easier to find, the ink may bleed during the move creating a mess and ruining your items. Avoid using newspapers, magazines, or any other printed material except as extra padding in the box.

You can also use bubble wrap for any extra fragile items. However, bubble wrap is not only more expensive than packing paper, but it also takes up more room in the box. Be mindful of how much space you have to work with.

Some people wrap items in towels instead of bubble wrap to prevent scratches. Towels, rags, and extra bedding also work great as a space-filler inside the box to prevent items from shifting during transportation.

Don't Overload Boxes

Wondering how to pack efficiently?

As easy as it is to throw every item you grab into a box and tape it up, you have to consider the weight of each box. If you make boxes too heavy, there is a higher risk of the bottom falling out and your items getting damaged. Plus, heavy boxes are much harder to carry and move around.

Make it easy on your movers and yourself by managing the weight of each box. Pack heavy items like books in smaller boxes and lighter or bulkier items in larger boxes.

Use Plastic Wrap and Tape on Liquids

This is one of those packing hacks you need to follow if you want to avoid a big mess during the move.

Items may shift during the move and transportation, meaning you have to carefully pack your bottles and liquids. Wrap any item that might leak in plastic to prevent messes.

If possible, remove the cap or lid, cover the bottle opening with plastic wrap, and replace the lid. If you can't remove the top, wrap the item and place it in a plastic bag.

You can tape the wrap in place for extra protection or to keep tops from opening during transit.

Wrap Tiny Items in Colored Tissue Paper

Afraid of throwing out small, breakable items with the extra paper when unpacking?

Pack these tiny items in colorful tissue paper and tape the outside. Not only does this keep you from throwing them out on accident, but it also makes unpacking easier.

Stick with Professional Moving Boxes

One of the best packing tips you should follow during a move is to use the right boxes for the job.

Sure, you can find free boxes at your local grocery or liquor store, but moving boxes protect your belongings better. Professional moving boxes are sturdy and stack better on the truck.

Pack Clothes in Wardrobe Boxes

Buy a few wardrobe boxes to store your clothes for easy transportation. These are tall boxes with a metal bar perfect for hangers and heavy clothes. While you don't need a wardrobe box, it makes unpacking in the new place faster and more convenient.

Avoid packing your clothes in trash bags unless you're moving them in your car. Some moving companies won't transport your items this way.

Don't Pack Hazardous Materials

Moving companies can't transport hazardous materials. Some of these items include gasoline, flammable items, firearms, and ammunition.

In general, avoid packing anything that might be flammable, combustible, explosive, or illegal. If in doubt, look up a hazardous item checklist online or contact your moving company to ask.

Use These Packing Tips to Make Moving Easy

Remember these packing tips to make your move as stress-free as possible. Not only are your items less likely to break during transportation, but you're making the unpacking process easier as well.

Ready to start preparing for the big move?

If you're moving within or to the Dallas area, request a quote and get started today.

Explore more

Find us in Dallas!